by Jennifer Minor, Editor/Writer
Somewhere between Pregnancy Help Institute and the Heartbeat International Annual Conference every year, there's a training gap. Individuals continue to take courses online at Heartbeat Academy, but that communal learning experience is missing.
That's why Heartbeat International developed ConCERT.
ConCERT is an advanced distance learning course to equip volunteer consultants with the information, skills, and perspectives that take them to the next level for providing effective consultation to individuals making choices in regard to sexual integrity, pregnancy, and parenting.Deb Neybert, MA, LAS says, "As a trainer, I enjoy getting to know the students, and reading their comments posted on our online forum. Often they have great insights to share with each other, and it enhances the learning experience."
Since The LOVE Approach training is a pre-requisite to ConCERT, students interact with peers that have had similar experiences. According to Neybert, "Students say the most exciting part of ConCERT is the practical application as they have the opportunity to respond to verbatim assignments and the on-line forum communication."
Besides all of these benefits, by the end of ConCERT, students earn 14 CEU's toward the Life Affirming Specialist Designation. That's enough to apply for or renew your LAS!
Tweet this! The next session of ConCERT begins on January 11, 2015, and registration is open now.
The next session of ConCERT begins on January 11, 2015, and registration is open now. Information on pricing, registration, and other important dates can be found here.
Learn more and sign up today!
By Connie Ambrecht RDMS, CMB
It was very exciting when your Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) changed to a Pregnancy Medical Clinic (PMC). I am certain you can recall the enthusiastic atmosphere that filled the center as you reached your goal of changing from having a focus on material assistance to focusing on being able to answer the question; “Am I pregnant?” through medical imaging. Providing confirmation of pregnancy was finally a goal actualized!
Looking back at the steps that were taken, everyone on the team participated in training that was a necessary component to adding medical services. From the Board of Directors, the Executive Director and the Clinic or Nurse Manager, every aspect of the PRC was educated about the change. Our team at Sonography Now participated in the change at over 500 PRC to PMC transitions and our responsibility to you remains. Our role as an education company is to keep ourselves educated and pass that along to you. Our team attends approximately 6-8 conferences per year to keep abreast of trends that impact your clinical setting.
For many of you, that initial investment in getting to know what was needed for a PRC to become a PMC was the start and the finish to your education as it relates to being a clinic. Let’s review what is necessary for the medical personnel in particular to remain strong for the PMC. Then let’s consider: What does each member of the team need to do to remain strong for the PMC we serve?
For those such as NARAL Pro-Choice America who would like to see our doors close, they state things like: “CPCs are a growing threat to women's health. They often lie to women about abortion and birth control. They'll do anything to scare a woman away from choosing legal abortion.” They consider this a challenge to address.
We don’t believe there is a need to feel a panic in addressing such accusations, instead we feel it is wiser to be methodical about how you keep your entire organization educated. We want you to be empowered to discuss how and why you stay strong. In considering a methodical approach to your team’s education, there are a few things to ask… Who needs to be educated? How would we get such education? Where do we get the funding? Where can we go? Do we have to go anywhere? Who decides who needs what? There are so many legitimate things to consider.
This article is to assist you in building a plan for continuing education as it relates to your team, as well as providing talking points to aid in community relations.
As we begin, I’d like to outline a few facts: you provide medical services, sonography and maybe SDI testing, so that’s what makes you a clinic…embrace it. As a clinic, the public has certain expectations…be aware of those expectations. With those expectations comes the responsibility to provide your medical services at a level that meets standards as established by professional organizations.
Do you have an awareness of who those organizations are? Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), American Nurses Association (ANA), and the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (SDMS)? Each of these organizations has guidelines and/or recommendations for continuing education. Let’s look at each one, create a talking point and build a plan to implement.
• According to AWHONN, the RN who performs sonography “should demonstrate educational and clinical expertise in obstetrics….”
• In the new Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, the ANA clearly states in Provision 5 that “the nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to preserve integrity and safety, to maintain competence, and to continue personal and professional growth.” Provision 7 states that “the nurse participates in the advancement of the profession through contributions to practice, education, administration, and knowledge development.”
• The SDMS clearly requires all sonographers, registered or unregistered, under Section II, to “maintain continued competence through lifelong learning, which includes continuing education, acquisition of specialty specific credentials and re-credentialing.”
If you take the three professional organizations above and build a talking point you might be ready to state; “As a clinic we find it is a priority to maintain competency, build skills and knowledge, because we value keeping up with medical standards.”
Your approach to building an education plan will vary from clinic to clinic. Annual Conferences such as the Heartbeat International Conference can build your medical team as well as others who attend. As education organizations, Sonography Now and Equip Leaders Now are committed to maintaining a large library of courses for the Pregnancy Medical Clinic that can grow your entire team. We recognize the importance of keeping up on trends, building the team's knowledge base and providing quality care and focus on that aspect of your services.
To quote Maya Angelou, “If we know better we do better”. We know you need continuing education in order to do better. Our obligation to you is to stay informed and pass it along. We look forward to serving you this year in regards to your education needs.
Connie Ambrecht RDMS CMB and her husband Dan founded Sonography Now in 2002. Connie has been published in professional journals, has spoken at national conferences. Sonography Now has provided training to physicians, nurses, physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, midwives, radiologic technologists, as well as cross-training other sonography specialists.
"I had no idea what to expect. I have never taken a course on-line before and from the experience of this one, would definitely do it again... It was wonderful to share with so many like-minded individuals who live their faith each day and see God's hand at work. I was uplifted by this experience." - ConCERT Graduate
ConCERT is an advanced distance learning course created by Heartbeat International. ConCERT is appropriate for any individual currently involved in a pregnancy help ministry who wants to gain confidence and take their current skills and knowledge to an even higher level. The next session of ConCERT will cover consulting considerations, fertility, conception, fetal development, sexual integrity, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion risks, and much more. By the end of this training, you will earn enough CEU's to apply for or renew your Life Affirming Specialist Designation.
To participate, you must meet the following requirements:
Please note, participants of this training will be able to communicate with the instructors via e-mail and phone. A downloadable student manual is also provided to help students prepare for assessments.
Next Session: The next session of ConCERT begins September 13, 2021
Faculty for the 2021 Fall ConCERT include Beth Diemert, LAS and Sara Littlefield, LAS.
Sara Littlefield became a member of Heartbeat International’s Ministry Services’ team in June 2018. Prior to her work with Heartbeat, Sara served as the Director of the Abortion Pill Reversal program (now known as the Abortion Pill Rescue Network) and was overjoyed to be able to witness its transition into the capable hands of Heartbeat. She has first-hand experience working in pregnancy help organizations as a client services manager, event and volunteer coordinator, and sexual integrity educator. Sara graduated from Franciscan University (‘12) with a Bachelor degree in Social Work.
Beth Diemert has 30 years of experience in the pregnancy center movement, beginning with, and spending 10 years as the Executive Director of Women’s Choice Network pregnancy centers in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1999, she was named the first Vice-President of Heartbeat International. In 2006, Beth became the VP at Life Steward Ministries, coaching organizations and leadership teams in growth and development. In 2013, Beth founded and became President of Life Without Limit, a nonprofit organization anchored by a community coffee shop called “The Perk of Life”, while continuing to serve Heartbeat affiliates in a consulting capacity worldwide. Currently, Beth has rejoined the Heartbeat team as Director of Affiliate Services and a faculty member of the Heartbeat Academy. Beth holds a BS in Bible and Biblical Counseling from Philadelphia Biblical University.
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