Paul Ganss, M.S., NREMT-P, NCEE, manager of the School of Medicine’s Youngblood Medical Skills Laboratory, recently became part of the first group of Certified Healthcare Simulation Educators through a Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSIH) pilot program that began last summer.
The organization launched its certification pilot program in June of 2012. Ganss was one of the more than 270 people who applied to take part in the pilot phase of the program. Participants are selected based on their work experience and personal recommendations.
“One of the goals of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare has been to work toward validating simulation centers with certification in simulator education,” said Ganss, a nationally certified paramedic, who also serves as the School’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) education program director in cooperation with the Truman Medical Center emergency medicine department. “It shows that you have the body of knowledge necessary to provide an effective simulation program.”
Ganss took the 115-question certification test in September and was notified in December that he had passed. He prepared by reviewing articles provided by the SSIH and traveled to Sedalia for the exam. The tests are offered through college-based testing centers.
“A lot of the information, I had already learned through instructor courses and when I tested for my EMS Educator certification,” Ganss said. “It wasn’t too terribly stressful. The questions were straightforward, so the the only stress involved was what one places on themselves to be successful.”
The certification is valid for three years, at which time one can be recertified by taking the exam again or by submitting evidence of continued professional development throughout the previous certification period.
“They needed at least 200 people to be part of the charter group, and we wound up with more than 270 in our first group,” said Ganss, who was the only person from Missouri or Kansas selected to participate in the pilot phase of the certification program.
In addition to recognizing expertise in simulation, the certification program strives to improve health care simulation education by identifying, sharing and providing a standardization of leading practices in the industry.
The SSIH was created in 2004 to represent the growing number of researchers and health care educators utilizing the vast array of simulation technology available for health care education, testing and research.