Multiple Sclerosis Centers Consortium Develops Healthcare Associate Certification Exam

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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CMSC 2018 annual meeting

The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) has developed a Multiple Sclerosis Healthcare Associate (MSHA) Certification Examination for all non-licensed, educated and trained medical personnel working in multiple sclerosis (MS).

The MSHA Certification Examination provides formal recognition of a specialized body of knowledge felt to be necessary to provide optimal care to individuals and families living with MS.

MSHA is part of the CMSC’s mission to promote top-quality MS care through education, accreditation, networking events, research funding, journals and papers, and advocacy efforts. The CMSC also offers opportunities for professional collaboration, access to several continuing medical education (CME) classes, and mentoring from CMSC members.

The first on-site MSHA certification test will take place during the 32nd CMSC annual meeting, taking place this year between May 30 and June 2 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Healthcare associates worldwide will have the opportunity to take the two-hour examination and be knowledgeable and certified on how to provide optimal care to individuals with MS and their families.

“The complexity of MS, and that it is a lifelong neurological disease illness, requires a unique level of treatment and specialized care. This certification program helps people with MS and their families know that they are receiving optimal care from a healthcare associate,” June Halper, chief executive officer of the CMSC, said in a press release.

The MSHA examination is for medical and nursing assistants, and physical/occupational therapy assistants who are trained and educated to practice, but not licensed. Eligible participants should have worked in MS for at least one year.

The test will cover the fundamentals of MS, including disease process, diagnosis and the disease’s course and natural history. It will also focus on the multidisciplinary management of MS, including symptoms, rehabilitation, pharmacology, psychosocial issues and models of care.

Test takers will also be evaluated on their knowledge of patient empowerment, advocacy and family education.

For additional information about the application process, eligibility criteria, rules and content of examination – in addition to other important details about MSHA certification – please read the Handbook for Candidates.

Applications for the spring on-site testing day on May 30 can be sent until April 20.

The exam will also be offered at hundreds of computer test centers in the Aug. 4-18, 2018, summer testing period. The application deadline is July 2, 2018.

The MSHA certification was developed by the CMSC in collaboration with Professional Testing Corporation.

In 2017, the CMSC announced the formation of a new Physician Assistant Special Interest Group (PA-SIG) to provide physician assistants (PAs) with a specialized forum to exchange ideas and information about MS care. The PA-SIG was created to provide guidance on career development, the latest updates in MS care, novel management strategies and research approaches.

The new PA-SIG will hold roundtable discussions and networking opportunities for PAs to also meet at the 32nd annual meeting of the CMSC.

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