Clinical Site Database
ASET CLINICAL SITE DATABASE INFORMATION
ASET is committed to help resolve the nationwide shortage of qualified neurodiagnostic technologists (NDTs). We strongly support enrollment in accredited online NDT programs, as well as local traditional programs. Both types of programs satisfy ABRET’s registration exam eligibility requirements under Pathway I and both demonstrate highly successful board pass rates.
The key to success for a student attending either an online or traditional educational program is the ability to apply knowledge and work hands-on in an environment that is committed to helping the student learn essential skills. Unfortunately, there is a critical shortage of clinical sites and too often program applicants are denied a career in this field because of this site shortage.
To grow the number of clinical sites and facilitate communication between sites and educational programs, ASET has established a clinical site database. The database will provide program directors with basic information so they can contact you directly to discuss the possibility of taking a student.
Review the information below that highlights the many benefits of serving as a clinical site. Remember, students are potential employees who can help you overcome a chronic staffing shortage. The next step is to submit the questionnaire to the ASET education office. The information will be shared with program directors when they contact ASET to request clinical site options.
BENEFITS OF BECOMING A CLINICAL SITE
Students are potential new employees. Working with students creates an applicant pool for existing and future job openings. Graduates of formalized training programs are more likely to seek employment at their former clinical site. You will have first shot at hiring them. Their clinical experience is like a year-long interview so that you see whether they are reliable, on time, function well under pressure and interact well with your staff and patients. The benefits are substantial, including:
reduced costs associated with staff recruitment
reduced costs associated with prospective employee interviews
reduced costs associated with new employee orientation because of the student’s familiarity with the facility’s/department’s policies and procedures
increased staff retention- during the student’s clinical rotation, you and the students have ample time to determine if future employment would be mutually beneficial
increased patient satisfaction- students can assist technologists by preparing the next scheduled patient for their test thus reducing patient waiting time
preceptors earn free continuing education credits, which are required to maintain professional credentials through ABRET. Visit www.abret.org for details.
BECOMING A CLINICAL SITE: FAQS
There is a severe shortage of NDTs throughout the United States due to lack of available clinical sites. NDT educational programs need the guidance, expertise, and involvement of the entire healthcare community in addressing the tremendous need for clinical sites.
Formal education programs combined with clinical experience are critical in developing our future technologists. However, programs have a very difficult time obtaining adequate clinical sites for their students to acquire clinical skills.
Unfortunately, potential clinical sites sometimes have misconceptions about their role. The following highlights some of the common “myths” as well as the “truths” about the benefits of mentoring students.
Myth: “We’re too busy to be involved with students. Working with students is just more work.”
Truth: Actually, students can help reduce staff’s workload by assisting with daily tasks, paperwork, and providing extra assistance needed for patient care. In addition, students’ skills improve very quickly and they increasingly work more independently. Staff observe and supervise, while their actual procedural time is decreased.
Myth: “We should get extra pay to teach students; it is not part of my job.”
Truth: Many facilities actively support employee mentoring. You should check with your human resources department. Furthermore, you can include that you mentor students on your yearly performance evaluation under professional development, which may increase your rating and wages. Also, tell your staff about the benefits of student rotations and that their expertise and experience are important to student learning and the future of the profession. It is also a great way to enhance your resumé! Additionally, preceptors can now obtain free CEUs from ABRET for working with students.
Myth: “We’re concerned that our patients will be unhappy about having students in the exam room and fear losing business.”
Truth: Patients are typically impressed when you tell them that your facility is a “clinical teaching site” and are eager to provide a learning opportunity for the student. This is common practice in teaching hospitals, clinics, physician offices, etc. Most of your patients are aware of the value of this experience in training healthcare professionals. In addition, patients always have the right to refuse a student, though rare.
Myth: “We don’t allow any discussion or questions during the exam because it may upset the patient.”
Truth: Most patients are very interested in their examination. Patients love the extra attention and all facilities are promoting greater transparency. Simply inform the patient that you will be providing student instruction during the procedure to alleviate any patient concerns. In fact, most patients benefit by a better understanding of the procedure. Everyone learns. You can also use time after the test to review with the student. This sometimes allows for a more open and informative discussion.
Myth: “I’m afraid the student will ask questions that I can’t answer since I didn’t attend a formal educational program or I’ve been out of school for quite some time.”
Truth: Staff are not expected to teach theory. Refer students back to their professors with any homework questions. The purpose of clinical is to provide opportunity for patient interaction. However, when teaching, both students and staff learn. Students often motivate staff and provide incentive for them to sharpen their skills, review information previously learned, and keep up with new techniques and advancements in the field. For practicing technologists, continuing education is essential. Providing clinical instruction is one way to foster the value of continued professional development.
Myth: “All of the sleep and neurodiagnostic technologists in our facility need to have registry credentials in order for us to be a clinical site.”
Truth: The designated clinical preceptor who evaluates the student’s skills should have the appropriate credentials for the learning concentration. However, students are typically allowed to work with non-registered technologists as long as any evaluations are performed by a registered preceptor. According to AASM and CoA-NDT standards, each clinical site must have a minimum of one registered technologist on staff.
HOW TO BECOME A CLINICAL SITE
NDT Programs with students enrolling in your area will be able to access your information and contact your lab via ASET’s database.
If successfully matched with a student, the program will send you an affiliation agreement to sign.* Or, your professional development or human resource department may prefer to use their own agreement.
(*Typically, the educational institution will provide the clinical facility with an affiliation agreement. The agreement includes the guidelines and respective responsibilities that form the structure of the relationship.)