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NRP exam plan - Nationally Registered Paramedics (EMT) Updated: 2024

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Exam Code: NRP Nationally Registered Paramedics (EMT) exam plan January 2024 by Killexams.com team

NRP Nationally Registered Paramedics (EMT)

Exam Details:
- Number of Questions: The NRP (Nationally Registered Paramedics) exam typically consists of multiple-choice questions. The exact number of questions may vary, but it is typically around 100 to 150 questions.

- Time: Candidates are usually given a specific amount of time to complete the exam. The duration can vary depending on the certification provider and exam format.

Course Outline:
The NRP certification is designed to assess the knowledge and skills of paramedics at a national level. The course outline may cover the following key areas:

1. Patient Assessment and Management:
- Conducting a systematic patient assessment
- Managing airway and ventilation
- Administering medications and intravenous therapy
- Monitoring vital signs and interpreting patient data

2. Cardiology and Resuscitation:
- Recognizing and managing cardiac emergencies
- Performing advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
- Defibrillation and cardioversion techniques
- Understanding cardiac rhythms and interpreting EKGs

3. Medical Emergencies:
- Managing common medical conditions (e.g., respiratory, neurological, endocrine)
- Recognizing and treating allergic reactions and anaphylaxis
- Managing diabetic emergencies
- Understanding and responding to toxicological emergencies

4. Trauma Management:
- Assessing and managing traumatic injuries
- Performing advanced trauma life support (ATLS)
- Handling fractures, dislocations, and spinal injuries
- Applying splints and immobilization devices

5. Obstetrics and Gynecology:
- Managing normal and complicated deliveries
- Recognizing and managing obstetric emergencies
- Providing care for gynecological conditions
- Neonatal resuscitation and care

6. Special Patient Populations:
- Geriatric patient care
- Pediatric patient care
- Behavioral and psychiatric emergencies
- Special considerations for patients with disabilities

Exam Objectives:
The objectives of the NRP exam typically include:
- Assessing the candidate's knowledge and understanding of paramedic concepts, procedures, and protocols.
- Evaluating the candidate's ability to perform patient assessments, prioritize care, and make appropriate treatment decisions.
- Testing the candidate's knowledge and skills in managing various medical and trauma emergencies.
- Assessing the candidate's ability to provide appropriate care for special patient populations and adapt to different situations.

Exam Syllabus:
The specific exam syllabus for the NRP exam may include the following topics:

1. Paramedic Assessment and Management:
- Patient assessment techniques
- Airway management and ventilation
- Medication administration and intravenous therapy
- Patient monitoring and data interpretation

2. Cardiology and Resuscitation:
- Cardiac emergencies and ACLS
- Defibrillation and cardioversion
- Cardiac rhythms and EKG interpretation
- Advanced life support techniques

3. Medical Emergencies:
- Respiratory emergencies
- Neurological emergencies
- Endocrine emergencies
- Allergic reactions and anaphylaxis

4. Trauma Management:
- Traumatic injuries and ATLS
- Fractures, dislocations, and spinal injuries
- Splinting and immobilization
- Wound care and bleeding control

5. Obstetrics and Gynecology:
- Normal and complicated deliveries
- Obstetric emergencies
- Gynecological conditions
- Neonatal resuscitation and care

6. Special Patient Populations:
- Geriatric patient care
- Pediatric patient care
- Behavioral and psychiatric emergencies
- Patients with disabilities
Nationally Registered Paramedics (EMT)
Certification-Board Nationally exam plan

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Question: 172
Hot-water disinfection (high-level disinfection) can kill allforms of microbial life EXCEPT
A. Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli
B. varicella viruses
C. the HIV virus
D. large numbers of bacterial spores
Answer: D
Explanation:
High-level disinfection is effective against all forms of microbial contamination except large numbers of bacterial
spores.
Question: 173
When you are caring for more than one trauma patient at atime, you should change your gloves
A. whenever time permits
B. for each new patient
C. for each new procedure
D. whenever they become soiled
Answer: B
Explanation:
Changing gloves for each new patient contact prevents cross-contamination.
Question: 174
You are interviewing Mrs. Rodriguez, age 87, who calledEMS but seems reluctant to state her primary problem.
Mrs.Rodriguez speaks English but is answering your questions slowlyand haltingly. Her 20-year-old grandson is
also present. In anattempt to obtain the necessary information, you should
A. direct your questions to the grandson only, since Mrs.
B. ask the grandson to translate for Mrs. Rodriguez
C. ask questions slowly, clearly, and respectfully, giving Mrs.
D. stop the interview; Mrs. Rodriguez is probably not ill
Answer: C
Explanation:
Give Mrs. Rodriguez plenty of time to respond, plenty of encouragement, and treat her respectfully.
Question: 175
Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of the typicalabused elderly person?
A. wealthy but refuses to give financial assistance to relatives
B. has multiple physical and mental impairments, such as
C. female
D. over age 75
Answer: A
Explanation:
. The typical abused elder is poor and dependent on the abuser.
Question: 176
Which of the following is an example of acknowledging andlabeling the patient's feelings.
A. Stop threatening me. I've never hurt you.
B. You seem angry. Do you want to tell me about it?
C. I get angry myself sometimes.
D. Anger is a hostile emotion. Let's be more positive.
Answer: B
Explanation:
This is one way to acknowledge what a patient is feeling and to encourage him or her to express those feelings.
Question: 177
You arrive first in ambulance to a suspected radiation emergency.Dispatch has stated that a box containing
radioactive material wasfound left unattended and open in a park. No patients have beenidentified yet, but the
police department is sealing off the area.When you approach the park, the three principles of safety tokeep in mind
are
A. time, distance, and shielding
B. distance, crowd control, and decontamination
C. decontamination, clothing, and eye protection
D. gloves, eye protection, and distance
Answer: A
Explanation:
Limit your time of exposure, stay a good distance from the source, and place shielding between you and the source.
Question: 178
You arrive first in ambulance to a suspected radiation emergency.Dispatch has stated that a box containing
radioactive material wasfound left unattended and open in a park. No patients have beenidentified yet, but the
police department is sealing off the area.If you were asked to set up a staging area for further rescuecrews, which
of the following would be the best?
A. upwind, close visual range, in an open area
B. downwind, in an open area
C. upwind, in a building
D. downwind, in a building
Answer: C
Explanation:
Upwind in a building helps to provide further shielding from the radioactive source.
Question: 179
You arrive first in ambulance to a suspected radiation emergency.Dispatch has stated that a box containing
radioactive material wasfound left unattended and open in a park. No patients have beenidentified yet, but the
police department is sealing off the area.In the above situation, decontamination of patients would bethe
responsibility of the
A. first in ambulance
B. first in fire agency
C. hazardous materials team
D. police department
Answer: C
Explanation:
Decontamination should be performed by specially trained hazardous materials personnel.
Question: 180
You arrive first in ambulance to a suspected radiation emergency.Dispatch has stated that a box containing
radioactive material wasfound left unattended and open in a park. No patients have beenidentified yet, but the
police department is sealing off the area.Which type of radiation is the most serious?
A. alpha particles
B. beta particles
C. gamma rays
D. delta rays
Answer: C
Explanation:
Gamma rays are the most serious type of ionizing radiation.
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Certification-Board Nationally exam plan - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/NRP Search results Certification-Board Nationally exam plan - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/NRP https://killexams.com/exam_list/Certification-Board New Cardiology Certification Board: What's the Plan?

The proposal by the major cardiovascular societies in the US to form a new board of cardiovascular medicine to manage initial and ongoing certification of cardiologists represents something of a revolution in the field of continuing medical education and assessment of competency. 

Five US cardiovascular societies — the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association (AHA), the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions (SCAI) — have now joined forces to propose a new professional certification board for cardiovascular medicine, to be known as the American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine (ABCVM)

The ABCVM would be independent of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the current organization providing maintenance of certification for cardiologists as well as many other internal medicine subspecialties. The ABIM's maintenance of certification process has been widely criticized for many years and has been described as "needlessly burdensome and expensive." 

The ABCVM is hoping to offer a more appropriate and supportive approach, according to Jeffrey Kuvin, MD, a trustee of the ACC, who has been heading up the working group to develop this plan. 

Kuvin, who is chair of the cardiology at Northwell Health, Manhasset, New York, a l arge academic healthcare system, explained that maintenance of certification has been a Topic of discussion across the cardiovascular community for many years, and the ACC has a working group focused on the next steps for evaluation of competency, which he chairs.

"The Topic of evaluation of competence has been on the mind of the ACC for many years and hence a work group was developed to focus on this," Kuvin noted. "A lot of evolution of the concepts and next steps have been drawn out of this working group. And now other cardiovascular societies have joined to show unification across the house of cardiology and that this is indeed the way that the cardiovascular profession should move." 

"Time to Separate from Internal Medicine"

The general concept behind the new cardiology board is to separate cardiology from the ABIM. 

"This is rooted from the concept that cardiology has evolved so much over the last few decades into such a large multidimensional specialty that it really does demarcate itself from internal medicine, and as such, it deserves a separate board governed by cardiologists with collaboration across the entirely of cardiology," Kuvin said. 

Cardiology has had significant growth and expansion of technology, tools, medications, and the approach to patients in many specialities and subspecialties, he added. "We have defined training programs in many different areas within cardiology; we have our own guidelines, our own competency statements, and in many cases, cardiology exists as its own department outside of medicine in many institutions. It's just time to separate cardiology from the umbrella of internal medicine." 

The new cardiology board would be separate from, and not report to, the ABIM; rather, it would report directly to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the only recognized medical certification body in the US. 

What Are the Proposed Changes

Under the present system, managed by the ABIM, clinicians must undergo two stages of certification to be a cardiologist. First, they have to pass the initial certification exam in general cardiology, and then exams in one of four subspecialties if they plan to enter one of these, including interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, advanced heart failure or adult congenital heart disease

Next, clinicians enter the maintenance of certification phase, which can take three different forms: 1) taking another recertification exam every 10 years; 2) the collaborative maintenance pathway — a collaboration between ACC and ABIM, which includes evaluation, learning and a certified exam each year; or 3) longitudinal knowledge and assessment — in which the program interacts with the clinician on an ongoing basis, sending secured questions regularly. 

All three of these pathways for maintenance of certification involve high stakes questions and a set bar for passing or failing. 

Under the proposed new cardiology board, an initial certification exam would still be required after fellowship training, but the maintenance of certification process would be completely restructured, with the new approach taking the form of continuous learning and assessment of competency. 

"This is an iterative process, but we envision with a new American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine, we will pick up where the ABIM left off," Kuvin notes. "That includes an initial certifying examination for the five areas that already exist under the ABIM system but with the opportunities to expand that to further specialties as well."

He points out that there are several areas in cardiology that are currently not represented by these five areas that warrant some discussion, including multimodality imaging, vascular heart disease, and cardio-oncology. 

"At present, everybody has to pass the general cardiology exam and then some may wish to further train and get certified in one of the other four other specific areas. But one Topic that has been discussed over many years is how do we maintain competency in the areas in which clinicians practice over their lifetime as a cardiologist," Kuvin commented. 

He said the proposed cardiology board would like to adhere to some basic principles that are fundamental to the practice of medicine. 

"We want to make sure that we are practicing medicine so that our patients derive the most benefit from seeing a cardiologist," he said. "We also want to make sure, however, that this is a supportive process, supporting cardiologists to learn what they know and more importantly what they don't know; to identify knowledge gaps in specific area; to help the cardiologist fill those knowledge gaps; to acknowledge those gaps have been filled; and then move on to another area of interest. This will be the focus of this new and improved model of continuous competency."

The proposed new board also says it wants to make sure this is appropriate to the area in which the clinician is practicing.

"To take a closed book certified exam every 10 years on the world of cardiology as happens at the current time – or the assessments conducted in the other two pathways – is often meaningless to the cardiologist," Kuvin says. "All three current pathways involve high stakes questions that are often irrelevant to one’s clinical practice." 

Lifelong Learning

"The crux of the changes we are proposing will be away from the focus of passing a test towards a model of helping the individual with their competency, with continuous learning and evaluation of competency to help the clinician fill in their knowledge gaps," he explains.

He described the new approach as "lifelong learning," adding that, instead of it being "a punitive pass/fail environment with no feedback, which causes a lot of discontent among clinicians," it will be a supportive process, where a clinician will be helped in filling their knowledge gaps. 

"I think this would be a welcome change not just for cardiology but across medical specialties," Kuvin said. 

He also pointed out the ABMS itself is considering a continuous competency approach, and the proposed new cardiology board aims to work with the ABMS to make sure that their goals of continuous competency assessment are matched. 

"The world has changed. The ability to access information has changed. It is no longer imperative for a clinician to have every piece of knowledge in their brain, but rather to know how to get knowledge and to incorporate that knowledge into clinical practice," Kuvin noted. "Competency should not involve knowledge alone as in a closed book exam. It is more about understanding the world that we live in, how to synthesize information, where we need to Boost knowledge and how to do that." 

Kuvin acknowledged that asking clinicians questions is a very helpful tool to identify their knowledge base and their knowledge gaps. "But we believe the clinician needs to be given resources – that could be a conference, an article, a simulation - to fill that knowledge gap. Then we could ask clinicians some different questions and if they get those right then we have provided a service." 

Tactile skills for cardiologists needing to perform procedures – such as interventionalists or electrophysiologists may be incorporated by simulation in a technology-based scenario.

On how often these assessments would take place, Kuvin said that hadn't been decided for sure. 

"We certainly do not think an assessment every 10 years is appropriate. We envision, instead of an episodic model, it will be rather a lifelong journey of education and competency. This will involve frequent contact and making sure knowledge gaps are being filled. There are criteria being set out by the ABMS that there should be a certain number of touch points with individuals on an annual as well as a 5-year basis to make sure cardiologists are staying within specific guardrails. The exact nature of these is yet to be determined," he said. 

Kuvin added that it was not known yet what sort of hours would be required but added that "this will not be a significant time burden."

What is the Timeframe?

The application to the ABMS for a separate cardiology board is still ongoing and has not yet received formal acceptance. Representatives from the five US cardiovascular societies are in the initial stages of formulating a transition board. 

"The submission to the ABMS will take time for them to review. This could take up to a year or so," Kuvin estimates. 

This is the first time the ABMS has entertained the concept of a new board in many years, he noted. "It will be a paradigm shift for the whole country. I think that cardiology is really at the forefront and in a position where we can actually do this. If cardiovascular medicine is granted a new board, I think this will help change the approach of how physicians are assessed in terms of continuous competency not just in cardiology but across all specialties of medicine."

He added: "We are confident that we can work within the construct of the ABMS guidelines that have been revised to be much more holistic in the approach of continuous competence across the board. This includes thinking beyond rote medical knowledge and thinking about the clinician as a whole and their abilities to communicate, act professionally, work within a complex medical system, utilize medical resources effectively. These all have to be part of continuous competence."

How Much Will This Cost?

Noting that the ABIM has received criticism over the costs of the certification process, Kuvin said they intend to make this "as lean a machine as possible with the focus on reducing the financial [burden] as well as the time burden for cardiologists. It is very important that this is not cumbersome, that it is woven into clinical practice, and that it is not costly." 

But he pointed out that building a new board will have significant costs. 

"We have to think about developing initial board certification examinations as well as changing the paradigm on continuous certification," he said. "This will take some up-front costs, and our society partners have decided that they are willing to provide some start-up funds for this. We anticipate the initial certification will remain somewhat similar in price, but the cost of ongoing continuous competency assessment will be significantly reduced compared to today's models."

Kuvin said the collaboration of the five participating US cardiovascular societies was unprecedented. But he noted that while the transition board is beginning with representatives of these individual societies, it will ultimately be independent from these societies and have its own board of directors. 

He suggested that other societies representing other parts of cardiology are also interested. "Cardiology has recognized how important this is," he said. "Everybody is excited about this."

Thu, 07 Dec 2023 08:53:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/new-cardiology-certification-board-what-s-plan-2023a1000umq
Why ISSA’s Corrective Exercise Course Stands Out: A Trainer’s Take No result found, try new keyword!A certified personal trainer tests and reviews the ISSA Corrective Exercise Specialist course to see if it is worth adding to your skill set. Thu, 04 Jan 2024 15:41:00 -0600 text/html https://www.si.com/showcase/fitness/issa-corrective-exercise-review An Exploratory Look At Whether Generative AI Can Pass An Official Mental Health Counseling Licensing exam That Professionals Take

In today’s column, I will be closely looking at whether generative AI could potentially pass an official mental health counseling licensing exam. This is part of my ongoing in-depth series about generative AI or large language models (LLMs) that are or can be anticipated to be used for mental health guidance or advisement.

Before I dive into today’s particular topic, I’d like to provide a quick background for you so that you’ll have a suitable context about the arising use of generative AI for mental health advisement purposes. I’ve mentioned this in prior columns and believe the contextual establishment is essential overall. If you are already familiar with the overarching background on this topic, you are welcome to skip down below to the next section of this discussion.

The use of generative AI for mental health treatment is a burgeoning area of tremendously significant societal ramifications. We are witnessing the adoption of generative AI for providing mental health advice on a widescale basis, yet little is known about whether this is beneficial to humankind or perhaps contrastingly destructively adverse for humanity.

Some would affirmatively assert that we are democratizing mental health treatment via the impending rush of low-cost always-available AI-based mental health apps. Others sharply decry that we are subjecting ourselves to a global wanton experiment in which we are the guinea pigs. Will these generative AI mental health apps steer people in ways that harm their mental health? Will people delude themselves into believing they are getting sound mental health advice, ergo foregoing treatment by human mental therapists, and become egregiously dependent on AI that at times has no demonstrative mental health improvement outcomes?

Hard questions are aplenty and not being given their due airing.

Furthermore, be forewarned that it is shockingly all too easy nowadays to craft a generative AI mental health app, and just about anyone anywhere can do so, including while sitting at home in their pajamas and not knowing any bona fide substance about what constitutes suitable mental health therapy. Via the use of what are referred to as establishing prompts, it is easy-peasy to make a generative AI app that purportedly gives mental health advice. No coding is required, and no software development skills are needed.

We sadly are faced with a free-for-all that bodes for bad tidings, mark my words.

I’ve been hammering away at this Topic and hope to raise awareness about where we are and where things are going when it comes to the advent of generative AI mental health advisement uses. If you’d like to get up-to-speed on my prior coverage of generative AI across a wide swath of the mental health sphere, you might consider for example these cogent analyses:

  • (1) Use of generative AI to perform mental health advisement, see the link here.
  • (2) Role-playing with generative AI and the mental health ramifications, see the link here.
  • (3) Generative AI is both a cure and a curse when it comes to the loneliness epidemic, see the link here.
  • (4) Mental health therapies struggle with the Dodo verdict for which generative AI might help, see the link here.
  • (5) Mental health apps are predicted to embrace multi-modal, e-wearables, and a slew of new AI advances, see the link here.
  • (6) AI for mental health got its start via ELIZA and PARRY, here’s how it compares to generative AI, see the link here.
  • (7) The latest online trend entails using generative AI as a rage-room catalyst, see the link here.
  • (8) Watching out for when generative AI is a mental manipulator of humans, see the link here.
  • (9) FTC aiming to crack down on outlandish claims regarding what AI can and cannot do, see the link here.
  • (10) Important AI lessons learned from the mental health eating-disorders chatbot Tessa that went awry and had to be shut down, see the link here.
  • (11) Generative AI that is devised to express humility might be a misguided approach including when used for mental health advisement, see the link here.
  • (12) Creatively judging those AI-powered mental health chatbots via the use of AI levels of autonomy, see the link here.
  • (13) Considering whether generative AI should be bold and brazen or meek and mild when proffering AI mental health advisement to humans, see the link here.
  • (14) Theory of Mind (ToM) is an important tool for mental health therapists and the question arises whether generative AI can do the same, see the link here.
  • And so on.

Here’s how I will approach today’s discussion.

First, I will introduce you to a pioneering research study that sought to assess whether generative AI could potentially pass an exam taken by medical school students as part of their pursuit of achieving their medical degree. The exam is known as the United States Medical Licensing exam (USMLE). This study received a great deal of headlines since it showcased that generative AI seems to do well on the arduous medical exams taken by budding doctors. Next, I will share with you some salient details about an exam for mental health professionals known as the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).

I’m guessing you might be wondering whether generative AI might be able to do well on that type of exam. Great question, thanks. I opted to use a popular generative AI app called ChatGPT to try out a half-dozen questions from the NCMHCE. Please note that this was merely an official sample set and not by any means the full exam.

Would you be surprised to know that the generative AI was able to successfully answer many of the sampled sample questions? I provide some important caveats and limitations about this mini experiment of sorts, and I want to emphasize this was principally done on an ad hoc basis and merely intended to be illustrative.

Here’s the deal.

Please do not jump the shark on this matter. Hold your horses. My mainstay aims here are simply to inspire others to do a deep dive on this and perform a fully comprehensive rigorous research study of an akin nature, perhaps modeled somewhat on the same approach taken by the study on the USMLE or similar such professional licensing domains.

Anyway, I believe you will find this interesting, engaging, and possibly whet your appetite to find out more on these topics. My discussion is yet another angle to considering where we are and where things are going pertaining to generative AI and the field of mental health therapy.

Please buckle up and prepare yourself for quite a ride.

Generative AI And Medical School Standardized Licensing Exam

Let’s talk about tests.

We generally assume that to practice medicine a test of some kind should be required to attest to the proficiency of the person that will be serving as a medical professional. I’d like to start by discussing perhaps one of the most famous such medical proficiency tests known as the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). This is the test typically expected of those attaining a medical degree in the United States.

The USMLE was devised to aid in standardizing upon one major medical examination test that would be acceptable across every state and ensure that MDs were meeting the same set of standards. The test is composed of three separate stages and is taken during medical school and also upon graduation from medical school.

Here’s some additional detail as noted on the USMLE website:

  • “In the United States and its territories, the individual medical licensing authorities (‘state medical boards’) of the various jurisdictions grant a license to practice medicine. Each medical licensing authority sets its own rules and regulations and requires passing an examination that demonstrates qualification for licensure. Results of the USMLE are reported to these authorities for use in granting the initial license to practice medicine. The USMLE provides them with a common evaluation system for applicants for initial medical licensure.”
  • “USMLE was created in response to the need for one path to medical licensure for allopathic physicians in the United States. Before USMLE, multiple examinations (the NBME Parts examination and the Federation Licensing Examination [FLEX]) offered paths to medical licensure. It was desirable to create one examination system accepted in every state, to ensure that all licensed MDs had passed the same assessment standards – no matter in which school or which country they had trained.”
  • “The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the U.S. The USMLE assesses a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.”

Humans take the USMLE to showcase their proficiency in medicine. When you encounter a medical doctor, you are likely to assume they probably took the test and passed it. On an intuitive basis we realize that having to pass such an arduous test is impressive and helps to provide us comfort that the person knows their stuff when it comes to the medical field.

Shift gears.

Can generative AI potentially also be proficient enough to pass the USMLE?

That’s an interesting and some would say important question worthy of considering.

First, some quick background about generative AI.

Realize that generative AI is not sentient and only consists of mathematical and computational pattern matching. The way that generative AI works is that a great deal of data is initially fed into a pattern-matching algorithm that tries to identify patterns in the words that humans use. Most of the modern-day generative AI apps were data trained by scanning data such as text essays and narratives that were found on the Internet. Doing this was a means of getting the pattern-matching to statistically figure out which words we use and when we tend to use those words. Generative AI is built upon the use of a large language model (LLM), which entails a large-scale data structure to hold the pattern-matching facets and the use of a vast amount of data to undertake the setup data training.

There are numerous generative AI apps available nowadays, including GPT-4, Bard, Gemini, Claude, ChatGPT, etc. The one that is seemingly the most popular would be ChatGPT by AI maker OpenAI. In November 2022, OpenAI’s ChatGPT was made available to the public at large and the response was astounding in terms of how people rushed to make use of the newly released AI app. There are an estimated one hundred million active weekly users at this time.

Using generative AI is relatively simple.

You log into a generative AI app and enter questions or comments as prompts. The generative AI app takes your prompting and uses the already devised pattern matching based on the original data training to try and respond to your prompts. You can interact or carry on a dialogue that appears to be nearly fluent. The nature of the prompts that you use can be a make-or-break when it comes to getting something worthwhile out of using generative AI and I’ve discussed at length the use of state-of-the-art prompt engineering techniques to best leverage generative AI, see the link here.

Shortly after ChatGPT was made publicly available, many AI researchers began to test the AI app by administering various well-known standardized tests to see how the AI app would do. In February 2023, a research study was posted that indicated ChatGPT had performed surprisingly well on the USMLE. The study was entitled “Performance of ChatGPT on USMLE: Potential for AI-Assisted Medical Education Using Large Language Models” by Tiffany H. Kung, Morgan Cheatham, ChatGPT, Arielle Medenilla, Czarina Sillos, Lorie De Leon, Camille Elepaño, Maria Madriaga, Rimel Aggabao, Giezel Diaz-Candido, James Maningo, Victor Tseng, PLOS Digital Health, and posted on February 9, 2023.

Here is what the research paper stated overall (excerpts):

  • “We evaluated the performance of a large language model called ChatGPT on the United States Medical Licensing exam (USMLE), which consists of three exams: Step 1, Step 2CK, and Step 3. ChatGPT performed at or near the passing threshold for all three exams without any specialized training or reinforcement. Additionally, ChatGPT demonstrated a high level of concordance and insight in its explanations.”
  • “USMLE questions are textually and conceptually dense; text vignettes contain multimodal clinical data (i.e., history, physical examination, laboratory values, and study results) often used to generate ambiguous scenarios with closely-related differential diagnoses.”

Consider mindfully those above-noted remarks from the AI research effort.

ChatGPT was able to score either at or near the passing threshold for the three staged USMLE. Thus, an arduous medical proficiency exam that we expect human medical doctors to pass was nearly passed by a generative AI app. Some would decry this result as misleading in the sense that the generative AI was doing this without real “knowledge” akin to what humans seem to possess. The concern is that generative AI is nothing more than a so-called stochastic parrot that mimics human wording and fails to “understand” or “comprehend” what is going on.

Nonetheless, the aspect that generative AI could accomplish such a feat is unto itself impressive, even if done via smoke and mirrors as some suggest. The result is additionally surprising because the researchers used ChatGPT out of the box, as it were, namely the generic version of ChatGPT. Another approach would be to add additional data training on the medical field to ChatGPT, but that’s not what they did in this experiment. A generic data-trained generative AI was able to do well on a highly specialized medical domain exam. For more about how generic generative AI can be fine-tuned to specific domains, see my coverage at the link here.

Let’s consider a few other detailed aspects about the notable research result and then I’ll move to my next Topic of discussion.

The research paper noted these salient details (excerpted):

  • “The data analyzed in this study were obtained from USMLE sample question sets which are publicly available.”
  • “376 publicly-available test questions were obtained from the June 2022 sample exam release on the official USMLE website. Random spot checking was performed to ensure that none of the answers, explanations, or related content were indexed on Google prior to January 1, 2022, representing the last date accessible to the ChatGPT training dataset. All sample test questions were screened, and questions containing visual assets such as clinical images, medical photography, and graphs were removed. After filtering, 305 USMLE items (Step 1: 93, Step 2CK: 99, Step 3: 113) were advanced to encoding.”
  • “In this present study, ChatGPT performed at >50% accuracy across all examinations, exceeding 60% in most analyses. The USMLE pass threshold, while varying by year, is approximately 60%.”
  • “Therefore, ChatGPT is now comfortably within the passing range. Being the first experiment to reach this benchmark, we believe this is a surprising and impressive result. Moreover, we provided no prompting or training to the AI, minimized grounding bias by expunging the AI session before inputting each question variant, and avoided chain-of-thought biasing by requesting forced justification only as the final input.”

I’d like to bring your attention to a few points made in those excerpts.

Notice that the experiment consisted of identifying a sample of publicly available questions associated with the exam. The idea is to usually feed samples of questions and not necessarily an entire test per se. It is important to consider how a sample was chosen and whether the sample is suitably representative of what the full test might contain. Fair is fair.

Another fairness consideration is that there is always a chance that the generative AI might have been initially data-trained on the very same questions. If those questions were found when the startup data training took place, you could say it is absurd to feed the same questions into the generative AI. The answers will likely already be known simply due to having seen the questions and their answers beforehand.

If you select questions that arose after the cutoff date of the generative AI app’s data training, you are somewhat comfortable that the content wasn’t encountered already. But even that is readily questioned since the questions might have appeared in other guises. Some exams modify old questions and reuse them in later versions of the exam. There is a chance that a new question is close enough to an older question that perhaps this gives the generative AI a leg up on answering the new question.

My point is that you need to carefully consider how these experiments are conducted. Overall, make sure to look at what sample was chosen and how appropriate it is. What are the odds that the generative AI has previously encountered the same or similar questions? As much as feasible, the goal is to set a fair and square playing field to see whether the generative AI can genuinely answer questions that have not previously been used as part of the data training effort.

You now have a semblance of what takes place when trying to assess generative AI about being able to pass exams such as the pervasive USMLE in the medical domain.

Let’s continue our exploration.

Generative AI And Mental Health Therapy exam Taking

The research study that explored the use of generative AI such as ChatGPT on the USMLE can serve as a role model for similar kinds of studies. The conception is to identify publicly available sample questions, administer the questions to the generative AI, and see how well or poorly the generative AI scores on answering the questions. As much as possible, try to keep the playing field level and fair.

I decided to try this quickly for the field of mental health therapy or mental health counseling.

There is a well-known exam known as the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). sample questions are publicly posted online. I selected some of the sample questions and fed them into ChatGPT. I opted to use ChatGPT due to its immense popularity and it has generally been the default choice of similar research studies.

I might note that a more advanced generative AI such as GPT-4 by OpenAI or others would likely do a better job than ChatGPT. In that manner, you could interpret the ChatGPT usage as the floor and that we might expect heightened results by using a more advanced generative AI app. There isn’t an ironclad certain that a more advanced generative AI will do better. The odds though are in that direction.

We also have to be watchful for in a sense polluting an experiment by perchance using questions that have already been seen by the generative AI during the initial data-training. Furthermore, if the generative AI is hooked up to the Internet, the AI might simply go out and find the questions and their answers, similar to a search engine, rather than trying to directly answer the questions. ChatGPT in that sense is a handy choice because the free version does not readily allow for Internet access to perform its activities and the data training was last cut off in January 2022 (at the time of writing of this discussion).

Let’s dive into the ad hoc experiment by first establishing the nature of the mental health therapy or mental health counseling exam.

The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) is devised and administered via an organization known as the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. Here is what the website for the organization says (excerpts):

  • “The National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates (NBCC) is the premier credentialing body for counselors, ensuring that counselors who become nationally certified have achieved the highest standard of practice through education, examination, supervision, experience, and ethical guidelines.”
  • “Established as a not-for-profit, independent certification organization in 1982, NBCC’s original and primary purposes have broadened, and its divisions and affiliates have taken on additional responsibilities to advance the counseling profession and enhance mental health worldwide.”
  • “Today, there are over 69,000 National Certified Counselors (NCCs) in more than 40 countries.”

The gist is that this is a well-known and widely accepted organization, and the exam is likewise well-known and widely accepted. I bring this up in case you read a study that used generative AI on some relatively unknown exam or less than a stellar reputational exam, in which case, you would want to gauge the result of the study as partially on the rigor and standing of the test being given at the get-go.

Here is what the website about the NCMHCE says about the exam (excerpts):

  • “The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) is designed to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities determined to be important for providing effective counseling services. The NCMHCE is a requirement for counselor licensure in many states. It is one of two examination options for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification and also fulfills the examination requirement for the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) specialty certification.”
  • “The NCMHCE measures an individual’s ability to apply and evaluate knowledge in core counselor skills and competencies and to practice competently as a professional counselor. Specifically, it assesses an entry-level clinical mental health counselor’s ability to apply knowledge of theoretical and skill-based tenets to clinical case studies. The case studies are designed to capture a candidate’s ability to identify, analyze, diagnose, and develop plans for treatment of clinical concerns.”
  • “Candidates for the NCMHCE must have a graduate-level degree or higher from a counseling program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or administered by an institutionally accredited college or university. The counseling degree program must contain courses in eight requirement areas.”

Observe some key points mentioned in those excerpts.

First, the exam is used to assess entry-level clinical mental health counselors. You might say that this is handy for my ad hoc experiment since I want to focus on the keystone threshold needed to be considered suitably knowledgeable for proceeding to perform mental health therapy with real clients or patients. Other exams might be used to assess more advanced skill levels, but I’m aiming here to start with the usual starting point. I’m sure that other researchers are or will try to do the same for more advanced instances.

Second, note that candidates who want to sit for the exam must have a graduate-level degree or higher from an accredited counseling program or as administered by an accredited college or university. This sets the bar higher than perhaps allowing an undergraduate to take the exam or maybe wantonly opening the exam to anyone who wants to take it. We can presume that the test is likely to ask questions of a hard nature. That’s good since we would want to make sure we give something challenging to generative AI rather than some easy-peasy questions or materials. We might also note that of course, generative AI would not qualify to officially take the exam since it has not met all the criteria to do so.

The official exam website provides an NCMHCE Sample Case Study that indicates the case study is considered updated as of March 2023. I selected six sample questions from this sample set. I want to loudly emphasize that this is an ad hoc selection and I do so merely to be illustrative of what might be done on a more rigorous basis.

Though the date says March 2023, there of course is a chance that these questions and their answers have been around before that date, for which ChatGPT might have seen before the January 2022 cutoff date. I tried to do various probing into ChatGPT to see if the content had already been prior encountered. By and large, it doesn’t seem to be, but that’s not known for sure, and a deeper analysis would need to be undertaken to ascertain this. For the moment, let’s go with the flow and assume that the sample questions weren’t previously seen by ChatGPT during its data training.

The six sampled sample questions cover these six respective topics:

  • Q1. Establish a therapeutic alliance.
  • Q2. Identify strengths that Boost the likelihood of goal attainment.
  • Q3. Discuss limits of confidentiality.
  • Q4. Determine a diagnosis.
  • Q5. Assess the presenting problem and level of distress.
  • Q6. Establish short- and long-term counseling goals consistent with the client’s diagnosis.

Keep that in mind as I walk you through what ChatGPT provided as answers to the posed questions.

The test is essentially based on case studies. For these six sampled sample questions, a case study was provided in the publicly posted material. The case study was fed into ChatGPT for this analysis. Rather than displaying for you the entirety of the case study, I will do a quick recap to bring you up to speed.

In this instance, the case study entails a divorced female of age 35 who is first undertaking a mental health counseling session with a mental health therapist who has some background about the client or patient but otherwise, this is the first meeting of the two. The client or patient has already been provisionally diagnosed as having a major depressive disorder.

Additional background is given about the client or patient. For example, after her divorce, she began staying in bed quite a lot and moved back in with her mother. She got fired from her job. She has had financial difficulties. Most days, she feels sad, empty, and anxious. She has joint legal custody with her ex-husband of their two children, respectively aged 10 and 12. And so on.

That outlines the nature of the underlying case study.

Questions And The Answers Generated By The Generative AI

I am going to walk you through each of the six multiple-choice questions and also showcase the answers that were generated by ChatGPT so that you can follow along step-by-step.

My initiating prompt asks ChatGPT to provide answers plus explain why each chosen answer was considered the correct answer by ChatGPT. Asking for an explanation is not necessary, but I thought getting explanations might be interesting to see.

There is also a bit of prompting strategy involved, namely that by asking for an explanation the chances are that a generative AI app might be more extensive in trying to solve a given question or problem, see my discussion at the link here. You could suggest that I was aiding the generative AI by giving an establishing prompt that would urge it to do a better job than otherwise. Whenever you look at research studies doing just about anything with generative AI, make sure to find out what prompts they used. This is a significant factor related to the performance of the generative AI. Studies that fail to showcase their prompts are unfortunately doing a bit of a disservice by not revealing how they got the generative AI to undertake things.

The sampled sample questions are based on the case study, and I’ve placed them in quotes to indicate they came from the case study. In some instances, the wording is slightly reworded merely and strictly for purposes of feeding them into ChatGPT.

I am purposely not going to speculate or comment on the answers that are given by ChatGPT. I will simply note whether ChatGPT selected the correct multiple-choice selection as stipulated in the sample set. I’m guessing that mental health therapists and mental health counselors will undoubtedly find the explanations of special interest and will indubitably get them extensively mulling over what ChatGPT had to say.

Here is my establishing prompt and the answer provided by ChatGPT:

  • My prompt: “I am going to ask you a series of questions about the case study. The questions are multiple-choice. You are to select an answer of either A, B, C, or D from the choices provided for each question. I want you to carefully read each question and then indicate which answer is the best answer of the choices provided. You are to also explain why the answer you’ve chosen is the best answer. Are you ready to answer the first question?”
  • ChatGPT generated a response: “Yes, I'm ready. Please proceed with the first question.”

Okay, we are good to go.

Here’s the first question:

“Q1. What would be the best way for a mental therapist to at initial intake seek to establish a therapeutic relationship with this person?”

“A. Reflect on what is irrational about the woman’s self-evaluations.”

“B. Advise her about how to manage her painful experiences.”

“C. Summarize her emotions and her desire for change.”

“D. Explore how she could Boost her role in relationships.”

  • ChatGPT generated response:

“Answer to Q1 is C. Summarize her emotions and her desire for change.”

“Explanation: Establishing a therapeutic relationship involves demonstrating empathy, understanding, and acknowledging the client's emotions. Summarizing her emotions and desire for change (Option C) helps validate her experiences and shows that the therapist is actively listening and comprehending her situation. This approach helps build rapport and sets the foundation for a collaborative therapeutic relationship. It also allows the client to feel heard and understood, creating a safe space for further exploration and intervention.”

End of ChatGPT response

ChatGPT selected answer C, which is considered the correct answer as per the sample set.

The explanation indicates the presumed basis. I could have also asked ChatGPT to explain why the other answers weren’t as good as the selected answer. That would have gotten quite wordy and didn’t seem needed for this ad hoc analysis. A deeper study might want to consider getting a lengthier reply with a more elaborate explanation.

We move to the second question:

“Q2. What information should a mental health therapist explore to help the client remember her strengths?”

“A. The client’s disclosure about her previous level of functioning.”

“B. The client’s recollections of past mistakes.

“C. The client’s feelings about her mother paying for counseling.”

“D. The client’s use of cognitive distortions.”

  • ChatGPT generated response:

“Answer to Q2 is A. The client’s disclosure about her previous level of functioning.”

“Exploring the client's disclosure about her previous level of functioning (Option A) would be most relevant to identify and highlight her strengths. Understanding her past achievements, abilities, and positive aspects of her life before the onset of depressive symptoms can help the therapist and the client focus on resources that can be tapped into for recovery. This approach emphasizes a strengths-based perspective and encourages the client to recognize her capabilities, fostering a more positive outlook on her current situation.”

End of ChatGPT response

The answer indicated by ChatGPT is answer A, which is also the correct answer per the sample set. We are now two-for-two in terms of having gotten the questions right.

Next, let’s see what happens with the third question:

“Q3. How should a mental health therapist handle the client’s concern about confidentiality?”

“A. Explain that as a mental therapist, they will share progress updates with the mother but not provide any details.”

“B. Clarify what can and cannot be shared through informed consent.”

“C. Request the mother’s assent to the treatment and obtain the client’s consent.”

“D. Ask the client for a signed release that would include her mother as part of the treatment process.”

  • ChatGPT generated response:

“Answer to Q3 is B. Clarify what can and cannot be shared through informed consent.”

“The best approach is to clarify confidentiality issues through informed consent (Option B). The therapist should explain the limits of confidentiality, outlining what information can be shared and under what circumstances. This empowers the client to make an informed decision about what aspects of her treatment will remain confidential and what may need to be shared. It respects the client's autonomy and privacy while addressing concerns about the involvement of her mother in the therapy process.”

End of ChatGPT response

The answer indicated by ChatGPT is B, which is also the correct answer via the sample set. Three for three, so far.

Here’s the fourth question:

“Q4. From the perspective of the mental health therapist, what self-report from the client is a discernable criterion for the given diagnosis?”

“A. Her disagreements with her mother.”

“B. Her increased psychomotor agitation.”

“C. Her difficulty managing her children.”

“D. Her decreased pleasure in her activities.”

  • ChatGPT generated response:

“Answer to Q4 is D. Her decreased pleasure in her activities.”

“A discernible criterion for a major depressive disorder is often a pervasive and persistent decrease in pleasure or interest in previously enjoyed activities. This is commonly referred to as anhedonia. The client's report of not being able to remember the last time she enjoyed something and the cessation of an activity she used to find enjoyable (creating jewelry) aligns with this criterion. While other aspects, such as disagreements with her mother (Option A) or difficulty managing her children (Option C), may be related to her emotional state, the decreased pleasure in activities is a more specific indicator for depression.”

End of ChatGPT response

The answer indicated by ChatGPT is D, which is the correct answer according to the sample set. You will also note that this time the explanation opted to explain why the chosen answer was considered a better choice than some of the other proposed answers.

We are at four of four in terms of getting the correct answers.

Let’s see what occurs with the fifth question:

“Q5. What criteria were likely used to determine the severity specified for the client’s major depressive disorder?”

“A. The number of symptoms is not substantially in excess of those needed to make the diagnosis, yet functional impairment exists.”

“B. The intensity of the symptoms is distressing but manageable, and results in minor impairment of social or occupational functioning.”

“C. The intensity of symptoms is high and is accompanied by psychomotor agitation and mixed features associated with a major depressive episode.”

“D. The number of symptoms and their intensity are distressing and unmanageable and interfere with the client’s social and occupational functioning.”

  • ChatGPT generated response:

“Answer to Q5 is D. The number of symptoms and their intensity are distressing and unmanageable and interfere with the client’s social and occupational functioning.”

“The severity specified for major depressive disorder is often determined by the number and intensity of symptoms, as well as their impact on the client's social and occupational functioning. In this case, the client reports feeling sad, empty, and anxious most days, experiences tension every day, has difficulty getting out of bed, and has ceased engaging in previously enjoyed activities. Additionally, she has lost her job, faces financial difficulties, and expresses guilt about her interactions with her children. These factors suggest a significant impact on both social and occupational functioning, aligning with the criteria for a more severe form of major depressive disorder.”

End of ChatGPT response

ChatGPT indicates the answer should be D, but the sample set indicates the correct answer is A. This is the first miss by ChatGPT in this set of sampled sample questions.

I was curious whether ChatGPT could justify the answer D versus the answer A.

One thing to keep in mind is that some generative AI apps such as ChatGPT tend to immediately back down when you challenge them about an answer. The AI will indicate that it was wrong and switch to the answer that you say is the correct answer. In a sense, this is somewhat disconcerting because you would generally prefer the AI to moderately push back and support an answer that was chosen.

I am not saying this should be doggedly dogmatic. It certainly makes sense to have the AI back down if the user is telling the AI that the answer is wrong, though I think you can see how this might be a dangerous slope to slide upon. Just because a user says that something is wrong does not mean that it indeed is wrong. You can end up with the AI being too easily convinced of falsehoods simply because the user said they were truths. This is an ongoing issue of concern about generative AI, see my analysis at the link here.

All in all, rather than telling the AI that it was wrong, which would possibly get it to collapse like a deck of cards, I came to the matter politely and tangentially. I merely asked ChatGPT to compare the answer D with the answer A. I didn’t tip my hand that the answer A is considered the correct answer.

Here we go:

  • My prompt: “I'd like you to compare the answer D that you selected to the choice A. What makes answer D better than answer A?”
  • ChatGPT generated response:

“Let's compare options D and A:”

“D. The number of symptoms and their intensity are distressing and unmanageable and interfere with the client’s social and occupational functioning.”

“A. The number of symptoms is not substantially in excess of those needed to make the diagnosis, yet functional impairment exists.”

“The main distinction lies in the severity of functional impairment. Option D suggests that the number of symptoms and their intensity are distressing and unmanageable, leading to significant interference with social and occupational functioning. This aligns with a more severe form of major depressive disorder, where the impairment is substantial.”

“On the other hand, Option A acknowledges functional impairment but does not emphasize the distressing and unmanageable nature of the symptoms. It leaves room for interpretation that the impairment might be present but not to the extent that it is distressing or unmanageable.”

“In the context of major depressive disorder, severity is often determined not just by the presence of symptoms but also by the impact on daily functioning. Option D explicitly addresses the distress and interference with functioning, making it a more comprehensive and accurate description of a severe presentation of major depressive disorder.”

End of ChatGPT response

I’d bet that mental health professionals could readily debate the indication of ChatGPT about why one of the answers is construed as better than the other. Please do so at your leisure.

Moving to the sixth and final question, take a look at this one:

“Q6. From the perspective of the mental health therapist, what short-term goal would guide the treatment of the client’s presenting problem?’

“A. Spend one hour each day rewriting difficult childhood memories with her mother.”

“B. Return to her previous sleep schedule to be more present with her children.”

“C. Spend one hour each day journaling about her vision for her next marriage.”

“D. Return to full-time work in nursing to boost her self-image and mood.”

  • ChatGPT generated response:

“Answer is B. Return to her previous sleep schedule to be more present with her children.”

“The most appropriate short-term goal would be to address the immediate issue affecting her daily functioning, which is her disrupted sleep schedule. Returning to her previous sleep schedule (Option B) can have a positive impact on her mood, energy levels, and ability to engage with her children. This goal is specific, achievable, and directly addresses a key factor contributing to her distress. It also aligns with improving her overall well-being and functioning in the short term.”

End of ChatGPT response

The answer selected by ChatGPT is answer B, which is the correct answer according to the sample set.

Conclusion

Please do not try to calculate the percentage of times that ChatGPT was able to correctly answer the sampled sample. Doing so would be ridiculous as this was not a rigorous experiment but instead an ad hoc one and meant solely to get the juices flowing about examining how generative AI might do on these kinds of tests. That being said, I believe there is enough indication that performing a thorough study would be worthwhile. Had the generative AI got none of the answers correctly I would probably be leaning toward suggesting that a full-on study wasn’t likely worth the effort. This snippet suggests that doing more might be valuable.

There are flies in the ointment on these matters.

One argument about having generative AI take these various types of tests is that there isn’t any human soul or human connection that is also being assessed, see my discussion at the link here. In other words, just because a generative AI app can answer questions on a dry test does not mean that we would want the generative AI to interact with real people in real life and provide advice as to whatever domain or realm of expertise is being tested.

The argument is further amplified when considering the Topic of mental health. Some would assert that only another human can adequately counsel another human. An AI system is not human and does not have human experience under its belt. A counterviewpoint is that notwithstanding humanness, there is still a place for AI to aid humans, including in the sphere of mental health guidance or advice.

Let’s conclude this discussion for now by invoking a famous line.

The renowned American psychologist Carl Rogers purportedly said this: “In my early professional years, I was asking the question, how can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way, how can I provide a relationship that this person may use for their personal growth?”

Can generative AI form a relationship with humans and if so, do we want that to be how mental health is conveyed or advised?

More questions ostensibly need more answers; thus, the endeavor must continue.

Mon, 01 Jan 2024 09:36:00 -0600 Lance Eliot en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/lanceeliot/2024/01/01/an-exploratory-look-at-whether-generative-ai-can-pass-an-official-mental-health-counseling-licensing-exam-that-professionals-take/
Three MISD teachers receive National Board Certification No result found, try new keyword!have all earned their National Board Certification, taking their professional skills to the next level, according to a release from Midland ISD. How to speak to someone with dementia Millions of ... Fri, 15 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ Bill to use 529 savings plans for training, credentialing gains 100 cosponsors
(© Hoda Bogdan – stock.adobe.com)

Originally introduced in March 2023 by U.S. Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Rob Wittman of Virginia, Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce now has 100 cosponsors.

The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act would give American workers the freedom to use their 529 savings plans to cover the costs of certain workforce training and credentialing programs. The bill would also allow students to use their 529 funds to pay for associated costs related to certification exams and maintenance of certification credentials.

Currently only expenses for colleges, vocational schools, universities or other post-secondary institutions are considered eligible for 529 education savings plan expenditures.

 “For years, we’ve led this bipartisan effort to make job training and continued education more affordable and attainable for all Virginians — because we know a four-year college is not always the right fit. More than four years later, we now have 100 of our colleagues on board,” Spanberger said. “529 savings accounts have long helped Virginians afford a higher education — whether at a four-year college or a trade school. Our commonsense, bipartisan bill would allow students and workers across our Commonwealth to use their 529 plans to cover the cost of tuition, books, and testing related to valuable workforce training programs.”

According to Wittman, “the majority of America’s workforce consists of middle-skill jobs that require more than a high school education but not a bachelor’s degree, which is why I’m proud to be leading this legislation in the House. I will keep fighting to equip our students with the tools and resources they need to lead our nation forward.”

 “The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act can empower workers of any educational background, skill level or age,” said Michelle Mason, American Society of Associations Executives (ASAE) President and CEO, FASAE, CAE. “This pragmatic policy would support all industries and professions that rely on employees with specialized training or credentials. Our community is grateful to the Congressional champions for their commitment to supporting our current and future workforce.”

Thu, 21 Dec 2023 20:23:00 -0600 View all posts by Rebecca Barnabi en-US text/html https://augustafreepress.com/news/legislative-milestone-bill-to-use-529-savings-plans-for-training-credentialing-gains-100-cosponsors/
Deciding Between The PgMP vs. PMP? Here’s What You Should Know

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

Two globally acknowledged project management titles are the Project Management Professional (PMP)® and Program Management Professional (PgMP)®. The Project Management Institute (PMI) confers both of these credentials.

If you’re starting a career in project or program management, it can be tough to decide whether to pursue PgMP vs. PMP certification. This guide explores both designations and the benefits of each. Let’s get into it.

What Is the PMP Certification?

The PMP certification validates a project manager’s leadership skills, technical aptitude and understanding of the business environment as a whole.

Earning the PMP credential gives a project manager an extra level of credibility, distinguishing them as an expert. PMPs understand the intricacies of project management and know the processes and language needed to help organizations achieve their goals.

PMP Cost

The PMP exam fee is $405 for PMI members and $575 for nonmembers. If you plan to take the exam, becoming a PMI member is worthwhile. The annual membership fee is $149, or $32 for students. PMI membership saves you money on the PMP, qualifies you for discounted prices for other exams and provides access to the PMI job boards.

PMP Requirements

All prospective PMPs must have 35 hours of formal project management education, or “contact hours.” Alternatively, you may hold the Certified Associate in Project Management® designation.

You can complete formal contact hours through the following avenues.

  • PMI-authorized training partners
  • University or college academic courses
  • Employer-sponsored programs
  • Training companies
  • Distance learning programs that include an end-of-course assessment

When applying for PMP certification, you must show that you accrued 35 contact hours by outlining the institutions you attended, the courses you completed and the number of qualifying hours you completed.

A four-year degree is not required to pursue PMP certification, but it does reduce professional experience requirements for PMP designation. Candidates without bachelor’s degrees must complete at least 60 months of nonconcurrent project management experience. For applicants with four-year degrees, the minimum experience requirement is 36 months.

When submitting your professional experience, you must provide PMI with a timeline of projects you led, the true title of each project, the project duration, your roles and responsibilities, the number of team members, the budget, a short description of the project’s purpose and a summary of the final project deliverables.

PMP Exam

The PMP exam reflects what project managers do in the field. Each question on the exam is written and reviewed by individuals who have earned PMP certification. The exam is accredited against standards set by the International Organization for Standardization 9001 and American National Standards Institute 17024.

The exam consists of 180 questions, which are divided into the three domains of project management: people (42%), process (50%) and business environment (8%). Each domain is further divided into tasks, such as managing conflict, engaging stakeholders, and evaluating and delivering a project’s benefits and value. The questions are formatted as multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, hot area, multiple response and matching.

Note that from the date you become eligible to take the PMP exam, you have one year and three opportunities to pass. All exam attempts must take place in proctored settings, either online or at a testing site.

PMP Benefits

There are many benefits of PMP certification. For starters, PMPs generally earn higher salaries than their non-certified peers, according to a PMI salary survey. Across 21 countries surveyed, project managers with PMP certification earn salaries 33% higher than those without the credential, on average.

Earning certification confirms that you know how to get the job done right. Employers want a project manager who can meet deadlines and do so on budget and as efficiently as possible. PMP certification demonstrates that you can meet these expectations.

Lastly, a 2021 PMI report projects that 25 million new project managers are needed to meet the global economy’s projected demand by 2030. This increasing demand can lead to greater career and advancement opportunities, and PMP certification can help you stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, you open up new networking opportunities by becoming part of an internationally recognized group of over 1 million PMP holders.

What Is the PgMP Certification?

Unlike a project manager, who focuses on the intricacies of individual projects, a program manager oversees multiple complex projects that align with their organization’s objectives. The PgMP certification is one of the highest credentials an experienced program manager can receive from PMI.

PgMP Cost

The PgMP exam costs $800 for PMI members and $1,000 for nonmembers. Like the PMP, PMI membership may be worthwhile if only for this price reduction, with the members-only perks as an added benefit. Because the PgMP application process includes a panel review of your work, you do not have to pay until the panel gives its approval.

PgMP Requirements

Like the PMP, the PgMP application process requires you to write detailed descriptions of your previous project and program management work.

PgMP candidates with four-year degrees must have at least 48 months of project management experience or PMP certification plus 48 months of nonconcurrent program management experience in the last 15 years.

Those without four-year degrees must have a minimum of 48 months of project management experience or PMP certification, plus 84 months of nonconcurrent program management experience within the last 15 years.

PgMP Exam

The PgMP’s evaluation process comprises two sections: a panel review of your program management experience and a multiple-choice exam. You must pass the panel review process before you can take the exam.

During the review process, a panel of PgMP-certified volunteers evaluates the program management summaries you wrote in your initial application. This process ensures that your experience took place under minimal supervision and meets certification standards. This process can take up to 60 days.

After the panel review, you must take a 170-question multiple-choice exam. Certification seekers are allotted four hours to complete the proctored exam in a testing center.

The test is divided into five domains: program life cycle, strategic program management, benefits management, stakeholder management and governance. Most questions concern the program life cycle, which is composed of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing.

PgMP Benefits

Obtaining the PgMP credential means more than just gaining a new title. Program managers must demonstrate more skills than project managers, including big-picture thinking, leadership, team building and resource management. PgMP certification verifies that you excel in each of these skills, making you an attractive candidate to employers.

Which One is Right for You?

New and intermediate project managers tend to aim for PMP certification. This credential requires fewer months of project management experience, making it a good option for those who do not yet qualify for the PgMP designation.

The PgMP, on the other hand, demonstrates that your skills go beyond those of a project manager. That said, the PgMP panel review process is stringent and requires concise explanations of each program you’ve managed, so it is critical to first make sure your previous experience lives up to PgMP standards.

Sun, 31 Dec 2023 23:25:00 -0600 Brandon Galarita en-US text/html https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/pgmp-vs-pmp/
Arizona College of Nursing, a for-profit school, plans to open campuses in Milwaukee and Madison No result found, try new keyword!A lawsuit in Texas accuses the the Arizona College of Nursing of breach of contract, trade practices and fraud. Fri, 05 Jan 2024 01:17:29 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ CBSE Class 12 Maths Board exam 2024: Check 60 Day Study Plan and Weekly Strategy to Score 95+ Marks

60 Day Study Plan Class 12 Maths Board exam 2024: The exam season is on the horizon, and students are deep in revising the curriculum. The syllabus for all subjects has been completed, and the exam date sheet of almost all the boards has been announced. February to April 2024 will be critical months for all school students in India.

There are still two months left before the main exams commence, and students should utilise this time to revise and practice. However, you cannot just begin revising the concepts without a proper study plan. Organisation and a detailed strategy for studying go a long way in boosting retention skills and increasing the confidence of students.

A well-structured study plan is especially important for key subjects like mathematics. It’s one of the most popular subjects in class 12 and also the most difficult. Maths requires immense practice and a good writing speed. Many students often end up falling short of attempting all the questions in the maths board exam, even after knowing the correct answers, due to low speed and silly mistakes.

The CBSE has overhauled the Class 12 mathematics curriculum, which further requires a new strategy. On that note, we bring you this 60-day study plan for the maths class 12 exam 2024. This strategy is majorly geared towards CBSE students, but maths being a common subject across all standards, students of other state, national and international boards can also avail the benefits of the 60-day maths study plan for 2024 exams.

We also provide all the necessary study material from the syllabus and sample papers to MCQs and practice questions. Check below the maths board exam 2024 60-day study plan, along with a daily timetable and weekly study routine.

There are 13 chapters divided across two books in the class 12 maths subject. Nearly half the syllabus is composed of calculus, and the remaining consists of new concepts like vectors, matrices and linear programming. Probability and Relations and Functions are also important chapters in Class 12 maths.

You have two months before the exams, and if you follow the 60-day study plan for the maths exam 2024, you’ll surely ace the paper. Here are some tips to keep in mind while studying.

  • Try to club similar chapters in single revision sessions. For example, many concepts in matrices and determinants overlap so students should study them together.
  • Don’t try to combine more than 3 chapters together for studying.
  • Don’t bunch together two chapters that are vastly dissimilar like Probability and Determinants
  • Don’t pick up new subjects at the last moment. If you have skipped a topic, check the past papers and sample papers for their importance and prepare accordingly.
  • Don’t skip subjects you think are easy or you are expert at. These are scoring subjects for you so prepare them well.
  • Go over all the important exercises and solve the NCERT questions and examples, even if you have done them before. Many times, the board exams consist of direct NCERT questions.

Also Read:

CBSE Class 12 Maths Important Case Study Based Questions 2024

Class 12 Maths MCQs Multiple Choice Questions With Answers, get PDFs

 

Chapters To Target

Study Strategy

Week 1

1: Relations and Functions, 2: Inverse Trigonometric Functions

NCERT exercises, important formulas and sample paper questions

Week 2

3: Matrices, 4: Determinants

Formulas, definitions previous year questions

Week 3

5: Continuity and Differentiability, 6: Application of Derivatives

Formulas, theorems and NCERT questions

Week 4

7: Integrals, 8: Application of Integrals, 9: Differential Equations

Week 5

10: Vector Algebra, 11: Three-Dimensional Geometry

Important formulas, NCERT concepts, exercise questions and previous year's question

Week 6

12: Linear Programming, 13: Probability

Graph questions, formulas and sample paper questions

Week 7

Sample Papers, Previous Year Papers

Mock Tests

Week 8

Must Read:

CBSE Class 12 Maths Deleted Syllabus 2023-24

NCERT Solutions 12th Maths PDF

CBSE Class 12 Maths sample Paper 2023-24 with Solutions PDF, get Model Paper

CBSE Class 12 Maths Syllabus 2023-24: 12th Maths Syllabus get PDF

CBSE Class 12 Maths Deleted Syllabus 2023-24: get Deleted Portions for CBSE Class 12 Maths Here

Tips to Keep You Energised and Motivated Before Exam

  • Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly and maintain your health. After all, no student wants to fall sick during exam days.
  • Stay away from social media as it can increase stress and negativity
  • Talk to friends and family when feeling stressed
  • Don’t eliminate hobbies like playing sports, music, games practicing etc. It will keep your mind fresh and keep days from becoming monotonous.
  • Try to meditate and indulge in other stress-busting activities.

Recommended:

Fri, 29 Dec 2023 07:57:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.jagranjosh.com/articles/cbse-class-12-maths-board-exam-2024-60-day-study-plan-weekly-strategy-1703847419-1
Board moves to strip Western Dakota Tech of fast-track status for law enforcement program

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story can be found on  South Dakota Searchlight's website. South Dakota Searchlight provides free news and commentary on critical issues facing the state.

The Law Enforcement Officers Standards Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to strip Western Dakota Technical College of its ability to offer a quick path to certification for graduates of its police-focused criminal justice program.

The Rapid City school had been one of three in the state with an “articulation agreement” through the commission. The others are Lake Area Technical College in Watertown and Southeast Technical College in Sioux Falls.

Western Dakota was the first to ink an agreement with the state in 1997. Southeast followed in 2005; Lake Area signed its agreement in 2015.

The agreements allow law enforcement-track graduates to bypass a 13-week stint at the Law Enforcement Training Academy and earn “reciprocity” through the commission , meaning their degree and the passage of a reciprocity exam are enough to certify them as South Dakota peace officers.

The agreements also allow the commission to terminate the contracts with 60 days’ notice. Commission member Steve Allender told South Dakota Searchlight after Wednesday’s meeting that he doubts there’s a path forward for Western Dakota to return to the commission’s good graces.

“It’s not believed they’re going to be able to come into compliance or that they’re willing to come into compliance,” Allender said.

Each school with an articulation agreement must meet certain requirements. One is for instructors to have, maintain and document a “nationally recognized credential” in their area of expertise.

Last month, the school asked the state to lower its standards for instructor training, according to Hank Prim, the training administrator with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

“During the course of that conversation, we learned that certain emergency vehicle operation course (EVOC) instructors did not hold the nationally recognized expertise credential,” Prim said.

The school’s December request came after nearly two years of back-and-forth to bring the program back into compliance with expectations, Prim said. As late as November, Prim saw a path forward for the school through remediation.

The late-stage request for an adjustment in standards was a final straw for commissioners.

“It isn’t supposed to be a shortcut,” Andy Howe, the Clay County sheriff and a member of the commission, said after the meeting. “The students put in the effort, and there’s no reason that the standards should be lowered.”

Western Dakota Tech did not attend the commission meeting. Ann Bolman, president of Western Dakota Tech, said in a statement afterward that she was “surprised” to learn of the commission’s decision, and that the school hopes to work with the commission to come back into compliance with program requirements within 60 days. That’s the number of days it takes for a termination to take effect under the terms of the articulation agreement.

Bolman’s statement noted that the school’s program recently earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. An April 2023 press release from the school on that accreditation says the process involved “a rigorous self-assessment, requiring a review of policies, practices, and processes against internationally accepted public safety standards.”

That accreditation doesn’t clear a path for state-level, graduation-based officer certification, but Bolman offered it as evidence that her school’s law enforcement program can prepare students for police work.

“As we strive to meet the highest standards in all of our programs, and were preparing for our next annual audit, we had asked the Commission to please clarify training agencies for EVOC instructors and are awaiting response,” Bolman wrote. “It is our desire to work with the Commission to resolve any concerns it might have and fulfill its reciprocity requirements in the 60-day period before the agreement is slated to end.”

Trouble started in 2022

Western Dakota Tech had been in “noncompliance” status with the state commission since spring of 2023. As with the termination of its agreement this week, the school’s placement in noncompliance status only came after several problems.

In April of 2022, five of the 12 Western Dakota students who took the reciprocity exam failed.

Those students, it turned out, hadn’t finished their coursework, Prim said. The school accused the state Division of Criminal Investigation of pushing the students to take the exam early, Prim said, and asked that the five be allowed to re-test.

An investigation, which included interviews with students and faculty, revealed that the school had chosen the testing dates, Prim said.

That set in motion a series of meetings, audits, interventions and efforts on the part of the law enforcement training to address four main issues at the school:

  • Inaccurate or false reports.
  • Students testing before final semester.
  • Failure to report required retention information.
  • Failure to produce instructor credential records.

The commission was informed that the school had been placed on noncompliance status at its April meeting. At each commission meeting since, Prim has updated its members on remediation plans and potential paths forward.
The Wednesday meeting was the first at which Prim suggested taking action, although he did not recommend termination of the agreement with the school. He presented it as one of three options. Commissioners also could have voted to suspend the school, or continue working through remediation.

After about 40 minutes of discussion in a closed executive session, the commissioners returned to cast their votes in favor of termination.

Reaction from commission

Allender, a former Rapid City police chief who later served as his city’s mayor, told South Dakota Searchlight after the meeting that the loss of Western Dakota Tech as a reciprocity-ready school after so many second chances is “embarrassing.”

“There’s just been either a lack of willingness or lack of ability to come into compliance. There’s been finger pointing, I think, going on. But I’ve seen all the documentation, and I’m embarrassed, not only for Western Dakota, but I’m embarrassed that the state has spent so much time and so much effort trying to get this organization into compliance.”

Commissioner and Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman said after the meeting that he cast his vote after considering that the school had “been given ample time to remedy the situation,” but did not seem interested in doing so.

“I was shocked that they didn’t have anybody at the meeting,” Wollman said.

Western Dakota was not notified about or invited to the meeting, spokesperson Pam Stillman-Rokusek said Thursday. DCI spokesman Tony Mangan confirmed that no invitation had been offered.

The loss “certainly doesn’t help” to address a shortage of qualified law enforcement in the state, Allender said. But he also said the school had been producing fewer graduates in exact years.

The statement from the school said that 13 students graduated from the program in spring of 2023. A year earlier, the statement said, nine students made it all the way through.

Howe, the Clay County sheriff, said he doesn’t expect the Western Dakota Tech issue to have a serious long-term impact. There are criminal justice graduates all over the state, educated at other two- and four-year institutions.

“Those programs don’t produce certifications, but they do produce graduates who have that criminal justice focus,” Howe said.

Western Dakota will still have its program, as well, Howe said. At the commission meeting, Prim said that law enforcement trainers will work with the current students in the Western Dakota program to make sure they’re able to take the reciprocity exam after completing their coursework.

Bolman, the Western Dakota Tech president, said the school will maintain its law enforcement program, which is one track a student can choose as they work toward a two-year criminal justice degree.

“The reciprocity agreement is not necessary for WDTC to offer the Law Enforcement program,” Bolman wrote. “It is a benefit to employers as it streamlines their onboarding process for new officers. It is the desire of WDTC for the reciprocity agreement to continue as it helps in the effort to meet the workforce shortage for law enforcement agencies.”

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 07:24:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.mitchellrepublic.com/news/south-dakota/board-moves-to-strip-western-dakota-tech-of-fast-track-status-for-law-enforcement-program




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