What is Post Mastectomy?
What is a mastectomy fitter? Post Mastectomy describes professional medical services required after a mastectomy due to breast cancer, trauma, prophylactic mastectomy, or genetically induced developmental conditions of the breast.
External breast prostheses, pocket garments, lymphedema, and post-surgical compression garments are healthcare items because they are used to treat conditions that have resulted from diseases and treatment of diseases of the breast.
Certified and Licensed healthcare professionals trained in post-mastectomy care should always provide these items and services.
What is Certification? Who Certifies Fitters?
Individuals are Certified. Certification is not given by a breast form manufacturer upon completion of an introductory fitter course.
Post Mastectomy Certification is conferred by either the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC) as a Certified Fitter-mastectomy (CF-m) or the Board for Certification (BOC) as a Certified Mastectomy Fitter (CMF) upon completion of specific education and examination requirements.
A Certified Post-Mastectomy Fitter is an allied health professional educated and trained in the provision of breast prostheses and post-mastectomy services. Both ABC and BOC have a defined Scope of Practice document that defines the practice of certified individuals
Post Mastectomy Scope of Practice includes patient assessment, formulation of a treatment plan, implementation of the treatment plan, follow-up, and practice management.
Other Types of Professional Regulation.
Individuals are Licensed. Many states are beginning to implement licensure for post-mastectomy fitters. Licensure usually involves a Legislature declaring, “that in order to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the people against the unauthorized, unqualified, and improper administration of care, it is necessary to provide for the licensing and regulation of persons offering [mastectomy and related] services to the public.”
Businesses are Accredited. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires supplier accreditation of a post-mastectomy company to bill Medicare or Medicaid. Many state and private insurance companies also require accreditation to retain healthcare contracts. To attain accreditation, all patient-care facilities must comply with specific business requirements and the appropriate patient care standards. These standards create a minimum expectation for post-mastectomy care providers.
Certifying Organizations & Certification Exams
A MASTECTOMY FITTER is a health care professional who is specifically educated and trained, consistent with nationally recognized programs, in the provision of breast prostheses and post-mastectomy services: including patient assessment, formulation of a treatment plan, implementation of the treatment plan, and follow-up and practice management.
Whether ABC or BOC certified, the certified post-mastectomy fitter is bound by a Code of Professional Responsibility enforced by a Professional Discipline program.
“The certified post-mastectomy fitter is obligated to support and conform to professional responsibilities that promote and assure the overall welfare of the patient and the integrity of the profession. The time-limited Certification expires without compliance with the Mandatory Continuing Education program.”
There are two post-mastectomy fitter certifying organizations. The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABCOP) and the Board for Orthotic Certification, International (BOC),
Each have defined pre-certification education, pre-certification experience, and continuing education requirements.
ABC. The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) requires a fitter to meet the following education and experience requirements to apply for Certification:
- Possess a high school diploma, GED, or college degree.
- Complete an ABC Approved mastectomy fitter educational course.
- Document a minimum of 120 hours of mastectomy fitting experience obtained before or after completing the fitter educational course.
BOC. The Board for Orthotic Certification, International, requires a fitter to meet pre-certification education requirements:
- GED or college degree. as well as
- Successful completion of a BOC-approved mastectomy fitter education course
- Document a minimum of 120 hours of mastectomy fitting experience, depending on your current profession.
General Guidelines for Mastectomy Fitter Patient-Care Experience Hours
The patient care experience hours requirement is the clinical training portion of the mastectomy fitter education. It is optimal if the requirement is fulfilled after completing an approved mastectomy fitter educational program; however, candidates can use patient care experience gained before completing their education program.
Patient-care experience hours should be obtained in mastectomy patient-care setting. They provide the student with practical application of the knowledge, skills, and competencies gained during their educational program. If a candidate’s experience takes place in a setting not primarily engaged in mastectomy patient care services, their experience will be evaluated individually to determine whether it meets the intent of the requirement.
RELATED POSTS: 3 Steps to Becoming a Post-Mastectomy Fitter.