IBHRE regularly features certified professionals by having them share their story as it relates to the value of certification. Here, Darren Coombes, CCDS of Swansea University in the United Kingdom provides insight into his life as an academic and IBHRE Ambassador.
"My career began in cardiac management in 2010 where I was based at Glangwill General Hospital, West Wales, UK. This is an area where I have always shown significant interest and wanted some form of certification, highlighting my are of expertise and professional commitment to patient care. This encouraged me to pursue the Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS) credential for allied professionals, which I successfully passed in 2013. The exam was challenging and required substantial preparation in a wide array of cardiovascular aspects, however achieving this prestigious accolade was extremely rewarding.
In January 2015, my career path took a surprising turn when I was offered the position as Cardiology Lecturer at Swansea University. This was surprising to me as I loved providing a high level of patient care with cardiac device management. However, education the next generation of healthcare professionals for a career in cardiac physiology was attractive and exciting. This would also enable me to encourage students to explore the potential benefits of focusing on cardiac device therapy. Within higher education, a large focus is on evidence-based practice. This helped me to stay up to date with the latest research/guidelines and attend educational conferences/courses based on device therapy, such knowledge then could be passed onto students to further increase their understanding. This, along with attending clinical practice one day each week, enabled me to retain IBHRE certification through the Verification of Continuing Education (VCE) process.
Becoming an IBHRE Ambassador in 2020 made me incredibly proud and is something that I am looking forward to in 2021. Being able to promote the work of IBHRE and further encourage students to explore achieving this certification, post-graduation, is a passion and I believe is key to demonstrating professional competency.
For healthcare professionals considering IBHRE certification, I would recommend the following key points for success:
- Preparation - As previously mentioned, the exam itself is challenging. Therefore, candidates must be fully prepared and have a good understanding of the science and technology based around cardiac device management. Reading key textbooks and scientific journals are essential to gain a further understanding and incorporating this into clinical knowledge is vital.
- Connect with other healthcare professionals - Many healthcare professionals shall be performing the assessment simultaneously. Therefore, connect with these professionals and develop a network to collaborate and share resources, knowledge, and expertise.
- Make the most of IBHRE resources - IBHRE has many tools to assist healthcare professionals in preparation for exams. Such resources (see link below) include reading lists, demo items and the Scholarship Program. Most importantly, I highly suggest contacting IBHRE which connects candidates with an IBHRE Ambassador for mentoring."
Questions? Contact IBHRE at email@example.com.