I know that a great many of AUGS members have recognized the benefits of bringing Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) - nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and certified nurse specialists, as well as physician assistants specially trained in the care of women with pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) – into your practices. Few of us would argue against the potential for practice streamlining, productivity optimization, and enhancement in patient care overall through introduction of APPs into practice. However, there can be many challenges in identifying, hiring, training and providing career development for the right individual, and there is enormous variation in the specifics in how APPs are introduced and integrated into practice patterns. Furthermore, comprehensive training guidance did not exist to support the training of APPs in Urogynecology.
I am taking this opportunity to bring your attention to the upcoming release of a new AUGS document, entitled, “A Training Guide - Core Competencies for the Advance Practice Provider Entering Urogynecology.” This document has been developed to assist practices in the hiring and training of APPs for Urogynecology-focused offices.
The majority of APPs who are hired to work in the field of Urogynecology do not have specific urogynecology experience and require on-the-job training. Although it is not intended to be used for the purposes of certification, this document was developed to provide a comprehensive approach to training APPs in the specifics of caring for women with PFDs. It also serves as a useful document to support the hiring of such an individual. Health care providers are encouraged to add this to their training and evaluation procedures for APP.
This robust document describes the optimized training of APPs new to FPMRS, which will include observation, reading recommended sources, viewing videos and webinars and then demonstrating specific skills in the presence of an experienced colleague (MD or NP/PA). The document provides two resources:
• Training Guide Checklist – This provides an outline of the core competencies for the Urogynecology-focused APP. A resource section is provided for each skill set area.
• Training Guide Evaluation Form – This form utilizes the content from the training guide and creates an evaluation form the office. The form provides a systematic approach to a competence-based assessment of the individual’s skills. This is a tool that can be used to identify areas for continued professional development.
I wish gratefully to acknowledge the AUGS Advanced Practice, Physical Therapy, and Allied Health (APPTAH) Special Interest Group, a large and dynamic group of over 260 AUGS members, who developed this document.
AUGS is committed to ensuring that educational resources exist for all health care providers in the urogynecology setting. This Training Guide is the first step in expanding our educational resources for the APP. In 2018, we are also launching a new conference focused specifically on advancing the education for the APP – Urogynecology for the Advance Practice Provider is scheduled for April 19-21, 2018 in Minneapolis, MN. In addition, the APPTAH SIG offers a comprehensive pre-conference workshop as part of PFD week, held this year in Chicago, October 9-13. For more information on these programs, please visit the AUGS website.