BOC gives ‘OK’ to virtual course

 - 
Friday, May 15, 2020

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – For the first time ever, the Board of Certification/Accreditation has given the green light to a 100% online mastectomy fitter course.

Historically, the certified mastectomy fitter (CMF) and certified orthotics fitter (COF) courses combined online learning with in-person labs, but due to social distancing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, BOC has revisited its policy.

“CMF and COF certificants are very important professionals in the health care communities they serve,” said Matthew Gruskin, BOC’s credentialing director, “and we didn’t want COVID-19 safety considerations to create barriers to entering these fields.”

Designed and conducted by CFS Allied Health, the course is made up of two parts. Part I is self-paced and includes narrated PowerPoint lectures, lecture notes, lab assignments, study activities and self-assessments. Part II requires students to demonstrate a complete mastectomy fitting using a mock patient to the instructor via Zoom.

The mastectomy course had actually been filmed two years prior, but was shelved until two weeks ago, says Shelley Phillips, a certified mastectomy fitter with CFS.

“They recently put their orthotics fitter course online and I was like, ‘If you could teach orthotics online we could teach mastectomy online,’” said Phillips. “And especially with the coronavirus going on and everybody staying home, we decided that now is the time to do it.”

Going virtual has other benefits, too. Between food, airfare and hotel expenses, applicants can spend upward of $1,000 to attend traditional in-person labs, says Phillips.

“It adds up a lot,” she said, “and I really think that restricts a lot of people from taking these courses.”