The recertification test – a matter of trust

I miss the days when you could recertify by taking a computer test at home.  That was fun.  Not only could you take weeks to do the test, you could look up answers, discuss with colleagues and actually LEARN.  Isn’t that the goal for which we should strive? Doesn’t that learning help us to provide better care?  Now the test is a six hour ordeal at a test center.   At the test center, I had to empty my pockets.  I had to take off my watch.  A packet of gum in my pocket was quickly confiscated.  I was incredulous that I could be expected to cheat with an unopened packet of gum.  I should have kept quiet.  The sneer I received made me feel like a particularly nasty sort of caterpillar found in a salad by a vegetarian.  Unfortunately, since it was a day off for me otherwise, I had worn some very relaxed yet comfortable overalls instead of my normal dress shirt and tie.  I had NO idea that they would wand me with a metal detector and the buttons would make the alarm go off.  I also had to lift my pants leg up so my socks could be checked for potential cheat notes.  It almost reached the point where I felt like saying “Ah…I see.  If one wants a prostate check, one merely needs to register to take the recertification test.”   I also learned that taking a bathroom break meant the entire security screen had to be repeated.  At last, I was allowed access to the computer.  One of the screens before the test actually started stated the following: (paraphrased) “ we know that we can trust you NOT to discuss the specific questions and answers on this test.”  Wow.  They trust me!!  Not enough to wear a watch but they trust me.  Not enough to wear comfy overalls but…they trust me….Not enough to chew gum but …they trust me. Not enough to take a bathroom break but…………

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