Marie's Outlook

A Few Secrets to Meeting IBLCE’s Health Sciences Education Requirement

If you are planning to take the IBLCE exam for the first time, you should know that you are required to have 14 health sciences courses under your belt before you submit your exam application.

If you are educated in one of the “Recognized Health Professions”—as defined by IBLCE—you are set. The IBLCE assumes you have completed the course prior to receiving your degree, and you just need to submit a copy of your government-issued license or registration or a copy of your diploma, transcript or degree. In that case, you can skip reading this post—or share it with someone else who is struggling.

If you’re struggling with this, listen up! I learned a few things today I’ve never known before.

The Eight “Higher Education” Courses: The Hard and Harder Ways
Over the years, I have casually referred to these as the “college” courses. Certainly, most people take them in college, each of the courses must be “a minimum of one academic credit session” and the term distinguishes them from the other 6 required subjects, which may be completed in “continuing education,” so my audience knows what I mean. But if you look carefully at the rules, you’ll see that IBLCE also recognizes any course that has been approved by the American Council on Education (ACE) or an “equivalent college credit equivalency service.”

As you might notice, most—but not all—are indeed college courses. College courses are almost always hard. But you might find more variety, and less hassle, by going through the ACE courses rather than using a more traditional route.

Another Alternative: CLEP or DSST
IBLCE also recognizes learning completed through independent study, if the learner passes either the CLEP (College Level Examination Program) or DSST exam. You can think of these as college-course equivalents of the high school GED program.

However, the intent here is to help people prove their prior knowledge. The current cost of $20 to $30 per test may make you feel like diving right in—but you’d be wise to get some help in preparing. If you’re an over-achiever, you might be able to do this by studying one or more of the recommended resources. But it may be a good idea to prepare more than that.

I took the sample CLEP questions for Biology, then Growth & Development. I scored about 90% on each practice test. Admittedly, I haven’t taken a biology course or a growth-and-development course in more than 40 years. But, there was only one question for which I was certain of my answer on each of those practice exams. I was mostly making good guesses.

The Six “Continuing Education” Courses: The Easy and Hard Ways
Six of the required Health sciences subjects can be taken through some organization or entity that offers continuing education. These include: medical documentation, medical terminology, occupational safety and security, infection control, ethics, and basic life support.

You could probably take these 6 courses at a college or university, but why would you? You’ll end up spending more time and money. Instead, consider completing those courses through a continuing education provider—either Breastfeeding Outlook or someone else. Our course—on 5 of the 6 topics—is conveniently online, and a great bargain at just $100 for 5 courses you can complete in just a couple of evenings, printing your certificate immediately. It’s simple, fast, and convenient. The only thing missing is basic life support—that “hands-on the CPR dummy experience” isn’t easily provided online!—but you can get that from your local fire department, YMCA, Red Cross, or elsewhere.

What Works for You?
There are many options for meeting your health sciences education requirement, but not all options are the same. For example, online education may seem to beat going to a regular classroom, but it’s not for everyone. You may need much more structure and interaction to successfully complete a course. Or one way may work better for another if you want to actually know the material—rather than just “checking the box” to meet the requirement. Consider: how have you learned other information best? What fits your needs right now?

How have you met, or how are you planning to meet, your Health Sciences education requirements? I’m interesting to hear the pros and cons of your experience. Comment below, or e-mail me at info@breastfeedingoutlook.com  

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