Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist – CHSOS and CHSOS-A

The Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist (CHSOS) and Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist – Advanced (CHSOS-A) are technical certifications provided by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). As in the case of many medical specialties, certification helps distinguish a professional as an expert in the field. In healthcare simulation, a few certifications help identify clinical simulation technicians and educators as extremely knowledgeable in the practice. Certification in healthcare simulation is the process to obtain, verify, and assess a practitioner’s qualifications. This page shares more about The Society for Simulation in Healthcare’s Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist (CHSOS) and Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist – Advanced (CHSOS-A) certifications. Note: Please see the CHSE page for the Educator’s Certification also available from SSH.

The SSH Dictionary defines an Operations Specialist as an individual whose primary role is the implementation and delivery of a simulation activity through the application of simulation technologies such as, computers, audio-visual, or networking technologies. A second definition is an inclusive “umbrella” term that embodies many different roles within healthcare simulation operations, including simulation technician, simulation technology specialist, simulation specialist, simulation coordinator, and simulation AV specialist. While many of these individuals also design simulation activities, this term refers to the functional role related to the implementation of the simulation activities.

The Society for Simulation in Healthcare – SSH Certification

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The purpose of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), a not-for-profit organization, is to serve a global community of practice that enhances the quality of healthcare. The Mission of SSH is to:

  • Serves our members to foster education, professional development, and the advancement of research and innovation
  • Promotes the profession of healthcare simulation through standards and ethics
  • Champions healthcare simulation through advocation, sharing, facilitation, and collaboration

SSH offers multiple certifications and advanced certifications for healthcare simulation professionals. The vision of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Certification Council is to foster excellence in healthcare simulation internationally through certification. The mission of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Certification Council is to promote competence, recognition, and development of healthcare simulationists through standards and processes for certification within the global healthcare simulation community.

Reasons to Become Certified

  • Receive formal professional recognition of specialized knowledge, skills, abilities, and accomplishments in healthcare simulation education
  • Confirm the commitment to continued professional development and lifelong learning
  • Receive international recognition for professional accomplishments
  • Demonstrate the skills and specialized knowledge to employers, practitioners, and the public

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Benefits of Certification:

  • Improves healthcare simulation education through the standardization and identification of best practices
  • Strengthens patient safety efforts through support of simulation modalities
  • Provides external validation and recognition of individual operations specialist knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Strengthens organizational, community, and learner confidence in the quality of education
  • Garners local support, resources, and commitment
  • Fosters a feedback loop between education and practice
  • Encourages performance improvement and knowledge expansion of the individual
    operations specialist
  • Provides a competitive edge in the community, program offerings, and grant funding
  • Recognizes expertise in simulation above and beyond domain expertise

CHSOS Examination and Process

The Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist (CHSOS) certification has been developed as a service to the healthcare simulation community. The CHSOS certification is intended for individuals who perform healthcare simulation in the operations specialist role without restriction to:

  • simulation modality
  • setting (locations where simulation takes place)
  • geographic location
  • learner population
  • function (e.g. IT, A/V, moulage)
  • profession

There are five domains on the CHSOS Examination Blueprint. The domains are weighted as relevant for the healthcare simulation operations specialist:

  • Concepts in Healthcare as Applied to Simulation
  • Simulation Technology Operations
  • Healthcare Simulation Practices, Principles, and Procedures
  • Professional Role: Behavior, Capabilities, and Leadership
  • Concepts in Instructional Design as Applied to Simulation

Each of these domains have specific criteria to be evaluated for meeting the minimum requirements to become a CHSOS. These domains and criteria are described in the CHSOS Handbook. The CHSOS Handbook is a must for all applicants to read, follow, and guide their preparation for taking the examination.

In order to be certified as a healthcare simulation operations specialist, the applicant must:

  1. Meet all eligibility requirements
  2. Submit an application and application fee
  3. Prepare for the examination
    1. CHSOS Prep Workshops
    2. Books
    3. Attend simulation workshops and education courses
    4. Read articles
  4. Take and pass a secure multiple-choice examination
  5. Be recognized for your achievement
  6. Maintain your certified status

Resources for CHSOS Prep

One of the key resources for CHSOS preparation is the CHSOS Blueprint. The CHSOS Candidate should develop a well-rounded approach to identify and address individual gaps in knowledge according to the CHSOS Blueprint. Multiple resources are available to meet the learning needs and styles of individuals. Some of these are web resources and social media, journals, books, practice exams, and formal courses. Some of these resources are SSH-approved and updated to meet the CHSOS Blueprint requirements. An example of a journal article for CHSOS is a published Roadmap for CHSOS Certification.

Renewal of CHSOS

The CHSOS certification is valid for three years. There are two methods of recertification to maintain the CHSOS status. The first method is to complete 45 continuing professional development units over the 3-year status. The second is to sit for and pass the CHSOS exam again. Another requirement for renewal is for the application to continue to meet the requirements for the CHSOS.

View the LEARN CE/CME Platform Webinar Role of Clinical Simulation Operation Specialists in Houssaye’s Educational Triangle to learn more!

What is the CHSOS-A?

The prestigious CHSOS-A certification recognizes CHSOS professionals for their outstanding knowledge, skills, and ability as healthcare simulation leaders. In addition to the CHSOS status, simulation operations specialist advanced applicants must demonstrate:

  • High-level performance in all areas of the Standards
  • Knowledge, skills, and abilities in healthcare simulation at the advanced level, specifically related to simulation operations and technology
  • Position and role as a leader, mentor, and advocate for simulation
  • The ability to critically self-reflect and the ability to modify behavior based on that self-reflection
  • Continuing professional development abilities
  • Involvement in the healthcare simulation in areas well beyond the applicant’s own institution

CHSOS-A Process

The CHSOS-A certification is a portfolio-based certification for leaders in healthcare simulation operations. The certification distinguishes those who have proven themselves to be advanced operations specialists in their practice in healthcare simulation and serve as mentors and examples to others in the field. The process for CHSOS-A is:

  1. Determine CHSOS-A Eligibility
  2. Prepare CHSOS-A Portfolio
  3. Submit CHSOS-A Application
  4. Evaluation of CHSOS-A Application
  5. Recognition of CHSOS-A
  6. Renewal of CHSOS-A

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