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Exam Proctors Pay It Forward

When it comes to taking the CCHP exam, candidates today have more options than ever before. They can sit for their exam:

  • At one of more than 900 testing centers located around the country
  • Remotely, from the privacy and convenience of home or office
  • At an NCCHC conference (like the upcoming National Conference in Chicago, Oct. 30-Nov. 3)
  • During one of several regional exams scheduled throughout the year at partner locations and conferences

During the height of the COVID pandemic, the remote option was introduced and became the most popular method, for obvious reasons. But now that things are getting back to normal, the CCHP staff reports that in-person exams are regaining popularity. “This is a welcome indication that things are slowly but surely returning to some degree of normalcy,” says Matissa Sammons, MA, CCHP, vice president of certification. “The camaraderie of taking the exam with colleagues has been missed.”

Kiki Teal, MSN, RN, CCHP-RN, took the exam in the year 2012 BC (Before COVID) at the Harris County (TX) Sheriff’s Office, where she was then employed. Today, she is paying it forward by regularly proctoring – that is, organizing, hosting, and monitoring exams – at both Harris County and the Dallas County Jail, where she serves as director of nursing through Parkland Health & Hospital System.

“I started proctoring exams because I wanted to give back to the CCHP program, see more people become certified, and offer others within my organization an opportunity to take the test in as comfortable an environment as I had, with people they know,” she says. “There is a feeling of ‘we’re all in this together’ that provides silent support to the test takers.”

Pamela Mangine, BSN, RN, PHN, CCHP-RN, public health nurse clinician with the Ramsey County (MN) Adult Detention Center, proctors annual exams during the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association conference, a date she says she looks forward to each year. “I get to meet new people from all over the state, talk to them about how they do things, and learn how their facilities operate,” she says. “I learn a lot from test-takers. Plus, I help people make connections. In this business it’s important to have a network of people to consult with.”

Frequent proctor Meggie Washington, MBA, MEd, CCHP, Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry Medical Services Contract Monitoring Bureau administrator, echoes that thought: “Health care professionals come from all over the region to take the exam. It’s fun to talk to them.”

Interested in Being an Exam Proctor?
The first step to becoming a proctor is to let NCCHC know you’re interested in hosting a local exam. From there, NCCHC works with you to find a date and supplies all the necessary materials – instructions, pencils, tests, return envelopes. “We make it as easy as we can for the proctors leading up to the exam, including sending them tips to make the process as flawless as possible,” Sammons says.

Although NCCHC publicizes the event, most proctors also promote the exam locally through flyers, social media, email, and announcements.

“On the day of the exam, people tend to be nervous, so I help put them at ease and cheer them on,” says Washington. Then, after the test, the proctor returns the written exams to NCCHC for grading, and that’s it!

“An exam proctor is in fact a prestigious position that is effectively an extension of the CCHP board of trustees or staff in securing and maintaining the integrity of the examination,” says Sammons. “It is an essential and highly visible role that plays a vital function in the CCHP community.”

Why do these busy people take the time out of their lives to proctor exams? “I believe in the power of education,” explains Washington. “Being exposed to the standards in an in-depth way helped make me the correctional health professional I am today. Certification gives me confidence, increases my credibility, and adds value to my role. If you want to stand out in the field, take the CCHCP exam.”

Are you hosting a conference and would like to hold the exam at your event? Interested in learning more about being an exam proctor? Contact cchp@ncchc.org, or call 773-880-1460.

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