by Dawn Lunsford, Associate Director of Academy
Heartbeat Academy is celebrating an important milestone, as more than 3,000 students from around the world attended and completed training online in May, 2016 alone.
Although this number of students is certainly cause to celebrate, what we celebrate goes beyond these 3,000 students as we look to the ripple effect ongoing training and continuing education has on the pregnancy help movement worldwide.
Heartbeat International originally launched our Academy in 2011 to make training on key manuals and dynamic speakers just a click away, empowering pregnancy help organizations right where you are, in whatever issue or situation you are facing, with on-demand training.
The software and technology that power Heartbeat Academy provide plenty of numbers to identify, study, and celebrate.
We celebrate as students rack up hundreds of training hours each month, thousands a year. We celebrate each hour of credit toward the Life Affirming Specialist designation earned. But what brings us true joy, true cause to rejoice, is when we hear about the effect ongoing training has had on our students themselves and the organizations with which they are involved.
The most important thing students learn in the Academy is not in a course, but is in realizing the profound effect ongoing training can have on staff—not to mention clients, organizations and communities.
I can’t help but smile at God’s planning when learning that a center with a successful Abortion Pill Reversal story first heard about the procedure and the APR network from their volunteer nurse who logged on because she needed the contact hour credit a year and a half ago.
Or, at the director who took a course on the Commitment of Care and Competence in case it would be good for a new staff member who had some downtime, only to find the content she needed for her next in-service.
Heartbeat Academy is positioned to equip you to have moments like these with the click of a mouse.
In addition to the pivotal information available in an on demand format, in 2013 Heartbeat Academy launched its first live hybrid course, ConCERT: Consultant Continuing Education Renewal and Training. ConCERT is an opportunity for staff and volunteers to train directly under Heartbeat staff.
The most common remark from students who have finished the course is, "This wasn't completely new information, but now I can see how it works in the big picture." Our students grow in confidence, skill, and understanding bringing all of that back to their organization and their community.
It’s not uncommon to speak to these students months or years later and hear how the course not only helped them grow professionally by earning the Life Affirming Specialist designation, but helped their organization as well. Our ConCERT training does so much to help leaders grow in essential areas like increasing their reach through media coverage, expanding services, and building partnerships with other organizations.
So, while we wait and see what ripple effects we’ll see from the 3,000 students working in the Academy this past month, we rejoice at the opportunity to serve and invest in you. Whether by helping affiliated centers train volunteers through a private course, offering credit for nurses, or tackling current events with a dynamic webinar, the Academy is just one way Heartbeat is committed to coming alongside and continuing to help equip and empower pregnancy help organizations around the world.
Join over 3,000 students by choosing a class from the Heartbeat Academy today!
By Connie Ambrecht RDMS, CMB
It was very exciting when your Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) changed to a Pregnancy Medical Clinic (PMC). I am certain you can recall the enthusiastic atmosphere that filled the center as you reached your goal of changing from having a focus on material assistance to focusing on being able to answer the question; “Am I pregnant?” through medical imaging. Providing confirmation of pregnancy was finally a goal actualized!
Looking back at the steps that were taken, everyone on the team participated in training that was a necessary component to adding medical services. From the Board of Directors, the Executive Director and the Clinic or Nurse Manager, every aspect of the PRC was educated about the change. Our team at Sonography Now participated in the change at over 500 PRC to PMC transitions and our responsibility to you remains. Our role as an education company is to keep ourselves educated and pass that along to you. Our team attends approximately 6-8 conferences per year to keep abreast of trends that impact your clinical setting.
For many of you, that initial investment in getting to know what was needed for a PRC to become a PMC was the start and the finish to your education as it relates to being a clinic. Let’s review what is necessary for the medical personnel in particular to remain strong for the PMC. Then let’s consider: What does each member of the team need to do to remain strong for the PMC we serve?
For those such as NARAL Pro-Choice America who would like to see our doors close, they state things like: “CPCs are a growing threat to women's health. They often lie to women about abortion and birth control. They'll do anything to scare a woman away from choosing legal abortion.” They consider this a challenge to address.
We don’t believe there is a need to feel a panic in addressing such accusations, instead we feel it is wiser to be methodical about how you keep your entire organization educated. We want you to be empowered to discuss how and why you stay strong. In considering a methodical approach to your team’s education, there are a few things to ask… Who needs to be educated? How would we get such education? Where do we get the funding? Where can we go? Do we have to go anywhere? Who decides who needs what? There are so many legitimate things to consider.
This article is to assist you in building a plan for continuing education as it relates to your team, as well as providing talking points to aid in community relations.
As we begin, I’d like to outline a few facts: you provide medical services, sonography and maybe SDI testing, so that’s what makes you a clinic…embrace it. As a clinic, the public has certain expectations…be aware of those expectations. With those expectations comes the responsibility to provide your medical services at a level that meets standards as established by professional organizations.
Do you have an awareness of who those organizations are? Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), American Nurses Association (ANA), and the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (SDMS)? Each of these organizations has guidelines and/or recommendations for continuing education. Let’s look at each one, create a talking point and build a plan to implement.
• According to AWHONN, the RN who performs sonography “should demonstrate educational and clinical expertise in obstetrics….”
• In the new Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, the ANA clearly states in Provision 5 that “the nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to preserve integrity and safety, to maintain competence, and to continue personal and professional growth.” Provision 7 states that “the nurse participates in the advancement of the profession through contributions to practice, education, administration, and knowledge development.”
• The SDMS clearly requires all sonographers, registered or unregistered, under Section II, to “maintain continued competence through lifelong learning, which includes continuing education, acquisition of specialty specific credentials and re-credentialing.”
If you take the three professional organizations above and build a talking point you might be ready to state; “As a clinic we find it is a priority to maintain competency, build skills and knowledge, because we value keeping up with medical standards.”
Your approach to building an education plan will vary from clinic to clinic. Annual Conferences such as the Heartbeat International Conference can build your medical team as well as others who attend. As education organizations, Sonography Now and Equip Leaders Now are committed to maintaining a large library of courses for the Pregnancy Medical Clinic that can grow your entire team. We recognize the importance of keeping up on trends, building the team's knowledge base and providing quality care and focus on that aspect of your services.
To quote Maya Angelou, “If we know better we do better”. We know you need continuing education in order to do better. Our obligation to you is to stay informed and pass it along. We look forward to serving you this year in regards to your education needs.
Connie Ambrecht RDMS CMB and her husband Dan founded Sonography Now in 2002. Connie has been published in professional journals, has spoken at national conferences. Sonography Now has provided training to physicians, nurses, physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, midwives, radiologic technologists, as well as cross-training other sonography specialists.
I deleted an app from my iPhone this afternoon.
It was a good app, and free when I got it. But, as I read through Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions, as I do every year, I became instantly convicted that this app—which I just downloaded yesterday—has already wasted too much of my time.
Edwards, regarded by many as the finest American theologian ever, jotted down 70 resolutions over the course of several months in 1723, and these have stood the test of time as some of the most brilliant, yet simple resolutions a Christian can make.
Several of them cut like a boning knife through my flabby heart, not the least of which is Resolution No. 5:
Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but to improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
Not one moment wasted. Not even when I’m waiting at the airport or stuck in traffic. Not even when I’m early to an appointment—a rare event in any case—and have 15 minutes to kill. To Edwards, a truly godly man, those 15 minutes didn’t belong to him in the first place, and therefore, were never his to kill or make alive.
I love this resolution of Edwards, not only because it sounds ambitious to the point of heroic, but because it is so squarely biblical. It’s nothing more than a simple restating of the Apostle Paul’s instructions to the church at Ephesus:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
I want to imitate men like Edwards and Paul, who understood and embraced the gospel so wholeheartedly that every moment became an opportunity to capitalize upon and make the most of, for my ultimate joy, for the good of others, and for the glory of God.
Step 1: Cut out the Fat
The first step to capitalizing on the precious opportunities that each moment represents—to really redeem the time and make the best use of it—is to prayerfully quit doing things that do waste time. There goes that iPhone app. Is Facebook next? Pinterest? Maybe.
That’s what Edwards means when he resolves to “never lose one moment of time,” and it’s what Paul is shooting for when he warns his readers to watch how they’re walking, “not as unwise, but as wise.”
Can you picture Jonathan Edwards, the third president of Princeton, frittering time away on Facebook or Twitter? Or, can you picture the Apostle Paul, commissioned by Jesus as a servant and a witness to the resurrection, burning time on his cell phone while he waits for the bus?
Step 2: Capitalize on the Moment
Following the pattern set by Paul in Ephesians 5, Edwards counters his negative goal (to not waste time) with a positive objective: “to improve (each moment) the most profitable way I possibly can.”
This “improvement” starts with the heart. Are we actively seeking Christ where he is to be found—in his Word and among his people, the Church? Are we actively seeking to embrace the gospel so that we can say with Paul, “the love of Christ controls us”? (2 Corinthians 5:14)
This is what Paul means by “making the best use of the time,” and there is no app for it.
This kind of living takes discipline, study, and Christian community. And this is the kind of living that will really make a difference in the world, including the people you interact with on an everyday basis.
How can you improve each moment in the most profitable way you possibly can in 2013?
If so, then consider the Heartbeat International Academy, which currently offers 50 courses, as well as Life Affirming Specialist training and certification.
Geared toward life-affirming leaders, staff, volunteers, and supporters within the pregnancy help movement, the Academy offers just the kind of training you may need in order to make the best use of the time you’re given in 2013.
In the meantime, be choosy about your apps.
by Julie Parton, Ph.D.
To: Jesus Christ, Commander-in-Chief, Spiritual Armed ForcesSubject: Request for Transfer
I am writing this to You to request a transfer to a desk job. I herewith present my reasons:
I began my career as a private, but because of the intensity of the battle, You have quickly moved me up in the ranks. You have made me an officer and have given me a tremendous amount of responsibility. There are many soldiers and recruits under my charge. I am constantly being called upon to dispense wisdom, make judgments, and find solutions to complex problems. You have placed me in a position to function as an officer, when in my heart I know I have only the skills of a private.
I realize that You have promised to supply all I need for the battle. But Sir, I must present you a realistic picture of my equipment. My uniform, once so crisp and starched, is now stained with tears and the blood of those I have tried to assist. The sole of my boots are cracked and worn from the miles I have walked, trying to enlist and encourage troops. My weapons are marred, tarnished, and chipped from constant battle against the Enemy. Even the Book of Regulations I was issued has been torn and tattered from endless use. The words are now smeared.
You have promised You would be with me throughout; but the noise of the battle is so loud and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear you. I feel so alone. I'm tired. I'm discouraged. I have battle fatigue. I would never ask You for a discharge. I love being in Your service. But, I humbly request a demotion and transfer. I'll file papers or clean latrines! Just get me out of the battle, please, Sir.
Your faithful, but tired,Solider
To: Faithful but Tired Soldier, Spiritual Armed ForcesLocation: The BattlefieldSubject: Transfer Request
Your request for transfer has been denied. I herewith present my reasons:
For this reason, I am setting aside a place on the battlefield that is insulated from all sound and fully protected from the enemy. I will meet you there and I will give you rest. I will remove your old equipment and “make all things new.”
You have been wounded in the battle, My soldier. Your wounds are not visible, but you have received grave internal injuries.
You need to be healed. I will heal you. You have been weakened in battle. You need to be strengthened. I will strengthen you and be your strength.
I will instill within you confidence and ability. My words will rekindle you with a renewed love, zeal, and enthusiasm. Report to Me tattered and empty, and I will refill you.
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