Did you know that ARDMS volunteers have written all the items (i.e., questions) that have appeared on all ARDMS credentialing examinations since 1975? Two introductory item-writing workshops were held December 5 and 6, 2014, at the beautiful Bell Harbor International Conference Center located on the waterfront of downtown Seattle. At the all-day workshops, five staff members trained 41 Registrants on topics such as “Life Cycle of an Item,” “Anatomy of an Item,” “Item Starters” and “Tips for Writing Quality Items.”
Participants were provided with personal computers and stacks of textbooks so they could practice writing, referencing and submitting items in our new software program called EPIC. The two workshops produced 110 submitted items, a great number with which Holly Batts, the organizer of the event, was delighted. Following the workshop, each participant was paired with an online mentor who will coach the new volunteer through an initial item-writing project.
New ARDMS Board Member, Scott Simicich – a longtime volunteer and Seattle-area resident – attended both workshops to connect with colleagues and reinforce ARDMS’ immense appreciation for sonographers and physicians who write items. With globalization and clinical diversity expanding the field of Ultrasound, the need for well-written items is critical to maintain the standards of patient care and the integrity of an ARDMS credential.
In addition to learning how to write and submit items, participants were treated to a wonderful breakfast and hot buffet lunch, glorious views of the Seattle waterfront, a casual networking opportunity and the waiving of three CMEs. Afterwards, one volunteer wrote, “Thank you for taking the time to come to Seattle and facilitate this event. It was engaging, fun and educational.” Another said, “It was great to come together with top minds in the industry and [they] really inspired my future as a young sonographer.”
Stay tuned to the Volunteer News Network (VNN) for information about when and where the next ARDMS Item Writing Workshop will be held. If it is in your area, we hope you will join us!