Lymphedema Certification

Written by Diane Sievert
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Lymphedema certification is necessary if you want to market yourself as a professionally trained lymphedema therapist. Though there are some who skip this step, obtaining certification is the wiser move. Attempting to practice medical procedure without the proper training and certification could result in disaster as the following summary makes clear. . .

Why Bother with Lymphedema Certification?

The single most important reason to get lymphedema certification is that it serves as a testament to your ability as a skilled lymphedema therapist. Without certification, possible patients might wonder about the authenticity of your advertised capabilities. It's important to realize that when doctors advise their patients to get lymphedema treatment, they will most likely caution them to only go to those practitioners who are officially certified.

Another reason to get lymphedema certification is that it will help you get medical coverage in case something goes wrong. Insurance companies don't like to cover individuals who aren't professionally certified and they have good cause to feel this way. Individuals without the proper training could seriously harm a patient who is suffering from lymphedema.

How to Get Lymphedema Certification

If you've decided that lymphedema certification is indeed something you want, you must prepare to commit to a fairly involved process of achieving that goal. Lymphedema certification is not easily gotten and with good reason: treating individuals suffering from lymphedema is a serious decision and requires the proper training. For example, the only people who are even allowed to sit for the eventual examination are medical doctors, registered nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and massage therapists with board certification or professional schooling.

The process of getting lymphedema certification starts with program enrollment: you must find and enroll in a professional lymphedema treatment training program near you. Once you've taken and passed your classes, the next step is clocking guided practice hours. An individual who wants lymphedema certification must complete 90 hours of professional practice on actual patients and another year of documented experience before they can progress to the next stage.

The final step in the certification process is taking the Lymphology Association of Northern America's exam. This exam will cover all the of the necessary material a lymphedema specialist is expected to know so passing status ensures you are ready to begin doling out treatment. If you should take the exam and fail, you must wait another six months before retaking the exam.

Current Facts on Lymphedema in the United States

Lymphedema is not a widely discussed condition as many in the medical field are actually quite blind to its seriousness. That having been said, the situation has begun to improve as more and more doctors and health care professionals are beginning to recognize the importance of properly treating this condition. Though insurance companies have been rather slow on the uptake, lymphedema treatments are fast becoming a respected field of medical practice.

Every year millions of American find themselves suffering from lymphedema. Some of these cases are primary in nature but the overwhelming majority are acquired after surgery or radiation for specific types of cancer; any type of surgery that removes lymph nodes (like breast cancer surgery) could result in lymphedema. Fortunately, doctors are beginning to wise up and send afflicted patients to lymphedema therapists so they can get the help that they need.

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