Survey of Licensed Acupuncturists to Gather Information on Competencies for Practice in Hospitals, Integrated Centers and Other Conventional Healthcare Settings
In recent years, more mainstream delivery organizations are including licensed acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners (LAc) as part of their care teams. Professional education for the field has not historically focused on competencies for such practices. This 2007 project was part of a two-part survey/interview project that provided useful information that helped shape the ACCAHC Competencies for Optimal Practice in Integrated Environments. One part surveyed and interviewed 26 LAcs working in health system (hospital and ambulatory care) settings. The second, also posted here, followed a parallel process with 10 of the MD/administrators who were responsible for care management. Skills deemed to be “very important” by the greatest number of LAc participants were the “recognition of high priority acute management clinical presentations” (76%), “useful medical language/medical terminology” (69%), “communication with MDs/nurses and other provider (69%) and “skills in articulating to the MDs/staff the value I offer patients” (65%). Interviews with the MD/administrators found: preparation of the AOM practitioner was limited; virtually no written resources were identified or utilized; skill areas which scored highest (“very important”) were “recognition of high priority acute management” (90%), “charting and documentation” (80%), “strategies and skills for developing relationships” (80%), “management and referral to conventional providers” (70%) and “communication with MDs and nurses.” Interviews found particular importance on subjective criteria for provider selection. Supported by a grant from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.