There are more than 700 people in the U.S. who have earned the CASC (Certified Administrator Surgery Center) credential, but you might be surprised to find that they're not all administrators. In this blog series, we’ll get a personal look into the lives of a few of those intrepid individuals who bear the CASC certification but work in nontraditional roles, highlighting the ways being a CASC has helped them be more effective at their jobs.
The Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC) credential is one of the great professional distinctions you can earn in the ASC world. But you don't have to be a facility administrator to benefit from the certification. CASCs are everywhere, not just in administrative roles, and it's a great thing.
I have met many certified individuals, but have never met anyone who said, "I pursued the credential because I was told I had to." A CASC is just not that kind of professional. In my experience, individuals who pursue the CASC are "take charge, get it done" people who have an insatiable desire to learn and to demonstrate competency in their respective fields.
Some are physicians and nurses who discovered that medical or nursing school did not provide them enough training for the operational aspects of running an ASC. Other CASC-certified professionals that I've met said they pursued the credential for personal fulfillment, another challenge to take on, and ultimately a way to ensure that they could fully master the day-to-day business operations of an ASC.
There are also truly "non-traditional" CASC candidates like me, a client services director at SourceMed who wanted deeper insight into ASC administrator responsibilities and concerns in order to better serve our customers. I also pursued the CASC credential as a personal goal—as a means to demonstrate and measure my knowledge.
There were some naysayers and truth-tellers who tried to deter me from the pursuit after I applied to sit for the exam: "You've never been an ASC Administrator," or "I've known many people who have worked as Administrators for years and had to take the exam more than once to pass," and "It's a big gamble, and a lot of money if you're not sure that you will pass," were things I commonly heard. However, there were a larger number of customers, colleagues, friends, and family who encouraged me—including those here at SourceMed.
SourceMed is unique in that we have multiple CASCs on board, including our Chief Nursing Officer Ann Geier. The company offered invaluable support and encouragement, as it is ingrained in our culture that employees must deeply understand customer needs in order to serve them best. I was determined to pass the exam… and I did, might I add, on the first try! Here are some tips that I found useful in preparing for it.
Since passing the exam, I have gained credibility with customers and colleagues alike. I hear things like, "Ask Heather, she's a CASC," and "I didn't know that you were CASC!" It is often discussed in the course of natural conversation and has become a real differentiator.
On a practical level, since earning the certification, I am better able to appreciate customer challenges and help resolve their issues with the knowledge I have gained—which continues to expand by pursuing ongoing education in the operational aspects of ASC management. Additionally, through the process of obtaining the AEUs required to maintain the credential, I have met other CASCs and learned so much from these industry professionals.
The certification also puts me in a unique position to advocate for new SourceMed solutions and services that are aligned with how the industry and customer needs are evolving. Having product expertise and technical knowledge is one thing, but understanding customers' day-to-day activities and how our solutions can fit into—and improve—ASC workflow is what makes them meaningful.
Pursuing the CASC credential began as a personal goal and has become a key milestone in my career path. It has proven invaluable in enhancing my ability to work closely with ASC customers and provide them with the insights and problem-solving they require in an increasingly complex environment.
How do you see CASC-certified individuals using their knowledge in unique ways?