Did the new SMS exam make this ATP shake in his boots?


I spoke with Chris Rea this week about becoming one of the first assistive technology professionals (ATPs) in the country to get RESNA's new seating and mobility specialist (SMS) certification. We'll have a story about Rea, who works for Total Medical Solutions in Orlando, in our December issue.

There were a few questions that I asked Rea, however, that I thought you'd want the answers to sooner rather than later. The first: So was the exam hard?

"It was challenging," he said. "But one of the points of creating the SMS was to be seating and mobility specific, and there was no doubt this test was seating and mobility specific, which was very nice to see because that's purpose of the whole thing."

The second: Did you study?

"I have to be honest and say that I studied very little," he said. "I had the full intention of studying, but with a full work schedule...I really wanted to take the test. I told myself that after 15 years of doing seating and mobility, I should know it. RESNA does publish a list of publications to study from and I found, unfortunately, some were out of print. I did get a couple of books that were recommended that were very good, but it was an extremely difficult test I thought."

The third: What makes an exam like this so difficult?

"When you're dealing with seating and positioning, and you're looking at different angles and pictures, it can be portrayed in different ways sometimes," he said. "You know, we could have three different ATPs reach the same goal with a patient, but they do it in a different method. So it's a bit more subjective."

Liz Beaulieu