3 Easy Steps to Mastectomy Fitter Certification
3 Easy Steps to Mastectomy Fitter Certification

3 Easy Steps to Mastectomy Fitter Certification

Post-mastectomy involves a very intimate issue – breasts. And as a result, it has been largely ignored. Through my experiences, I’ve heard the terms used when referring to post-mastectomy professionals: bra fitters, “that pink bra stuff.’ And my personal favorite, “the boob girls”.

However, despite these dismissals, women persevered, and the post-mastectomy profession evolved, growing into a vibrant profession of more than 6,000 Certified Fitters. These women business owners, some with decades of experience, have placed their unique stamp on post-mastectomy services. It is a profession that deserves respect and needs its Voice.

3 Easy Steps to Mastectomy Fitter Certification

How do you become a certified post-mastectomy fitter?

It’s easy. So, let’s take a look at the process.

But first, maybe a few definitions?

What is post-mastectomy? 

Post Mastectomy means “after a mastectomy.” It describes professional medical services required after a mastectomy due to breast cancer, trauma, prophylactic mastectomy, or genetically induced developmental conditions of the breast.

A post-mastectomy fitter is a Certified and Licensed healthcare professional trained in post-mastectomy care.

Post-mastectomy items and services

Post Mastectomy items and services include all types of external breast prostheses, including custom; pocketed garments, treatment of lymphedema, and post-surgical compression garments. These are healthcare items because they treat conditions that have resulted from diseases and treatment of diseases of the breast.

 Additional items often considered post-mastectomy are fashion clothing designed to accommodate breast surgeries, such as head and neck scarves, wigs, head beanies, cooling caps, bathing suits, and ease-of-wear items. In addition, many new lingerie and fashion designers focus exclusively on post-mastectomy or cancer care designs.

Learn, Fit, Certify.

The rewards are worth the effort if you are interested in becoming certified in post-mastectomy. The process is straightforward, but it does take time – about six months from start to finish if that is your full-time focus.

There are 3 Easy Steps to Becoming a Certified Post Mastectomy Fitter.

1 Learn

First, you need to learn the basics of post-mastectomy fitting. Many companies and organizations offer a pre-certification post-mastectomy fitter course. Although classes vary in availability and cost (about $200), they must meet the basic requirements of an Approved pre-Certification course. While they vary, most courses last about 8-10 hours.  

There are two Certifying Organizations for post-mastectomy, the American Board for Certification and the Board for Certification. Both certify post-mastectomy fitters and list approved courses on their websites. To ensure that you are taking the proper path, check with your post-mastectomy lingerie manufacturer or the Certifying Organization’s approved lists.

We will cover more on the Certifying Organizations later in this post.

2 Fit

Knowledge and expertise come with experience.  

The second step in the path to post-mastectomy Certification is to gain experience. You will need to learn the fitting and the details of running a post-mastectomy business. In addition, to sit for the certification exam, you will need to gain at least 125 hours (BOC) or 250 hours (ABC) of “internship hours” working directly under a Certified Fitter. 

3 Certify

The third step may be the most difficult for some.

Sign up for and take the Certification Exam.

Certification in post-mastectomy fitting requires a computer-based, 100-150 question multiple-choice standardized exam administered by pre-approved organizations. In addition, there are study aids and online practice exams. The book you received from your pre-certification course is also a good study guide.

There are two Certifying Organizations. The American Board of Certification and the Board for Orthotic Certification, national, non-profit organizations, provide Certification in post-mastectomy and continuing oversite. Equal in test difficulty, there is a slight difference in cost, pre-certification requirements, test availability, and continuing education requirements. 

Therefore, choosing which Certifying Organization you want at the beginning of your path will determine much.

Is it Worth it?

Remember that a Certified Post Mastectomy Fitter can work anywhere and is a specialized and growing professional designation. They can even open up their boutique. 

In addition, a Certified Fitter is a member of the allied health profession, Orthotics, and Prosthetics. Some states require a post-mastectomy fitter to be both Certified and Licensed. Also, the United States is currently the only country with a certification training program for post-mastectomy fitters. However, AABCP is working with a sister organization to expand post-mastectomy fitter training and Certification internationally.

Fitters meet men and women at a critical time in their lives – the next stage in their breast cancer treatment continuum.

If this sounds like you, we encourage you to read on! And Good Luck!

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