Tuesday, April 29, 2014

PARCA gets a facelift.

Certification can provide better job
opportunities and personal growth
Remember PACS 2005? We had mostly CRT’s instead of flat panel displays, they needed a dedicated, very expensive medical video board, we used floppies to exchange information, 100 MBps was a fast network connection, which by the way was typically on a dedicated network as VLANS’s had not yet been deployed. Storage was so expensive that we used MOD or even DVD (yuck) jukeboxes for mid-term and long-term archiving of images. PACS systems did not talk to each other and we had yet to experience the many pains of migrating all those images if we were going to switch vendors. We did not know about virtualization, zero footprint viewers and VNA’s, and a cloud was still just a white fluffy thing in the sky instead of a way to outsource your data and image storage.

Looking back at those days, which were also reflected in the requirements for a PACS administrator to become certified, you can see that a lot of things have changed from a technical perspective. If you had not learned and advanced your knowledge as an imaging and informatics professional during those years, you would be hopelessly obsolete now. That is why the PACS Administrators Registry and Certification Association (PARCA) recently updated its certifications. The new requirements are posted on the PARCA website and the corresponding exams will be updated over the summer to reflect these certifications. Candidates are actually encouraged to renew their certifications to become “2014” certified.

Taking the exam again (or for the first time for that matter) is a good thing, as you can show that you are serious about staying up-to-date as an image an informatics professional. And remember, it is not about the piece of paper, it is like a race, it is all about the journey. As soon as you are at the start line of that race, you have accomplished what you are looking for, the race and in this case the exam is just a formality and confirmation of your up-to-date skills.