The Veterans Affairs (VA) added fresh updates to its existing policy regarding the hiring of practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Previously this medical field was termed a modality, but was granted an upgrade and is now considered a profession. With this raise in status comes new requirements regarding who is eligible for employment at the Veterans Health Administration.
The VA recognizes the value and efficacy of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to treat a huge number of medical conditions. It can be utilized as the main therapy, or used as an adjunct treatment. This is important because it allows veterans seeking care through the Veterans Health Administration more opportunities to heal, and ultimately, thrive.
The Secretary of the VA, endowed with the powers to establish requirements, now ensures that all applicants for employment related to the field of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine must be licensed by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). This applies to all positions, whether starting out at the entry level, or at the level of acupuncture program coordinator.
The NCCAOM is the sole state-wide organization to validate the mastery of an entry-level practitioner in the field of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Recipients of this certification proved their competency to pass an examination. Before permission is granted to sit for the exam, certain requirements must be met by each individual. These include attending a school approved by the NCCAOM, and completing the specified number of hours spent as an intern in a clinic.
The honor of being awarded the title of profession instead of simply a modality elevates the status of practitioners to a height on par with doctors, nurses and others in the medical field. This positively affects the perception patients have for acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and encourages a professional zeal among practitioners.
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About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.