As a physical therapist, occupational therapist, massage therapist or a doctor, nurse, chiropractor or other related health professional, obtaining a complete lymphedema certification is a very effective way to be able to provide effective treatment for patients.
With certification as part of your lymphedema education, you will not only obtain the theoretical and medical background you need to use the techniques and practices, but you will also have hands-on experience with experts in the field to give you the skills you need to begin providing lymphedema treatment.
As with any type of professional training, there are several prerequisites for the complete lymphedema certification. This is only open to current, licensed medical professionals including OT, PT and MTs with at least 500 hours or training or national certification.
When completing the full certification through a top school offering lymphedema education, students will cover a wide range of relevant topics and course objectives. These will include the basics of the lymph system, Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), as well as measuring techniques, specialized lymphedema treatment, and how to work with patients for home care.
Finding a program that is comprehensive, well-recognized and that is highly supportive of students both in the program as well as once the program is completed is also a consideration.
There are some programs that now offer a hybrid approach to the classes. Within the full 135-hour course, up to 45 hours can be completed through home study online prior to the in-person course. This allows all students to have the basic background knowledge to be able to focus their in-person contact hours on the more advanced aspects of the training.
Going through the full lymphedema education with certification provides a more in-depth understanding of the condition, treatment options, patient care and in indications and contraindications to using specific treatment techniques.
In addition, with the certification, graduates will meet the requirements of LANA or the Lymphology Association of North America, and you will be able to sit for the exam for national certification. This opens up more professional opportunities while also distinguishing your services as a highly trained professional in the field of lymphedema therapy.
Certification also provides graduates of the programs with greater confidence in working with patients, many who will have concurrent medical conditions. By having this experience and knowledge, you will be more effective in developing treatment plans and providing services to all lymphedema patients.