Posted: November 16, 2021
For over a decade, nurse researchers with UK College of Nursing’s BREATHE (Bridging Research Efforts and Advocacy Toward Healthy Environments) team have been changing the landscape for treating tobacco-dependent populations. This includes stepping up to create accredited training programs to teach providers how to effectively treat tobacco dependence.
BREATHE’s Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) certification program is the first and only accredited tobacco cessation training program developed for participants to complete 100 percent online from anywhere in the world, at their own pace. The program consists of 27 hours of content divided across three courses that will train providers on how to best help tobacco users quit.
“A majority of tobacco users want to quit,” says course director Audrey Darville, PhD, ARPN, NCTTP, FAANP. “But the reality is that more than 50 percent of people try without any help, and only five out of 100 succeed that way.”
Tobacco is an extremely addictive substance that can take time to quit rather than a single decision to go cold turkey, she adds. “People who try to quit abruptly often get extreme nicotine withdrawal and cravings, which commonly leads to relapse. Our program trains providers on the best evidence-based treatments to help tobacco users successfully quit.”
The course subjects are delivered in 30-minutes blocks that build on each other and are aimed at keeping participants engaged. “We’ve intentionally varied the program’s course content so that participants aren’t just sitting around watching video after video,” said Darville.
The TTS training also includes instruction on how providers can promote and sustain their own tobacco treatment programs, including how to optimize payments and reimbursements.
At the end of the training, Dr. Darville conducts an hour-long simulated patient-provider scenario, where participants get to practice their counseling skills and put everything together.
“The varied course structure, scholarship opportunities, access to instructors and learn-at-your-own pace nature makes our program standout amongst the rest,” says Darville. “And most importantly, once completed, providers are well-equipped to offer the tools necessary for tobacco users to successfully quit and live longer, healthier lives.”
Learn more about the program, education requirements & how to enroll: https://www.uky.edu/breathe/tobacco-treatment/tobacco-treatment-specialist-training