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Tuscarawas News Detail

Registered Sanitarian Exam Study Course Available

Posted Feb. 1, 2013

Finishing touches are being placed on a new, fully online preparation course for those desiring to take the Ohio State Board of Sanitarian Registration exam. 

Development of the course was led by Charles “Chuck” Hart, MA ’80, Ph.D., associate professor, Environmental Health.  He recently was appointed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich to the State Board of Sanitarian Registration.  “It’s a very difficult board exam, and continuing education will make it easier to pass the first time,” explains Hart.  “Some in environmental health have a science background, but they lack the specific environmental health knowledge that our continuing education course addresses,” he says.  “In addition, some are working in a particular branch of the field, such as food inspection, but need to learn about sewage, waste and hazardous materials for the exam.” 

The course has three parts.  The first is an introduction to environmental health and safety, with taped lectures and videos, modeled after the college’s entry-level course in environmental health science.  Part two of the prep course is a compilation of learning resources, including lists of books, videos by topic, regulatory agency information, dictionaries, calculators and web-based tools for additional study.  The third part of the course is a practice self-testing function, with a selection of quizzes by topic and with questions in the same proportion as the actual test. 

Last fall, the college invited three Ohio registered sanitarians working for community partners to pilot the course and provide feedback, including Patty McConnell, AA ’81, BS ’83, sanitarian II/emergency planning coordinator for Canton City Health Department; Kyle McLeod, sanitarian in the Food Protection Program, Division of Environmental Health, Columbus Public Health; and Sam Rubens, administrator, Akron Regional Air Quality Management District, Summit County Public Health.

“The course is a huge step,” says McConnell, who passed the registered sanitarian exam in 2012.  “There are not a lot of tools available for preparation.  I think it’s a great study guide – a compass, actually,” she adds.  Recent college graduate McLeod agrees that the course is very valuable and remarks on the ease of access.  “I wish I had the course when I was studying for my 2011 exam,” he observes.  Rubens took the test in 2012, as new job duties require him to supervise sanitarians.  “The field is so broad, which is what makes the test so difficult,” he explains.  “The course gives you an overview of what to expect and does a great job of capturing the essence of the test.  The resources in part two are a must, so you can investigate areas you don’t know as much about,” he says.

“Our community partners urged us to offer this course, because they would like their employees to pass the test as quickly as possible and reduce failure rates,” Hart says.  “Professionals working as sanitarians can have a hard time balancing their schedules to accommodate a face-to-face class,” he observes.  “This online continuing education course is cost-effective and can be completed at an individual pace.  You don’t have to be away from work or family, and there are no travel expenses,” he says.