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10 Questions About: Medical Certifications

Posted by Meredith Kain on July 14, 2015

10 Questions About:

Getting the Proper Certifications for Medical Shoots with Valerie Nolan

One of the many industries Crews Control works with is the medical field. Medical video is an extremely valuable tool for research, training and information purposes. Filming video in a medical environment is unique in that extra precautions need to be taken for the safety of the patients involved that you don’t need in other industries. One of those safety precautions is obtaining the proper certifications and vaccines/medical tests required in the medical environment. To shed some light on the required medical certifications and vaccines/tests required for medical shoots, I sat down with Crews Control’s VP of Production Valerie Nolan:

Hey Val! Let’s talk medical certifications.

We should! It may seem like a mundane topic, but on average we book a medical or surgical shoot a week here at Crews Control. Certifications and vaccinations are very relevant and extremely important.

So, what types of certifications are required in order to do a medical shoot?

The two most common requests are for certification through Reptrax and Vendormate, both of which are on-line certification programs for healthcare vendors. They are most frequently used by large hospital systems to certify and track their vendors. Rarely will you run into a request to be certified if shooting in a smaller hospital or outpatient setting. The online certification process will require you to provide information about your past experience in medical shoots and upload your vaccinations. They may also require on-line training.

What vaccines are required for a crew to be booked for a medical shoot?

We get a wide range of requests, from TB testing to proof of a Hepatitis vaccine and even once for proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination. There is no one standard list of what is needed and each shoot will come with its own list of requirements. We keep a record of the most commonly requested vaccines and tests, and which crews have had them so we can quickly match the correct crew to the shoot requirements.

What steps does a crew need to take in order to obtain the proper medical certifications and vaccines?

If the crew is shooting surgeries frequently, it is best for them to keep all their vaccines and tests up to date and visit the doctor annually to have them renewed. The certifications through Vendormate and Reptrax only need to be done once and are rare enough that it’s probably best to wait until a client needs the certification. But once you have the certification, Crews Control keeps the record of it. Those records are the best resource we have when finding crews that are already properly vaccinated and certified for shoots.

Who determines what certifications, vaccines, or tests required?

The client will let their Crews Control Production Manager know about any specific certifications, vaccines, and tests required for the shoot. These requirements come directly from the hospital and will vary depending on that specific locations, needs and the type of surgery.

What are the most common vaccinations for our crews?

The most common request we get is for a TB test. This is not a vaccination, merely a once-a-year test to prove that the crew member does not have TB. After that the most common requests are MMR [measles, mumps, and rubella] and the current flu vaccine. Then varicella and dTap.

Do all crew members need to be certified as well as getting the vaccines and tests?

Any crew member participating in the shoot must meet the qualifications. There are times on last minute bookings where a client can allow an additional uncertified person to help with the set up, but that person then needs to leave the room while the surgery or procedure is performed.

Okay, so let’s pretend I’m a crew right now and I say: I had chicken pox as a kid, do I still need a varicella vaccine? Your answer would be…

For all of the vaccines or tests, you must have written proof from a medical professional. If you went to the doctor and can provide his written record of a visit for chicken pox that may work; however we cannot accept a note from your mother or a picture of you with pox marks. If you feel that you did have chicken pox or received the MMR vaccine as a child – but you don’t have written proof – then you can have a titer test done instead. The titer test is a simple blood draw to prove that you have the antibodies.

When it comes to certifications, if the crew does the online certification, does that mean they can go into any hospital which uses that certification system?

That’s a yes and no answer. The certification in general is good for all hospitals that use that particular system. However, each hospital may have its own requirements that may differ from the first hospital that you got certified for. The certification is a cumulative process so you won’t have to repeat the initial certification and they will keep a record of all documents that you have submitted. So if hospital A needs proof of MMR and TB and hospital B needs proof of MMR, TB, and flu then for hospital B you would only need to submit the proof of the flu shot.

And are there any educational courses associated with any of the certifications?

For both Reptrax and Vendormate, there is an educational on-line portion of the certification to make sure that the crew members are familiar with hospital procedures and protocols. It usually involves watching training videos and answering test questions. This process can take several hours, so it’s crucial that the crew sets aside some time to get it done before the shoot.

Last question! Does the crew or the client pay for the vaccines?

If vaccines, tests, or certifications are required for a shoot and the crew does not have them then the costs will be passed on to the client on the final invoice. The Minute Clinics and other walk-in services are usually the most cost effective place to get vaccines and tests done. The trip can usually be worked in around the crew’s other shoots. If a crew already has proof of the vaccine or test then there is no additional charge to the client. We keep track of all vaccines and tests that we are informed of and will try to book one of those crews first to ease the process and also because we know that they are tried and true surgical shooting professionals.

Well that was informative! Appreciate your time, Val.



Do you have any additional questions regarding vaccinations and certifications for medical shoots? If so, give us a call at 1-800-545-CREW. We have the best local crew in cities all over the world for your medical shoot. Click here for a free quote, and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

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