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Instructions for Presenting the Advanced Abstracting Modules

The materials in this module are designed to provide a complete advanced abstracting training of approximately four hours in length. The module consists of Microsoft® PowerPoint presentations with scripts/speaker notes, case exercises, blank abstracting worksheets, and answer sheets with rationales. The information provided is intended to enhance each state's ability to provide for the needs of its data collectors.

The PowerPoint presentations contain abundant material, such as anatomy slides, incidence and mortality data, multiple primaries guidelines (as applicable), treatment, and staging. Some of the anatomy slides show images of cancers that some participants may find disturbing. You do not have to include everything in your presentation. It is most important that you customize your presentation for your audience, based on your assessment of the audience's training needs. For example, if your audience has already received training in multiple primaries, remove those slides from an advanced abstracting training session. If you only have an hour to focus on a specific issue, use only the slides pertinent to that issue. You know your audience best—use your judgment regarding what to include in the training. On the other hand, you may find it beneficial to start the presentation in familiar territory and then explore more advanced aspects of the cases.

The key to an advanced training is reinforcement of presented materials by application in practical exercises. This module includes numerous practice cases for a variety of sites—real cases that were selected because they were challenging. If information is missing or conflicting in the case, it was that way in the original case; nothing has been left out deliberately by the module developers to make it more difficult. Participants are to assume that the documentation in the practice cases is the entire medical record (all that is available in the facility) and abstract from what is documented. The practice cases are expected to raise a variety of questions and topics for discussion. For some fields, there may not be a perfect, final, definitive answer. The preferred answer may have to be decided by central registry staff in the area where the training is held.

We recommend that you select one case to work during the presentation as a group (an example case), and one or more cases for each participant to work individually at the end of the presentation. For example, at the end of the staging part of the presentation, refer to the example case and stage the case. At the end of the treatment part of the presentation, code the treatment on the example case. Then at the end of the presentation, have the participants put everything together to abstract and code the other practice cases.

If time is a limiting factor, the selected cases could be sent prior to the meeting for participants to review, so that more time can be spent in the session discussing the cases rather than reading and working them. Alternatively, if your workshop is to focus on a specific aspect of abstracting, you can extract the pertinent information from each practice case onto a single document and not deal with copying full cases. What you do with these materials is completely up to you and the education needs of your state.

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