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Allied News December 11, 2018

By Erin Wallace

Are Your Clinical Skills Up-to-Date in 2019?

Physical therapists and other medical professional owe it to themselves and their patients to continually work to improve their skills and knowledge about patient care.

It's one of the many professions that's always changing: medical technology continues to evolve, and in many states, continuing education in healthcare is a requirement for maintaining your professional license.

Put any continuing education hours you've recently completed to good use and apply for your next rewarding therapy job at Club Staffing.

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Continuing education in healthcare is relevant for therapists and patients
Continuing education (CE) credits keep therapists and other medical professionals up-to-date on medical advancements. They help bridge the gap between current care and optimal care and are mandated by licensing boards, professional societies and certification boards for healthcare professionals.

For example, SLPs with ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) Certification have to accumulate 30 Certification Maintenance Hours of professional development during each 3-year certification interval. These hours help inform their practice and let them serve their patients more skillfully.

Keeping clinical skills up-to-date
Whether you're a PT, OT, SLP, or other healthcare provider staying up to date with continuing education hours and professional development prepares you to take on jobs with new or more advanced responsibilities.

Participating in these sessions also helps reignite your interest in your field and lets you take valuable knowledge with you back to the workplace where it can positively impact patients and other providers.

Different options for continuing education
Depending on your area of practice, your state mandates how many hours of continuing education you need to complete each year to maintain your license. Your specialty also dictates where you can turn to find options for fulfilling those requirements.

Occupational therapists, for example, can search for available continuing education courses through the AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association), which are recognized by state licensing boards, employers and specialty certification providers.

Physical therapists can consult the resources offered by the American Physical Therapy Association for continuing education.

Another option, regardless of your area of expertise, is to search opportunities at your local community colleges. Your workplace may also offer valuable continuing education opportunities in healthcare.

What continuing education courses should I consider?
Robert Hess Jr., RN, PhD, FAAN, who is the Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Executive at Healthcare OnCourse Learning, reminds medical professionals to keep their practice in mind when searching for available continuing education courses.

“Remember that your practice is a business. It is important to look at the social and technological trends that the industry is growing in when considering your CEU courses," says Hess.

This is especially true for individuals who are operating their own private practice. “While a course may look interesting and helpful to the clinical practice,” Hess says, “it is important to also consider when and how you will use the lessons in not only your practice, but also your business.”

While considering which courses to take, Hess advises medical professionals and therapists to “take a look at current events, issues and trends that are catching on in your field.”

When therapists and other professionals make use of continuing education in healthcare, they can help ensure they're providing the best possible care and therapy to their patients.

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