6-step guide on selecting physical therapy continuing education courses for career development
Unfortunately, most health professionals put as much thought into their continuing education credits as they do flipping a coin. Here’s how the typical CEU scenario plays out: Joe, P.T. thinks about attending a weekend conference to obtain his CEU credits. Before he makes travel arrangements, he decides to search in Google for “physical therapy continuing education courses”. He clicks on the first result displayed, proceeds to the provider’s website, and then buys the first few courses listed on the web page with absolutely no research or thought put into his choices – just a quick click and go. While this method may satisfy Joe’s P.T. license renewal requirements, he has missed out on a great opportunity to further his career. This is a big mistake!
If you’re a physical therapist or other health professional, know that choosing the right CEU courses can make a substantial impact on your career development (that is, if you take advantage of the opportunity). If you have to get the CEU credits anyway, why not choose to get the most of out them? To help you sort through the process, we’ve created a simple step-by-step guide on how to choose the best continuing education courses.
1.) Determine your state’s CEU requirements. There’s no point in wasting your time or money on CEUs that you don’t need. First and foremost, find out how many credit hours are required to renew your license. Second, discover if there are any specific topics required (or not allowed) by your state for your licensure renewal. If so, be sure to select CEUs that cover these specific topic(s).
2.) Purchase CEUs that have been approved by the organization(s) required by your state. Here is a quick reference to help you:
3.) Talk with your employer about specific CEU requirements needed for your current job position as well as any CEUs that could improve your prospect of a future promotion. At the very least, you will impress your boss by taking the initiative to ask about opportunities for career advancement. You may discover that your employer provides continuing education opportunities for you, saving you both time and money.
Learn More → Continuing Education for Healthcare Teams
4.) Select continuing education courses that are applicable to your practice area. For example: If you work with geriatric clients, find geriatric-specific CE courses, not pediatric CE courses. If you work in sports therapy, find a course on injury prevention or another sports-related topic rather than taking a course on cardiovascular or pulmonary rehabilitation.
5.) Select CEUs that help you grow in your weakest areas of practice. Perhaps you feel you need a refresher course on aquatic therapy? Or, maybe you need to review a specific type of massage technique such as tapotement? Or, you might want to discover the latest standards for biofeedback. If you feel you need additional training in one particular practice area, take advantage of your CEU opportunities to improve these therapy skills.
6.) Find a CEU course that will save you time and money; choose an online or home continuing education course so you don’t have to travel to attend a conference or class.
Learn More → Find an Online Continuing Education Course
Remember, it is okay to take your time while searching for the best continuing education course. After all, smart shopping and doing a little extra work now can ensure you achieve your future career goals.
Originally published in 2014.