What is Continuing Education (CE)
When medical professionals graduate and enter their field, some may think that they are finished with their education. In fact, it is actually the beginning of the educational journey. Continuing education is vital for healthcare professionals with the constantly changing technologies in the medical field. Continuing education keeps staff up-to-date and improves patient care. A better educated medical professional provides better patient outcomes, fewer medical errors, and an overall, better patient experience.
A segment of continuing education involves professional development. Continuing professional development is education that is more streamlined to focus on clinical education and reinforce current medical knowledge. It encompasses a narrower scope than continuing education and promotes career growth and skill improvement.
The Options/Costs for Healthcare Professionals for Continuing Education
There is a school of thought that traditional, classroom learning is the only way to provide continuing education. Healthcare employers may be reluctant to lose productivity by sending employees away from work to a classroom. Traditional classroom education can also be expensive to fund. These aspects of traditional classroom training may create the perception that continuing education is costly and impractical. With technological advancements, continuing education has never been easier to access.
The internet and online education options have never been more cost effective and accessible to professional healthcare workers and employees. Online education is the most flexible option for learning. People can do lessons on their own time and re-watch them as many times as they need to understand the information. Online training is a win-win-win scenario. Online training reduces cost versus traditional classroom training, provides flexible educational content to healthcare workers, and allows employers to maintain operational and clinical productivity in their facilities. Online learning is a highly valuable alternative to traditional classroom training.
Why Continuing Educations is so Important
Due to the constantly changing medical environment and advancements in the medical field, continuing education is critically important. Medical providers require the most current information and technology to enable accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatments.
Continuing education is the best way for medical providers to keep up with the constantly evolving medical, clinical, and technical advancements in their respective fields. According to a study done by E. Balas, and S. Boren, it currently takes 14-17 years for new medical research to be understood and implemented in the medical industry. It is imperative that we close this gap, and the best and fastest way to do that is continuing education.
Healthcare workers are the bridge between scientific discovery and conversion of new research and ideas into medical knowledge and practices for patient care.
Continuing Education is beneficial to all aspects of the healthcare system. Hospitals and medical centers benefit by having more educated personnel who provide better clinical outcomes and patient care.
Higher quality care should translate into a stronger reputation in the community and business growth in competitive healthcare markets. Additionally, the personal benefits of CE for healthcare workers are significant. Workers stay current with the latest medical technology and practices. This knowledge enables healthcare workers to perform better and to grow professionally. Better performance will lead to career advancement.
The personal benefits from continued education are not limited to professional performance. Gaining more knowledge can help in every aspect of a person’s life to and help shape them into a better person. As Albert Einstein once said, “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
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