For respiratory therapists, keeping up with Continuing Education Units (CEUs) is essential but often stressful. Between busy schedules and ever-changing requirements, finding the right path for professional development can be a daunting task.
Thankfully, you have plenty of options – more than anyone before you has ever had available at their disposal.
All you need is a plan.
Embracing the ‘Why’ of Continuing Education
In order to make CEUs part of the normal rhythm and order of your career, it’s important to understand the “why” behind them. This might seem like a big-picture idea that’s irrelevant to you as an individual, but it’s really the foundation for everything you’re doing.
Continuing education exists to help RTs like yourself improve and grow. Can you imagine a world where you never took any meaningful steps forward? Where you never developed or honed specific skills? Where you never made any progress in three, five, or 10 years in the industry? That would be a dangerous world for patients and healthcare providers to live in. CEUs aim to neutralize this risk by offering on-ramps for growth and development outside of clinical settings.
Yes, the bulk of your experience and development will come by interacting with patients and practicing your skills. However, it’s not always safe or timely to learn on the job. Continuing education gives you a platform for arming yourself with information and insights ahead of time.
When combined with a proper work environment and superiors who train you well, this is the third leg to the stool of growth and development as an RT.
3 Tips for Making CEUs a Breeze
CEUs don’t have to be a pain in the rear. Here are several tips to make it easier, less stressful, and more convenient:
- Take Live Online Courses
One of the main reasons why people dislike continuing education is that they have to go sit in a classroom with a bunch of strangers for several hours. In other words, they see it as disruptive to their schedule. But let’s be honest, sometimes there’s an advantage to having a live teacher (as opposed to a recorded training). There’s something about it that makes it more engaging. Enter live online courses.
Live online courses offer the best of both worlds. They give you the benefit of a live instructor with the convenience of being able to take the course from your laptop wherever you are. That means you can take the class at home on your sofa or in the office.
Last Minute CEUs is one of the best when it comes to live online CEUs for respiratory therapy. They offer a wealth of different topics and options.
- Plan Way Ahead
Proactive planning can be the difference between a smooth, stress-free CEU acquisition and a frenzied, last-minute scramble. For respiratory therapists, a systematic approach to continuing education not only ensures timely completion but also enhances the overall learning experience.
Everyone has their own preferred method of planning, but it’s a good idea to set a yearly CEU calendar in advance. (You may also want to set a budget – tips here) Just like you’d mark down important holidays, birthdays, or vacations, you should set CEU training days in advance. Not only does this give you a plan, but it also reduces stress. You never have to worry about whether or not you’ll get everything done. You just follow the plan and it all works out.
- Select the Right Courses
With so many different courses, choosing the right one can be a struggle. But the best advice is to choose the ones that are (a) most interesting to you, and/or (b) address areas where you need to be developed.
Begin with a self-assessment. Recognize areas in which you might need additional training or updated knowledge. Maybe there’s a new piece of equipment you’re unfamiliar with or a recent advancement in respiratory therapy you’re yet to grasp fully. Tailor your course choices to fill these gaps.
It’s also helpful to talk to those around you. Reach out to colleagues, mentors, or senior respiratory therapists to ask about courses they found beneficial. They might introduce you to exceptional programs you hadn’t previously considered.
Put Yourself on the Right Trajectory
CEUs don’t have to be something that makes you procrastinate. You shouldn’t feel a dull sense of dread thinking about all of the credits you have to finish by a particular date. Instead, understand the “why,” come up with a plan, and proactively tackle them using convenient methods like live online classes. You’ll go from dreading continuing education to maximizing the full benefits and enhancing your career potential.