Physical therapy is a job that demands a lot of a therapist's knowledge and skills. Because of that, it comes as no surprise that employers and patients alike want to see physical therapists take a step further in to making sure that they stay abreast with the latest discoveries and innovations in their field of work; this is where continuing education comes in. Continuing education courses are short courses designed to provide professionals with broad as well as specific knowledge of some of the newer key concepts that will improve our overall patient care. Continuing education also covers re-learning of the very important things that were taught years ago but still remain to be factual and helpful today.
Almost all physical therapy governing bodies provide continuing education courses for their professionals. For example, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) offer classes, seminars, workshops, and a lot of other activities geared towards broadening your horizon in terms of knowledge and skills within your profession. You must also know that as of the moment, there are at least 33 states that require all physical therapists to gather a certain number of continuing education credits in order to apply for re-certification. Therefore, it is safe to say that you do not only ensure high quality patient care with CME, you are also complying with state requirements for re-certification.
If, however, you do not find CME courses offered by physical therapy associations you are interested with, you can try third-party CME providers. They offer a variety of activities – from conferences while on cruise to online continuing education courses. Just make sure that these third-party CME providers are certified to offer CME activities. Otherwise, although you may have learned a lot from them, you can not use those activities to gain CME credits.
One other thing you need to look out for in continuing continuing education activities is the course description. The main purpose in engaging in activities like these is to learn new things and re-learn topics and subjects we may have forgotten over the years. Therefore, course descriptions are very important as they give us a general idea of what we should expect we will learn at the end of the activity.
Continuing education in physical therapy, as in any other profession, is an essential way to keep up with our ever-changing world. There are a lot of technologies, facilities, and knowledge that are discovered every day. It is one of our responsibilities as medical professionals to make sure that we know of these new discoveries and use them for the good of our patients.