Learning ends when school days are done, right? In some professions, the answer is yes. For many professions, including healthcare, learning continues well beyond a diploma.
Learning that occurs after an individual has fulfilled their degree requirements is generally known as continuing education. It’s required in healthcare, as well as in many other fields, including law, accounting, and education.
When a nurse, doctor, or other healthcare professional graduates from school and gets a job, that first job may be the beginning of a career that will span several decades. During that same time, medical science may make incredible advances. Continuing education helps healthcare professionals remain current on treatment methods and other important information.
In fact, in Continuing Education: A Bridge to Excellence in Critical Care Nursing, Janet Skees, DNP, RN, CNE, explains, “Some nurse educators argue that learning begins after students graduate from their basic nursing program.” Why is that? “Professional nurses can only imagine the status of healthcare if practice would continue for 30 or 40 years based only on the knowledge gained in undergraduate education programs.”
Some continuing education topics may be especially timely. Ebola is a perfect example. Most healthcare professionals in the United States had never dealt with the disease, so when cases were diagnosed, many providers sought additional information about it. Continuing education courses about the disease offered a way to gain additional knowledge immediately.
Continuing education classes are available on a wide variety of subjects. When a topic is timely, healthcare professionals may seek reliable knowledge about it in case it relates to a patient. In this vein, continuing education courses can be an excellent way to learn more about suicide prevention, domestic violence, bioterrorism, ethics, drug abuse and treatment, and so on.
Technology has come a long way in healthcare, just as it has in other fields. The International Nurses Association examined this issue in The Importance of Continuing Education. The organization termed continuing education a necessity because “the scenario in healthcare technology is changing constantly.”
Citing electronic medical records as an example, the article notes, “Nurses who have been in the field for [a] few years will have to take up training to use the digital records and new healthcare software.” Continuing education can provide that training and help healthcare professionals remain current with other technology, as well.
Many people aspire to be lifelong learners because acquiring new knowledge is a way to challenge the mind and keep it active and vibrant. People in healthcare professions may view continuing education as “careerlong learning.”
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we value your education: you worked hard for your degree, and you work hard to fulfill your continuing education requirements. If you’re a careerlong learner, we want to work with you, so give us a call today: 310-436-3650.