The Importance of Continuing Education for health care workers

teacher and med students

Just because you have a job in health care doesn’t mean your education is complete. If we are to believe Socrates, our educations are merely the kindling of an eternal flame. So how do we keep the fire burning and what are the benefits of doing so? Let’s take a look at Continuing Education (CE) and continuing your education as two separate ideas as you pursue your journey in health care.

WHAT ARE CE CREDITS?

Designed to keep health care workers up-to-date on medical advances, continuing education (CE) credits are an educational requirement for professionals with health care careers. They fill the gap between current care and optimal care and are mandated by licensing boards, professional societies and certification boards for health care professionals.

CE has been highly effective at improving patient outcomes and saving lives. How? According to The Institute for Health Care Improvement, “CE is a vehicle for spreading best practices and how to improve patient outcomes.” In short, continuing education is a way to keep health care teams abreast of current research in the fields in which they practice.

For example, fatalities from coronary heart disease have been reduced by almost 40 percent since the year 2000. This improvement in patient outcome was due to new drugs, new technologies, new protocols and an emphasis on prevention, such as lower cholesterol levels. One of the ways these advances were communicated to health care professionals was through CE courses, including medical technologists and nurses.

CONTINUING YOUR EDUCATION

Set aside the fact that your employer or state licensing board may require that you pursue CE credits to remain employed or legally allowed to practice your craft.  The real benefit of continuing your education — aside from the usual rush of soaking up all there is to know in your field — is how you can advance your career organically by continuing to do something you love.

Perhaps you are currently working as a medical assistant at a busy medical practice.  You’ve seen the nursing staff in action — helped them out with increasing frequency — and know that you have the desire and temperament to serve your patients well. Why not continue your educational progress and work toward your degree as a registered nurse?

Or similarly, if you are already licensed as a dental assistant, you may have your sights set on becoming a dental hygienist and ultimately a dentist. Or if you haven’t started school yet, why not plan that career trajectory now?

The quality of patient care and general public health are enhanced by evidence-based medicine. CE ensures that the best evidence is known, understood and implemented by health care professionals. Your own participation in your health education benefits you professionally and the health care community you work in.

Health care professionals committed to lifelong learning can further their educational dreams at  schools like Concorde. Let one of our career counselors help get you started.

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Davina Thomas-Clark | Medical Assistant, Vocational Nurse graduate

“I have taken the MA program and the LVN program. Concorde is a wonderful school. There is a difference between passion and a paycheck, and most of my instructors had a passion for what they do. The program was challenging but well worth it. I love this college!”

Kontessa Brown | Dental Assisting Graduate

“I think it’s an amazing school. When I sat down for boards, I felt more than adequately prepared. If you put the work in, your success is almost guaranteed.”

Andrea Nolan | Dental Assistant graduate

“Knowing I could be working as a Dental Assistant in eight months was crazy to me! I loved going to class and would drive an hour there every day. I’m truly happy that I took the step to go to Concorde. It was the best thing I have done for my family.”

James Harkins | Nursing Graduate

“What I liked about Concorde was that there was nothing flashy. They were very up front, very simple, answered all my questions. They were more concerned with my education than tuition.”

Laura Nance | Surgical Technology graduate

“It was my best decision ever to go to Concorde. It was not an easy program, but very rewarding. I love my career as a Certified Surgical Technologist. I work in the most busy labor and delivery hospital around at Parkland Memorial in Dallas. Thank you, Concorde!”