Medicines, treatments, and medical care have always evolved as new discoveries are made. The problem is that doctors and professionals sometimes don’t keep up with these changes.
Which surgeon would you trust – a surgeon who just graduated from college with the latest training and experience, or a surgeon who learned their practices in college before computers were around? Sure, experience matters, but between the two, the one with the latest training trumps anything else.
The good news is that Certified Educational Units (CEU) training exists, helping to keep doctors and other professionals up to date.
The process of getting the required CEU credits is not always easy. It can be time-consuming and expensive. Luckily, there are many ways to do it without visiting traditional classrooms.
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The most obvious way to get CEU certification is on a college campus. Most colleges offer courses that you can take without needing to be accepted formally into the school, and these courses can be used toward CEUs. The benefit of taking classes on campus is that you are around other students who are studying the same material, which helps you stay motivated and focused on your studies.
Another benefit is that in terms of learning, this style will likely produce the best results. With quizzes, tests, and study requirements, students are almost forced to learn the material.
The downside to taking a course on campus is that it costs the most and it takes a very long time to complete, sometimes up to 15 weeks. This style is recommended highly for CEUs that are highly related to your job, such as taking a heart surgery CEU as a heart surgeon.
Independent Study Program
A self-directed independent study program is a perfect way to get CEU credits. You can learn at your own pace, set up a flexible schedule, and take the course from home. You may also find that you like being able to learn on your own terms, as opposed to having someone else teach you what they think is important about a subject.
This is a great option if you have other obligations or are just looking for something that fits into your schedule. You may also find that being able to learn at your own pace helps to keep you engaged in the material.
Independent study programs are often offered through a university and may require attendance a few times depending on the class and requirements. This style is highly recommended for people who may be up to date with current practices or if the CEU is related, but not necessarily a huge part of a job.
Online classes are available at some colleges, but you can also take courses from companies that are certified, like Last Minute CEUs.
A CEU course can be completed in just a few days with these companies, and they cost a fraction of what a college would charge. For example, 15 credits at a university may end up costing more than $3000. For the same certification, an online CEU course might cost less than $100.
College courses can last up to a semester (credit hours), but online courses can be completed at your own pace. Feel free to complete the course in a few days if that works for you!
Yes, this sounds too good to be true, and some CEU programs might be. Some aren’t certified and others are scams. You want to make sure they are accredited by a national board such as the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC) or the American Association of Law Schools (AALS). Ask your supervisor if you are unsure if the program qualifies.
This path can have a downside in that employers can reject it if they don’t think it is thorough enough. Due to the fact that it requires less time and money than other options, it can also be easy to take it for granted (since it requires less investment), but that doesn’t mean you won’t be held accountable for what it covers.
Taking this type of CEU is great if you have great work ethic or if the CEU is required, but not related to your job, such as taking a human trafficking course if you are working in a retirement home.
One of the most popular ways to get Certified Educational Unit (CEU) credits is by attending a seminar. These seminars are held on-site at different locations across the country and feature guest speakers who share their expertise in certain areas.
A CEU seminar is usually organized by an external organization that has been certified by its state or national association. To find out which seminar providers your professional association recommends, visit their website or call them directly.
A CEU seminar is a great way to get up-to-date on the latest information in your field and make new contacts with colleagues. If you are planning to attend a seminar, here are some tips for getting the most out of it:
- Learn how to choose an accredited provider.
- Make sure that any CEU credits you earn can be applied toward your professional license.
- Make sure that the seminar is relevant to your field and meets your needs.
- Attend a live event in person if possible so there can be more participation.
This style of CEU is great for anyone who desires a class similar to a college campus but either doesn’t have the time or money to do so.
Some people prefer the traditional classroom and others like independent study. Others may value saving a bit of money and time, especially if it is a topic that may not pertain to them or be extremely relevant.
However, one important thing to consider is the risk factor. Campus classes and seminars offer the most thorough and in-depth instruction. It may be worth considering the extra costs and time commitment if the subject matter could easily lead to malpractice lawsuits. If you get sued for malpractice, all the time and money saved for not taking an extensive course will go away.
However, if it is a subject that is required, but not really relevant to your exact job description, one of the other options may be perfectly acceptable.