Every state’s licensing board has different continuing education requirements for physical, occupational, and speech therapists. Some states require proof of this coursework to be submitted with the paperwork for renewing the therapist’s license. A great variety of companies supply these courses. When deciding which course to take, most therapists take into consideration the following factors:
1. Type of Specialized Knowledge Needed
2. Reputation of the Presenter
As an employer, you can help your employee meet this continuing education requirement by offering courses right on your campus. Sponsoring continuing education courses is a great benefit to your rehabilitation team, because it makes these courses convenient and cost effective.
There are several options for you to explore that will are reasonably priced, as well as convenient, and enable all your team members to participate. Here is a quick over view of your course options, the benefits of each type, and some places where you can find more information for further consideration.
- Onsite seminars. These are the type of classes that can range from honing skills to introducing new techniques. A class like this will sometimes last only a couple hours or it could be an all-day seminar. The benefit of these types of classes is that you can allow your teams to attend in shifts. Some can go to the morning class, and others later in the day. Instructors will generally come to your facility or the facility of your choice for their presentation. Many state associations, college therapy departments and specialized clinics, such as the WoMen’s Physical Therapy Institute, host a speaker’s bureau with a list of presenters and their available topics.
- Online classes. This is a smart option if you don’t have a meeting facility or team members who work in a central location. Online classes allow each person to take the course at their own pace and can even provide the opportunity for some to review the material several times before a certification or test. Your team learns at different speeds and it can be less intimidating to simply provide the course for them online and require they complete it by a certain time. Classes like this are usually bought by the employer and will vary in price, but the benefits will be long-term. The APTA Learning Center has a searchable database of online courses and offers significant discounts to members.
- Live Weekend Seminars. These classes are usually packed into the span of a weekend or a short-week in order to make the most of the time away. Although this option is the most expensive because of travel and lodging, it may also offer the most long-term benefit. It is helpful for your team to have the ultra-focus at a live seminar or conference and receive hands on guidance and feedback from others in their field. A weekend seminar serves a double purpose of giving your team a chance to socialize and bond with one another.
Therapists are looking for employers who will help them grow in their skills. When your team realizes you want them to be successful and will provide them with the necessary tools, they will appreciate your efforts. You will see a return on your investment in their attitude and work ethic.