As a respiratory therapist, you most likely need to acquire continuing education credits to maintain your license to practice. But there are many more great reasons to take part in continuing education than just that. Here are six you should consider –
- Developing new professional interests: Taking a course in a subject that you’d like to become more proficient in – let’s say asthma education or respiratory diagnostics – can go a long way towards helping you find your next professional passion.
- Climbing the career ladder: In many hospitals today, clinicians like respiratory therapists can move up the career ladder by participating in courses, especially those involving multiple modules. For example, completing the Pulmonary Disease Educator Course from the AARC or one or more of the tracks in the Leadership Institute might raise your position on the ladder at your facility.
- Becoming the go-to person in your department: The more continuing education you achieve, the greater the knowledge you will have. Because of this increased respiratory care education, more people in your department – and the physicians and nurses you work with – will turn to you when they have questions.
- Greater job opportunities: Taking part in courses to expand your professional horizons can lead to new job opportunities, too, inside or outside of your current organization. That job in pulmonary rehabilitation or the NICU you’ve had your eye on but didn’t think you’d get because you’ve mainly been an adult therapist on the floors all these years will suddenly look more in reach.
- Personal health and wellbeing: Many studies have associated lifelong learning with better physical and mental health. Your memory will improve, and you’ll feel better knowing you’ve done something good for your career.
- Better patient care: And last, but certainly not least, every time you learn something new, you increase the chances that your patients will receive not just competent care but care informed by the latest knowledge available in the field.
Where can you go to find the continuing education courses that best meet your needs? The AARC University has hundreds of courses to choose from. Courses range from multi-module ones that prepare you to sit for the exams that lead to credentials like the NPS and ACCS to shorter programs on topics as vast and varied patient safety and respiratory ethics.
So if you feel stuck in your current position, ready to break out and do something new or move up to a position with more responsibility, consider how you can put the AARC University to work, helping you achieve your goals.