Can you believe it’s March already? Summer is officially over and the leaves will be turning before you know it. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to plan your CPE for 2014! Don’t fumble your way through another year of CPE…
Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is essential for all health professionals. In fact it’s difficult to find a profession that does not require some level of continuing professional development, and for good reason. For Remedial Massage, Myotherapy and Musculoskeletal Therapy practitioners there are strict guidelines on CPE requirements. These vary slightly from association to association but in general they are twenty hours of education every year.
- CPE is an opportunity to grow as a therapist and person.
- CPE provides an opportunity for a new perspective on your profession.
- Keeps you registered to work in the profession you love.
- Keeps you registered with health funds
One of the great things about the fields we work in is the amount of variety and flexibility available of treatment options. There are methods within the frameworks of Remedial Massage that allow everyone to work in a different way while still maintaining the common framework that is Remedial Therapy.
Discovering new means of assessment and treatment can renew your passion for your profession. We all know that passion is the building block for personal, professional and business growth.
However, one recurring complaint I hear from therapists is they feel like they’re doing the same thing over and over again. This is a recipe for boredom and and demotivation. CPE is an opportunity, and it’s a shame when I see therapists simply going through the motions. Perhaps putting some planning into your CPE for the year would yield better results, rather than simply coasting through it?
If there is a secret to success in our profession, it is the desire for new information and continual learning. Bring on CPE!
What are the options for CPE?
CPE takes many forms such as;
- Online webinars
- Reading peer-reviewed research
- Attending conferences and AGMs
- Upgrading your qualifications
- Each association differs slightly on what is eligible for CPE, but generally speaking you are encouraged to attend a variety of different forms of CPE to give you a broader knowledge base.
Each association has slightly different guidelines for CPE (and different titles for it as well), follow the links below for more information.
Some common areas of improvement for Remedial Massage Therapists and Myotherapists.
As a therapist and an educator I interact with plenty of therapists, and over time I have noticed trends in particular areas where practitioners (both new and experienced) often need more development.
Note taking and Record keeping
It is surprising how poorly many therapists keep records. Many therapists keep only brief hand written notes that are limited in their description of the treatment. Why not take the time to design and improve upon your record keeping document? This can be an excellent way to set out your assessment and treatment protocol.
Develop an integrated assessment approach
Many therapists have a haphazard approach to assessment, and more alarming, some Remedial Massage therapists do not even perform assessment. This is a key skill that defines the difference between a massage therapist and a remedial massage therapist. I believe it is essential to perform a thorough assessment with every treatment.
To assist with this, develop a framework for your assessment. Do you have assessments that you will perform with every client/patient or do you randomly select assessments depending on the presentation? Whatever method you prefer, consider creating a history form that will act as a reminder of your method of assessment.
The findings of your assessment need to integrated with your treatment, so it is worth considering your treatment options for each positive finding from a physical assessment. If you don’t have a structured approach, it’s possible you’re more at risk of missing the majority of your patient’s dysfunction.
Review the techniques you use with evidence
Take the time to do some research into the techniques that you use:
- What techniques have been shown to be effective for different conditions?
- Are there techniques or modalities that you don’t understand well that could really help your clients or patients?
- Use databases like PubMed and Google Scholar to research into treatment options for injuries that you see at your clinic.
This can be a great way to gain new approaches rather than relying the same old methods that you learnt at college.
Learn a new modality
Consider learning a new modality, one that wasn’t part of your initial training. New skills such as dry needling, exercise therapy or cupping may not have been something that you were initially taught in course. But these modalities are available to qualified therapists. Perhaps you learnt some muscle energy technique when you first trained? But have you learnt to integrate this with joint mobilisation?
Investigate, plan, learn…
There are many great CPE courses around the country, available both in person and online. Start researching new courses now and get your CPE wish list together for 2014. Put some thought into your CPE for 2014, I’m sure you’ll see improved outcomes.
How do you plan and budget for your CPE? If you’ve got any tips for your fellow therapists, please a comment. I’d love to know what you think.