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Six Tips to Make the Most of Self-Learning CE Activities

by Maggie McGlade Palmer, CMP on May 10, 2018

business_team_notation-FBWe’re pretty big on education here at Cassling.

Healthcare and imaging have undergone unprecedented change in recent years and, because this evolution shows no signs of slowing down, it’s critical that providers and healthcare workers of all kinds keep up with the latest advances. And the way to do that is through continuing education.

This year, we’re celebrating a decade of awarding CE credits through our popular Investing in You education series. As the event strategist at Cassling, I love getting to talk to customers about our program, and—more importantly—hear how imaging teams meet their continuing education requirements.

I’ve compiled their insight into six tips that will help you maximize your time and even enjoy the experience of attaining CE credits. And if you have tips and tricks of your own, feel free to add them to the comments section below; we’d love to hear from you!

  1. Pick the Right Environment for Viewing

This first one is key, and you really shouldn’t overlook it. Having a space where you can truly concentrate on the webinar at hand is essential for getting the most out of the experience.

We recommend not just assuming you’ll be able to pull up your laptop or phone to steal an hour away from work. If you’re in the healthcare field, you know how difficult this can be. You try to take an hour to work on things for your own personal growth and, five minutes in, people are knocking on your door and asking questions about patients.

Set aside a designated time and place where you can view webinars. Maybe it’s in your office with a sign on the door that says “Do Not Disturb.” Maybe it’s not even at the office! We know many people who wait until the kids have been put to bed and their day is winding down before they retreat to the couch with their laptop to watch the webinar at the end of their day.

That’s great! You need to do what works for you. Find your peaceful space at your perfect time.

On-Demand-Webinar-Library-CTA

  1. Second Screens Are Your Enemy

We’ve all done it. You’re supposed to be focused on a webinar, but that second screen or browser window, the one with patient charts, your work email/calendar or, let’s be real, Candy Crush, keeps pulling your attention away.

STOP IT! You know you’re going to look away, start reading something, and all of a sudden ten minutes have gone by and you have no clue what the webinar speaker just said. Keep focus by turning off the second screen, closing other browser windows and putting your mobile device away.

(This comes with the caveat that, should an emergency situation arise, you should obviously respond. But make sure that an emergency is an actual emergency and not, ‘My aunt posted another political meme and I must respond.’)

  1. Find Topics that Really Interest You

There’s A LOT of CE topics out there. So many that it can seem overwhelming to pick the ones you want to listen to.

The best advice we can give is to search out the things that interest you the most. Put an emphasis on subjects you can put into practice professionally, but don’t let that be your only guidance. Have you been through a dozen talks about CT usage in the last year and you’re looking for something new? Take a chance on a topic that’s completely different. It might spark your creativity and ignite interest in an aspect of your field you never would have imagined.

We also recommend a good balance between hard skills and soft skills. For every webinar about the latest X-ray, ultrasound or MRI technological breakthrough or clinical advances, sign up for an equal number of webinars that focus on things like teamwork and personal growth.

You need CE credits, sure, but just taking something because it checks off a box isn’t exactly satisfying. At Cassling, we work hard to diversify the content provided to healthcare organizations, with plenty of options available on the latest trends from the industry’s foremost thought leaders. That’s great news for you, because it means you can afford to pick and choose the subjects that interest you the most!consulting-hero-bg

  1. Don’t Wait Until Year’s End to Meet Your Annual CE Requirements

We get it; you’re busy with a billion other things and suddenly CE credits are at the bottom of your to-do list. But then it’s suddenly year’s end and you need 15 CE credits in the next month to meet your facility’s or license’s requirements.

Make a point to spread your CE credits throughout the year. The more you can prioritize this, the easier it will be to find topics you enjoy (see point 3 above) and the less stressed you’ll be overall.

  1. Choose a CE Partner…or a Whole Group!

Have you ever heard the advice about having a workout partner? When you have someone to exercise with, you and the other person can motivate each other to stick to the regimen, to meet and exceed goals, and to push one another during those times when the last thing you want to do is work out.

Continuing education works similarly. When there’s no one to hold you accountable to the webinars you signed up for or remind you that you’re required to reach so many credits per year, it’s easy to put things off or find something seemingly more important to do.

Find a colleague to become continuing education partners with. Or better yet, gather a whole group. The members of this small group, whether it be two people or ten, can post about the latest events taking place, provide encouragement and even watch the webinar together as a single unit.

Make a fun teambuilding exercise out of it! Enjoy lunch while watching the webinar, talk to one another about what was learned and spread the lessons to the rest of your facility. Just make sure during a group session that you’re still able to take notes and pay close attention to what’s happening on screen.

  1. Incorporate What You Learned into Your Routine…Quickly

The word “quickly” is key. Remember back when you were in school and you would study diligently for a test, memorizing key facts and information to get a good grade? What would typically happen after a couple weeks? It would fade into oblivion because, well, you no longer needed to remember the precise date Franz Ferdinand shot Abraham Lincoln.

The more quickly you can create actionable tactics based on the webinar, the better. Take stock of what you learned and figure out, hopefully with other members of your team, how to implement the best parts of the lesson into your current organization.

Whether it’s a change to your own personal work routine, a new way of looking at teamwork, a fresh approach to patient interactions or newfound consideration of technology you previously overlooked, you’ll find the information made available during CE webinars and seminars is at its most useful when implemented at once.

‘CE’ the Difference

These tips can make a world of difference for the way you experience continuing education. Put them into place and let us know how it goes, and be sure to post your own tips below!

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Meet the Author

With more than seven years of experience in the event management field, Maggie is the ideal person to lead Cassling's Investing In You Continuing Education series. She previously worked as the Corporate Event Director for the American Heart Association and as the Sales Manager for Omaha's CenturyLink Convention Center, official home to the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting. Maggie is active in the community, supports a variety of charities and is a member of multiple young professionals' groups. She was recently named by Connect Corporate as one of "40 under 40" young professionals from across the country who are making a mark on the corporate meetings industry.

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