General Article

SELF-IMPROVEMENT – Things That Stop You From Returning to School

SELF-IMPROVEMENT – Things That Stop You From Returning to School

It’s time to get the children ready to start school again. Preparing their clothing, supplies and little minds can be a demanding task! There might be some hesitation or reluctance from them about leaving the fun days of summer behind and getting back into a routine.

‘Perhaps it is also time to consider how you, as an adult, might return to school. Everyone knows that both your knowledge base and your income can greatly increase when you earn a diploma or degree, but not everyone thinks that they will be able to set or reach academic goals. They focus on all the reasons why they can’t begin instead of just beginning.

1. I’m too old – Age is a state of mind and it is true that you are “only as old as you feel”. People live longer and because of this, their years in the workplace have increased. Many do not retire as young as they might have in the past. Even if you only have a few years until retirement, you can easily recoup your financial investment. You will also feel more confident with the skills you have learned. It is common for seniors to take university classes. In fact, most academic institutions actually do not charge registration fees for anyone over the age of 65 years. You are never too old to set and reach for new goals.

2. I’m too poor – How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! You don’t have to study full-time. Take baby steps. Begin with one night or distance education course. It took me thirteen years to complete my first degree because I had to work and could only study at night and on weekends. Research how you can apply for a student loan. Perhaps you will qualify for scholarships or grants. Change your perspective by thinking about the costs as an investment that will pay back in dividends rather than as an expense. Put things in perspective. Setting up an RRSP that is tied to the stock market is a bigger risk than investing in your own education.

3. I’m not smart enough – If you can read, you can learn almost anything! Courses are designed to take a person from a state of ignorance about the subject to a state of mastery. You don’t have to earn perfect scores – you just need to get a passing grade. If you are willing to put some focussed effort into your studies, you will succeed. And if you are “stuck”, don’t worry. There is always a teacher, friend or peer who is willing to help you.

4. I’m too busy – If you were told that you had just won a trip to Hawaii but had to take it before the end of the month would you find the time? Probably. You see, we tend to do things we really want to do and otherwise claim that we are “too busy”. Don’t worry about abandoning your family. They are likely more capable than you know and maybe you are just kidding yourself about how much they “need” you. Even young children can help with laundry and lunches (they know how to run iPhones which are much more complicated than a washing machine or microwave). Keep track of the time that you are watching television or talking to Facebook friends for the next couple of weeks. You could probably find an hour or so each day to do assignments or study instead if you look carefully at the activities that are stealing your time.

5. I’m too afraid – Most people are afraid of the unknown and of failure. Think of how your child was on their first day of kindergarten. You used your best skills to bring calm and confidence into the situation. Tell yourself the same convincing messages. You will soon find that what was a very scary idea can turn into a positive and rewarding experience.

6. I’m too lazy – I don’t believe that people are lazy – they are usually just unmotivated. When individuals refuse to do something it is usually because they don’t see the benefits or rewards they will receive. Sometimes they feel that if they ignore doing things, someone else will do them on their behalf. Well, education is one of the few things in life that no one can do for you. You have to do it for yourself. Figure out what it is that you want and let that idea motivate you. Do you want a new challenge, a different career, a better income, more confidence, specific skills or to be a role-model for others?

We live in a wonderful world where education is available and offered in many different formats. You are exactly the right age and have the necessary ability, intelligence, time and confidence to do well if you choose to do so. You just need to figure out a good reason to begin and then focus on that rather than on all the reasons why you can’t do it.

If you need help to make a plan and overcome the things that stop you or hold you back, set up an appointment with a psychologist today. You’ll be glad you did!

General Article

Continuing Education for Radiology Technicians

Continuing Education for Radiology Technicians

It’s important to understand continuing education for radiology technicians if you’re planning on going into this field. Fifteen years ago a new requirement was put into place by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, requiring that any ARRT registered rad tech complete 24 hours of continuing education credits in order to keep their professional status. At least half (or all) of these credits must be Category A, which means the activities are approved by a Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism.

You may think continuing courses are just a waste of time, but it is important for radiologic technicians to have this kind of training throughout their careers to stay informed and on top of their game. With all the constant advances in modern medical technology and shifts in healthcare protocol, it should be easy to see why anyone working in this field would need to brush up on their skills and knowledge every couple of years or so. This continuing education requirement is one way of making sure that happens.

If you are registered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists you must comply with the continuing program requirements to renew your registration. The ARRT has been performing random registration renewal checks since 1997, and if you can’t prove that you’ve earned 24 continuing education credits in the last two years you’ll have to complete them ASAP. Otherwise, you will lose this important professional designation.

Earning Category A activity credits isn’t difficult, though, so if you’re worried about fulfilling your first required continuing education for radiology technicians you can rest easy. These are simply activities that have been approved and evaluated by a Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism. It shouldn’t be any more difficult than the courses you took to get your degree and become a certified radiologic technician in the first place, and if you’ve been working in the field none of the coursework should be so unfamiliar that you can’t grasp it.

Continuing program requirements ensure that radiology technicians are prepared to continue working in this field and can handle the technologies of the moment. It’s a good thing.

General Article

What Continuing Education Do Medical Transcriptionists Need?

What Continuing Education Do Medical Transcriptionists Need?

Keeping up with the industry is one of the challenges medical transcriptionists face. New drugs are always coming onto the market, and doctors perform new procedures. Electronic medical records and voice recognition software are also in the process of changing how the work of a medical transcriptionist is done. If you don’t keep up, your career may be in trouble.

While most medical transcription jobs don’t formally require you to take any sort of continuing education classes, it’s a good idea if you do, especially if you’re concerned about losing your work due to electronic medical records and voice recognition. These are having a real impact on the industry, along with the kinds of changes transcriptionists have had to deal with since the early days of the industry.

If you’ve taken the test through AHDI for your CMT, you’re required to get 30 credits of continuing education over 3 years in order to maintain your certification.

Read Medical Transcription Forums

A good medical transcription forum can help you keep up on the kinds of changes you should be aware of in the industry. Other transcriptionists share what’s happening in their area, which can alert you to things you should be aware of. You can also get tips on forums for how to improve your productivity, a vital skill for any transcriptionist paid on production.

This is not, repeat, not, formal continuing education. This is just how you keep up with some of the basic changes and become aware of issues in the industry. It’s important in its own way.

Take an Approved Continuing Education Course

If you want to show your employer that you’re continuing to improve your skills or you need to take some courses to keep up your CMT, you need to sign up for a formal course. AHDI is a great resource for finding appropriate courses.

For general continuing education, the AHDI offers a variety of courses that will help you improve your skills. You can find courses that will help you improve your weak points and that will help you keep your career moving.

Taking a course that will help you to make the transition from transcriptionist to medical transcription editor could be a good move for your career as well. It’s a way to take advantage of the changes that are happening, rather than sitting still and letting them run over you. It’s better to take some extra training for one of the paths your career could take than it is to rely on changes coming slowly.

A medical transcription editor takes the skills of a medical transcriptionist and applies them to editing documents produced through voice recognition software. This is one of the big areas of change in the industry, but as it’s fairly new not all transcriptionists are ready for it.

Whether you need the formal training of a course or just the informal information you can gain by reading professional forums, make sure you keep up on the things you need to know in this career. It’s all too easy to fall behind in this fast paced career.

General Article

Group Work Promotes Collaboration and Collaborative Learning

Group Work Promotes Collaboration and Collaborative Learning

As you consider methods of enhancing the process of learning and look for instructional strategies that can engage your students further in the class, one method that may assist you is the inclusion of group work. You are likely to find that this is an especially helpful technique when you have a class consisting of inexperienced students or students that are lacking prior academic and/or career related experience, which often translates into minimal classroom participation during discussions and lectures. The use of group work not only breaks up an extended lecture it creates an interactive element to the class. Instead of hearing about the course topics, which is the basis of a class lecture, students are provided with an opportunity to directly interact with those topics in a meaningful way.

When you assign students to work together you will find that they begin talking to each other, working with each other, and developing a sense of collaboration and community. There is a concern that some students may not be willing to participate in a group activity. This can be addressed by assigning small group sizes so that students cannot easily hide or not participate. What you are likely to find is that students are often more willing to talk in small groups than they are in front of a larger class size. A small group size may provide the level of comfort and safety necessary for students to share their thoughts and ideas.

If you ask groups of students to work on a project, either during the class session or on their own time, it is may also enhance the process of collaborative learning. Instructors often find that collaborative learning occurs when students are actively participating in class discussions and sharing their experiences and background. Group interactions help students increase their confidence about talking in front of others because they begin to develop a perceived sense of connection with other students. During class discussions students will begin to talk more because they are not talking to a group of strangers, they are communicating with others who have similar academic interests and goals.

Group projects can be implemented as a learning tool and also as a means of bringing the course concepts to life. During a class lecture you can explain the basics of a particular theory or course topic, add videos or other supplemental resources to enhance your lecture, and then add your own expertise, background, knowledge, and experience. After you have taken time to present and explain these topics you can then include group work as a learning activity to further support their comprehension, especially if class discussions do not yield responses that demonstrate more than a cursory understanding. By working as a group students have an opportunity to further interact with the information provided.

The most effective means of establishing group work is to assign students based upon their performance observed in the classroom. For example, you can create a mix of groups that include highly interactive students with students who participate less frequently. When students enter the class they typically sit in the same spot each week and interact with the same students. For most class sessions this can be beneficial; however, you can draw students out of their comfort zone, interrupt potentially disruptive situations, and encourage greater interactions by moving students around when you establish their groups. Once groups are in place you can assign each one a particular question to answer, a case to review, or a real world scenario that requires application of the course topics. Finally, allocate a specific amount of time for the groups to work, monitor their interactions, and then ask groups to present their findings as a means of completing the cycle of collaborative learning.

Group work is an interactive means of learning that brings students together in a manner that promotes their teambuilding skills. Instead of having a class full of individual students you now have students that are united with a common sense of purpose. The most important element of implementing group work is to make certain that it is meaningful and not just busy work. This presents a unique opportunity to translate theory into reality, even if it is a hypothetical reality that students are considering. Group work encourages students to work together and this is likely to translate into other aspects of the class, including participation during discussions. Students are likely to become engaged in the class and willing to interact with others, which can result in increased satisfaction with the class and consistent attendance.

General Article

Insurance and Public Adjuster Continuing Education

Insurance and Public Adjuster Continuing Education

There are two types of adjusters; insurance adjusters and public adjusters. Insurance adjusters typically work for a specific insurance company while public adjusters are usually self-employed. No matter what time of adjuster you are, one must complete a certain amount of insurance adjuster continuing education every 1-2 years depending on your state requirements.

Insurance adjusters are responsible for assessing damage when an insurance claim is filed. They are responsible for millions of dollars in claims each year. Among other things, continuing education will ensure they are up to speed on current laws and state regulations. An ethics course is typically required every compliance period as well. Ethics in this profession is very important. An agent needs to act ethically to themselves, their clients, and the company they work for.

A public adjuster has many of the same responsibilities, only they do not work for a specific insurance company. They are considered freelance professionals. Some of their responsibilities include: research, evaluating business loses, determining values for covered damages and negotiating settlements. They too require specific continuing education courses depending on their state’s laws.

Continuing education is required in many industries these days. Whether its sales training, mandatory continuing education credits or formal college courses. Companies need their employees to be life long learners and continue to master new skills. Many companies will actually pay for their employees to go back to school or complete their required continuing education courses. If you are an insurance professional or a public adjuster make sure to contact an approved school to see what courses you need to take and when your continuing education is due. Many states require all of your continuing education to be completed by your birthday every two years. But, others require less hours every calendar year. Make sure to complete your courses by your compliance period to avoid any state fines. States can fine an agent, suspend a license, or even revoke your license for failing to complete your educational requirements.

Insurance adjuster education can be done online in most states. This benefits the adjuster because the courses can be done anywhere with internet access at anytime during the day. Online courses are typically more convenient and less expensive than sitting in a classroom. But, if your state requires classroom training you will need to find a local lecture you can attend. It will take longer to complete, but there is no final exam at the end. Most online courses require an online examination after you read the textbook.

General Article

Continuing Education and MOC for Psychiatry

Continuing Education and MOC for Psychiatry

We, medical professionals, live in a world where change is the only constant thing. One day a certain disease is still a threat to human existence and on the next; it is just as fatal as a common cold. As doctors, it is our responsibility to make sure we stay in touch with the latest updates as that is the only way we can give our patients the best possible care. The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, along with the American Board of Medical Specialties felt that need for constant learning and continuing education; thus, they created the Maintenance of Certification Program.

The MOC program is designed based on evidence-based learning and it ensures that excellence in all aspects of patient care is maintained. The program is geared towards continuing education and for all their certified diplomates to reflect on their current knowledge and skills. The diplomates are expected to identify weak areas and strive to improve on them. Starting 1994, all professionals certified by the ABPN are given a time-limited certificate valid for 10 years. The MOC program will allow them to apply for re-certification.

Based on a mandate set by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the ABPN developed a 10-year MOC program and it has a total of four components: professional standing, self-assessment and CME, cognitive expertise, and performance in practice. Each component has several requirements a diplomate must complete before they become eligible for re-certification. It is, therefore, each diplomate’s responsibility to keep a record of all his or her continuing medical education (CME) units, self-assessment activities, and performance in practice units. They also have the freedom to choose their own self-assessment as well as CME activities.

Each MOC program participant is required to take around 30 Category 1 CME units for their specialty or subspecialty. If, however, the activity was hosted or offered by a third-party institution, it is your responsibility to make sure that they are accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada or ACCME. Also, the CME activities you attended must be relevant to or in line with your specialty and subspecialty.

Participating in MOC and continuing education programs is not only good for the sake of re-certification; in fact, it offers you with the confidence you need in dealing with your patients and their families. As they always say – knowledge is power. Therefore, continuing education gives you the power to change lives and make a difference as a professional in an ever-changing world of medicine.