In some social circles, shopping is considered a sport. In others, it’s merely an obligation or simply a pastime. But when it comes to shopping for continuing education units (CEUs), one point most social circles can agree on is that determining the right educational courses is far more important than say, the quest for the perfect pump. That’s because—in most states—earning the right CEUs is mandatory in order to maintain your license. And although it’s a serious endeavor, shopping for CEUs doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Research the Facts
Before making any CEU “impulse buys,” you’ll want to make sure you know your state’s practice act inside and out. Each state has its own requirements. For example, some states (like Arizona) require that therapists earn a certain number of credits specifically through accredited associations, coursework, programs, societies, or other post-graduate education. However, they also might allow therapists to earn the remaining credit hours through alternative and unapproved groups, videos, in-services, or other resources. With that being said, in all US states, the licensee is responsible for knowing—and abiding by—his or her state’s regulations.
Know Your Own Needs
Beyond knowing the CEU requirements contained in your state’s practice act, you’ll want to make sure you’ve nailed down your own educational—and professional—goals and needs before you choose your courses. Once you’ve found a program that piques your interest, carefully review the:
- defined course goals,
- target audience,
- instructional level,
- number of CEUs issued,
- faculty qualifications, and
- associated fees.
Also, don’t forget to ask your peers. If you find they’ve completed a course you’re interested in taking, you can get the inside scoop on how it stacks up to the description and details you’ve already reviewed.
Check with the Experts
If you’re a WebPT Member, you’re likely already familiar with the WebPT Marketplace. But did you know that in addition to buying all of your clinic supplies at a great price, you also can purchase CEU courses (both hands-on and online varieties) from top educators at a discounted rate? It’s true. And if you’re looking for additional online courses, we’ve also partnered with Medbridge to give our Members discounted access to an online library of video-based, accredited, and evidence-based CEU courses. Even more awesome: Medbridge offers 3D models and motion graphics in mobile-friendly formats. That way, you can take your education with you—literally.
In addition to the WebPT Marketplace, the APTA has a great course and conference finder. Using the association’s search tool, you can review all APTA offerings, and then narrow your results by topic. An added bonus? The APTA is an authorized International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) provider. This accreditation shows they met the IACET’s standards for providing high-quality continuing education. In addition to searching for courses on the APTA’s website, you also can check with your local chapter for courses available in your area and review the APTA-approved PT in Motion courses.
Keep these tips in mind as you search for CEUs. With some research and planning, you’ll avoid the whole “shop until you drop” experience. That is, unless you’re into that sort of thing. Because honestly, who can pass up a good sale? Amirite?