Physical therapists have numerous responsibilities to their patients, their practice, and the profession that help ensure they are consistently delivering the highest quality of care possible. One of the biggest responsibilities that nearly all physical therapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs) must fulfill is taking continuing medical education (CME) courses to update their knowledge and skills and stay up to date on the latest developments in the field.
Physical therapy continuing education units (CEUs) are regulated by the state licensing boards of physical therapy, each of which has its own policies and procedures. These requirements vary from state to state in the number of hours and the frequency at which these marks must be met—click here for more details—and it’s up to PTs and OTs to follow the appropriate rules and regulations to maintain their license in each state.
Regardless of the specific requirements, many PTs and OTs feel that it can be difficult to find the time in their busy schedules to fulfill this important responsibility.
Online CME can save professionals time and money
With the goal of simplifying the process for these physical rehabilitation professionals, online continuing medical education (AKA CME) has been emerging as a popular alternative to traditional CME. The traditional CME model requires a fixed time and place and is usually carried out at seminars, workshops, symposiums, and/or conferences. PTs and OTs must therefore travel to a set destination, participate in face-to-face sessions with speakers and presenters over several days, and miss out on treating patients while they are gone. This entire commitment is often both expensive and time-consuming, which can add up if it must be done several times a year.
Online Physical Therapy Continuing Education Expands the Reach of Traditional CME to Remote Audiences
Online physical therapy education, on the other hand, allows for the remote delivery of content without any geographical limitation by using learning management systems. As a result, online CME expands the reach of traditional CME to remote audiences and gives participants more freedom to take courses at times that fit their schedule, without the need for travel. Online CME can be delivered either in real-time with a live presenter or through pre recorded content that participants can access at their convenience. This model allows PTs and OTs to learn at their own pace and have more time for critical reflection while also saving them significant amounts of time and money in the process.
One criticism of online CME is that since courses are taken remotely, there may not be as many opportunities for engagement between those involved. However, online CME that uses teleconferencing addresses this concern by permitting live, real-time interactions between the speaker and participants in various locations through audio and/or video, which simulates a physical presentation or symposium.
ACE offers online CME courses for PTs and OTs
Online CME is gaining popularity and could eventually replace traditional CME as the primary method for fulfilling CME requirements. If you have physical therapy continuing education requirements to meet and are interested in doing so in an online format, Applied Continuing Education (ACE) may be the solution you’re seeking.
We currently offer two courses designed specifically for PTs and OTs: “Weight Management for Rehab Patients: Crucial Skills for PTs and OTs to Help Patients with Weight Management” and “Shoulder Pain and Dysfunction: Effective Therapy for the Treatment of Common Shoulder Disorders.”