We most certainly can’t afford to attend every course or obtain every certification. So how do we figure out which courses are worth our time and money?
- The course is ASHA approved for CEUs-Be aware. Just because the course provides you with ASHA CEUs doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a good course. While courses are required to be peer-reviewed for ASHA, that doesn’t mean the course is the cream of the crop. ASHA also does not endorse any specific treatment or tools. We still have to be conscientious learners.
- The course offers “fast” results-I have had the very few patients that met their goals in a short amount of time. When we work with patients with dysphagia, we are typically working on changing muscles. This involves strength, coordination and timing. I can’t go to the gym and strengthen my arms in “just a few sessions”.
- Watch the evidence base-A new course can have 150 different references to “support” it’s use. Read the evidence. Some may not even be related to the technique you are learning.
- Does it really make sense?-The presenter may have you convinced by the end of a course or even through the advertisement that this new technique works wonders because of x, y, z. Sit down and think about this. (This is where our critical thinking caps must be ready to go!) Does this technique make sense? If I have a patient concentrate on working their knee, is that really going to change the swallowing system?
- Use your social media-Post in Facebook groups, use Twitter, Pinterest or even the ASHA SIG groups to question new courses and techniques. You shouldn’t have to shell out thousands of dollars on a technique that doesn’t work. You can absolutely keep an open mind to new techniques but maybe others in these forums can help you problem-solve why these techniques may or may not work.
We all work hard for our money and time is a precious commodity. Choose continuing education and new techniques with care and always hold the welfare of your patients paramount.
What are some courses you have really enjoyed or wish you would have skipped?
What do you think would be the best resource to use to share and look up quality, evidence-based continuing education courses?