Does your profession require you to take continuing education every year in order to maintain your credentials? If you’re used to pursuing yearly CEUs to satisfy your professional requirements, you know it can take a lot of time, effort, and planning. You might need to hire a babysitter, take time off work, or plan around your family’s schedule.
Sometimes this works, but not always. Time constraints are often very real and can be a barrier to getting in your required CEUs. However, when you’re short on time and need to earn CEUs to maintain your professional license, you have a few different options.
- Take your CEU courses online
Whatever you’re doing to earn your CEUs, whether you’re taking seminars or educational courses, look for ways to complete the requirements online. For example, respiratory therapists are governed by strict rules set forth by the AARC regarding how they can complete online CEUs. Part of the requirements allow for completing Continuing Respiratory Care Education (CRCE) credits online through approved courses.
For respiratory therapists and other professionals trying to balance their work life, relationship, and family life, being able to take courses online is a huge blessing. Taking courses online is actually easier and less stressful for many people. There’s something about being able to study and take an exam from the comfort of your own home that makes these courses easier.
Online learning is highly effective
Some people wonder if online learning is effective and the answer is absolutely. Traditionally, education has been framed by stuffing a bunch of people into a small room, requiring them to sit in cramped desks or shared tables, and listen to someone speak.
Taking notes in a classroom is easy when you’re in the front of the room, but when you’re toward the back, it’s a bit harder to listen to the instructor and see what’s on the white board.
Not only is it harder to take in information in this type of environment, but other factors make it difficult as well. For instance, a cold room makes it hard to feel comfortable, and you don’t get breaks when you need them – only when the instructor allows for breaks.
Learning in your own home is much different and for many it’s more effective. For example, you can sit in a comfortable chair, at your desk, or on the couch. When attending live streamed seminars or teachings, you can run to the restroom without disrupting the other participants or asking permission.
You don’t have to dress to impress, either. You can wear whatever clothes you want. You don’t even need to wear shoes.
- Schedule your CEU events far in advance
Another way to make earning your CEUs easier is to schedule your events far in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute when you’ll need to scramble to get your credits completed.
When you know exactly how many CEUs you’ll need each year, take the time to schedule your courses and events ahead of time. Schedule them six months out if that’s what it will take to make it work for you. Give yourself plenty of time in advance to find that babysitter, rework your personal schedule, or get time off work.
It helps to have a physical calendar posted on your wall so you can always see your upcoming CEU event appointments. Having a digital calendar app on your phone is great, but it won’t keep your awareness on your appointments like a physical calendar.
- Ask your licensure board about your options
If you’re truly running out of time and you don’t know what to do, contact the proper authority in your industry to ask what your options are for CEUs. If you can’t complete your courses in time to submit your CEUs for renewing your license, you might need to apply for an extension, if that’s possible.
If you aren’t able to get an extension, you’ll need to find a qualified course that you can complete within your required timeframe. If you can’t find a course, contact your licensure board for help.
Plan your CEUs to stay stress-free
Although many circumstances will be out of your control, planning in advance goes a long way to help manage factors you can control. Don’t wait until the last minute to look for ways to earn your required CEUs. Start planning ahead, and whether you take your courses online or in person, you’ll have a better chance at meeting your renewal deadline.