Value of Continuing Education?

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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Having just completed my renewal credits online (primarily at Careercert, but also at HSI), I can't help but question the value of EMS CEU.

The information wasn't presented in an engaging way and assessments seemed pointless. The weren't testing for content mastery, but instead inane details.

Does it really matter if I know the full correct name of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009? Four close variations, with one being the correct answer, were presented during the assessment related to hygiene and vaccinations.

For years I flew home to participate in a one-day practical credit CEU session that involved the instructor telling stories as we played around with different mannequins and trainers.

Reflecting on my experiences, I can't remember the last time I had a continuing education session where I walked away feeling as though it was worth the time.

Is this the standard in EMS?
 

NPO

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If you pay for lackluster CEUs you'll get a lackluster experience. There are lots of valuable CE opportunities available, even in person.
 

DesertMedic66

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It all depends on the CEUs that you are obtaining. If all you ever do is CEUs that recover information you have already learned, then no they will not help or be very beneficial. If you are branching out into new subjects and new topics then you can find some amazing hours.

If you are only doing a “renewal course” to get your hours, then you will likely to be bored.
 
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MMiz

MMiz

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Valid points. What would educational opportunities would you suggest?
 

NPO

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Valid points. What would educational opportunities would you suggest?
Most hospitals have CE lunches, or other monthly opportunity for their staff that EMS is often able to go to. You can also look for courses for a level certification above yours (ie paramedic or critical care)
 

DesertMedic66

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Most hospitals have CE lunches, or other monthly opportunity for their staff that EMS is often able to go to. You can also look for courses for a level certification above yours (ie paramedic or critical care)
This. I find the majority of the pure BLS/ALS CEs to be pretty redundant with information I already know. I will still take the occasional class that sounds interesting however most of my CEs are now critical care or nursing related.
 

CCCSD

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If I can get into a class that’s way above my paygrade and get usable CEs, I’m in it. I’ve learned quite a bit that way and made great contacts.
 

NPO

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If I can get into a class that’s way above my paygrade and get usable CEs, I’m in it. I’ve learned quite a bit that way and made great contacts.
I have taken courses that are intended for physicians and give AMA credits, but not EMS CME credits. My state will allow them on a case by case basis and I've had them approved for my state recert with no trouble.
 

Tigger

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Our local paramedic refresher is awesome. Our system has a lot of medical directors and they come and teach the majority of it. It's great face time with the docs and they very good about providing relevant feedback to EMS.

I find our hospital provided education to be somewhat lacking, but they seem to have noticed and have broken away from a one size fits every agency model and have improved how they differently target say an ALS transport agency from a BLS first response department.

@MMiz when I worked in Massachusetts but spent most of the year elsewhere I did all my hours through a similar site and it was indeed garbage. Just feels like folks trying to make a quick buck.
 

NPO

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.

@MMiz when I worked in Massachusetts but spent most of the year elsewhere I did all my hours through a similar site and it was indeed garbage. Just feels like folks trying to make a quick buck.

Can you blame them? Most people view CEs as a burden and a chore rather than an opportunity.
 

Tigger

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Can you blame them? Most people view CEs as a burden and a chore rather than an opportunity.
Not even a little.
 

Akulahawk

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Since I'm not all that active in the field, but very active as an EDRN, I basically do the EMS CE hours out of convenience. I don't usually find those CE hours all that engaging either, but then again I'm looking for the hours only and that's what I pretty much pay for. No, it's not ideal, but for what I need, that's OK. Unfortunately for me, the EMS CE and the RN CE don't normally cross over, even though both involve patient care, so I can't use the hours from one to help supplement the other.

I do look forward to doing in-person CE on some subjects because I do learn a LOT from the instructors and other participants when it's geared for the experienced care provider. Like Tigger, I don't blame people for doing the same thing I do because it can be a chore. However, it would be wise to seek out educational opportunities and I do it when I can!
 

DrParasite

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My current CE suuuuuucks. like large monkey ball sucks. I attribute this to several factors:
1) the county EMS training supervisor designs a horrible PowerPoint, and then distributes it to all the CE instructors. Per his directive, they are not permitted to remove anything, but they can add stuff as needed.

2) several of the CE instructors don't prepare beforehand. the first time they see the PPT is in front of the class.

3) many of the CE instructors are no more educated than those they are educating. So they are just reading us the information on the slide.

Since our current primary CE instructor is so bad, most of the time I work on my computer, or read comics on my iPad, because I won't be learning anything anyway. And it makes me less frustrated when she starts saying wrong stuff or fluffing her own ego with irrelevant war stories to make herself sound impressive. Our new secondary one is a lot better because he's a PM, and because he knows more than just what is on the slides.

That all being said, in this county, there was one CE instructor that I enjoyed going to. He was a FF/PM in Cary (and recently promoted to captain), and he ALWAYS went above and beyond the basics. Not only did I always learn something new, but he was legitimately passionate about teaching and raising standards. Truth be told, the man should be in either PA school or Medical school, but he can't afford a 3 year break from working and supporting his family.

I loved my CE when I was in NJ, because I was able to choose the classes I wanted to take. They were the ones that interested me, and were often alphabet classes (ABLS, AMLS, PTHLS, etc). More often than not, these classes were taught by nurses or paramedics, so there was a high probability that they would teach me something I didn't know, vs simply telling me stuff I already learned in EMT class, or reading off the powerpoints.
 

PA or bust

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Having just completed my renewal credits online (primarily at Careercert, but also at HSI), I can't help but question the value of EMS CEU.

The information wasn't presented in an engaging way and assessments seemed pointless. The weren't testing for content mastery, but instead inane details.

Does it really matter if I know the full correct name of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009? Four close variations, with one being the correct answer, were presented during the assessment related to hygiene and vaccinations.

For years I flew home to participate in a one-day practical credit CEU session that involved the instructor telling stories as we played around with different mannequins and trainers.

Reflecting on my experiences, I can't remember the last time I had a continuing education session where I walked away feeling as though it was worth the time.

Is this the standard in EMS?
Does anyone use FreeCE for the CE credits and CE broker? I have a pharmacy technician lic and use those to renew it, was wondering if it’s the same. Brand new basic!!!!!
 
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MMiz

MMiz

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Aprz

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I've taken two CE classes that I liked. They still could've used some improvement, but they were still good. I think I liked them just because we practiced on cadavers and/or pig tracheas (I think that's what it was?). Both of the CEs were airway. I personally don't like how frequently the CEs available to me are things I frequently see, do, and know. It's always stuff like cardiac stuff, airway (although I liked those two airway CEs I told you, but only because we didn't practice on mannequins), IO (I've taken two IO CE classes this year) assessments in general (kind of like AMLS or "critical care" class I once took). I wish that CEs were on infrequent skills or that those things were included in classes like airway (doing pleural decompression, which I did get to try on the cadaver actually), pacing (usually verbalized in the class, recognizing failure is not a thing we discuss), OB/gynecology, and things like that. I also wish that it was less relaxing and taking basic tests, and it was more trying to push our ourselves do more. In my area, why is it acceptable for paramedics to struggle with basic math? Why not have a med math CE class? I think most paramedics in my area are so bad at med math that things like amiodarone drips are hard for them. I frequently hear, especially with dopamine drips, "wide open and titrate to effect". The math is easy! I think it should be practiced where you can do the math under stressful situation. It honestly doesn't take that long to do and I feel like it should be one of those things we can do during transport (although I fully support checklists, I am OK with like a cheat sheet with the Dopamine or whatever med you have), but it's like dumb things like that that we don't know, can't do, and don't even go over in continue educations. It's always the same thing "Kids should look pink and crying is good, blood goes round and round, air goes in and out", all those dumb aphorisms over and over.
 

mgr22

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Aprz, I share your concern about math, and would add communication as an important generic skill. After teaching the basics of both, I think it would be difficult to accomplish much in an hour or two of CME.

I've found it hard to attract interest in longer, adult-level courses, possibly because the content tends to be much less exciting than anything with the word "tactical" in the title. Also, most EMS instructors I know (including me) aren't degreed educators. Working as a paramedic prepares one for many things, but not how to teach, say, reading to someone whose primary schooling didn't get the job done. I think significant weaknesses in the three R's are best addressed by professional tutors.

I also agree that math shortcuts have limitations. I don't think "midnight rules" were meant as substitutes for basic skills.
 

PA or bust

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Without getting too far off topic, I'd look at the free options at:
  1. https://www.powerpak.com/
  2. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/
  3. https://www.freece.com/ (as you mentioned)
I always time it so I can use a one year unlimited plan to earn credits for two renewal cycles.
Yes, I use those for my pharmacy. I’m struggling to find something for my EMT. There’s tons of information out there, but I’m not sure is there a website people use most frequently?
I’m hesitant too because of the prices I’m seeing. Usually I pay roughly $90/year for my freece.com registration, but I’m seeing registration prices of $200 or more!
This is my first year doing this and I don’t want to get scammed, not complete all my ces, or find the Best Buy.
 

Aprz

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Aprz, I share your concern about math, and would add communication as an important generic skill. After teaching the basics of both, I think it would be difficult to accomplish much in an hour or two of CME.

I've found it hard to attract interest in longer, adult-level courses, possibly because the content tends to be much less exciting than anything with the word "tactical" in the title. Also, most EMS instructors I know (including me) aren't degreed educators. Working as a paramedic prepares one for many things, but not how to teach, say, reading to someone whose primary schooling didn't get the job done. I think significant weaknesses in the three R's are best addressed by professional tutors.

I also agree that math shortcuts have limitations. I don't think "midnight rules" were meant as substitutes for basic skills.
Tactical Med Math. Just have the instructor shoot their gun above your head while you have to solve math problems?
 

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