Continuing Education: 101

Guest Authored By Sophia P L, OTR/L

All occupational therapists post-graduate school must complete at least 36 continuing education courses, otherwise known as CEUs, within a three-year period to maintain their licensure. Now, as a new clinician, filtering through the sea of continuing education courses, certificates, and bundle programs may appear daunting. There is no wrong choice; however, to help you identify, prioritize, and select the right fit for you, read the following. 

Identify 

One of the strengths and weaknesses of occupational therapy is that the field encompasses a wide range of ages and occupations. As a profession, there are many subskills that therapists can build on and refine. For a new graduate, this may appear overwhelming. When selecting which area you would like to obtain or refine, consider: the demographic of your clientele (e.g. pediatric school-based, geriatric skilled nursing facility, hand therapy, etc.), areas of personal growth (e.g. therapeutic rapport, clinical reasoning, etc.), subskills (e.g. Therapeutic Listening, kinesiology taping)and your post-professional goals (e.g. pediatric certification, director of rehabilitation). 

Prioritize 

Based-upon your clientele, areas of growth, and post-professional goals create a list of models, theories, and techniques that would target those goals. Create a short-list of 2-3 models, theories, or intervention techniques that are the most relevant for your current position. 

Research 

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has a comprehensive list of over 4,500 trusted and accredited CEU programs. Now, utilize your short-list of models, theories, and intervention techniques to narrow your search. You can find applicable programs for your profession, within your state, based upon your area of expertise, using your preferred learning style (distance learning interactive, distance learning independent, live, or hybrid). 

Review 

Almost all continuing education courses are reviewed by fellow clinicians. Take time to read through their reviews. Additionally, ask your peers, co-workers, and employers their reviews of the courses they enrolled in.  

Cost 

Each CEU course will advance your clinical reasoning, expertise, and add professional value to your company. However, many courses have significant enrollment fees in order to pay their educators. Prior to enrollment, check to see what your company can offer for continuing education reimbursement.  

Educate 

Once you have completed the course, share your wealth of knowledge with your company and co-workers. Develop resources and present at a voluntary company-wide in-service! Upload your resources to the company database so that other clinicians, fieldwork advisors, and fieldwork students may expand their skillsets.  

Eyas Landing is a therapy clinic with a mission to provide evidence-based and family-centered therapy services for children, adolescents, and their families. The primary goal is to deliver relationship-based interventions within the most natural environments and to empower families to reach their full potential. To achieve this goal, our highly educated, compassionate staff dedicates time and expertise to create experiences that maximize therapeutic outcomes. The strength, determination, and perseverance of our clients are evident as they succeed in therapy, and ultimately in their daily lives.

Eyas Landing offers a wide range of comprehensive services including Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, ABA Therapy, Social Work, Family Therapy, and Neuropsych testing. Services are provided throughout the Chicagoland area via Telehealth, In-Home, and in our state of the art clinic.

Want to learn more or you have a specific question? Feel free to connect with us here!