Continuing Medical Education for Cardiac Professionals
In a field that is constantly shifting and changing, where researchers are finding new information almost daily and new diseases and symptoms are discovered with each patient it is very important for doctors and nurses to stay abreast of changes in the field. They do this through a variety of means, one of which is continuing education.
A cardiologist can spend twelve years or more in school prior to receiving their degree between undergrad school, medical school, residency, then additional coursework and residency to specialize. It may seem ludicrous to have to return to school after that period of time; after all, after ten years wouldn’t they know all there is to know? The answer is no. The medical field is constantly open to new opportunities and knowledge; a cardiologist who graduated medical school thirty years would not have learned many of the new treatment and surgical options that are available today. They simply did not have the resources or technology then that they do now. Enter the field of continuing education.
Every clinician is required to complete a set number of continuing education credits on a regular basis, and to update these credits regularly. These credits do not have to be done by returning to an academic setting; most physicians would not have time to treat their patients and still take classes. Every year hundreds of symposiums, conferences and workshops are held throughout the world on a variety of topics. These each provide an established number of continuing education credits, and most clinicians will have to attend several of these to fulfill their continuing education requirement. Here cardiac professionals can learn about new techniques to treat a variety of diseases, such as the ongoing interest in using stem cells to strengthen the heart of patients with congestive heart failure, or the benefits of the newly released angiotensin II receptor blocker drugs. In this manner they are able to follow all of the advances in the field without having to abandon their practice and return to school.
The internet has also opened up a wonderful opportunity for health care professionals to complete their continuing education credits from the comfort of their homes. Many organizations offer online continuing education to healthcare professionals. They may complete coursework, watch online conferences, and virtually attend lectures. This is often the method of choice for physicians in rural areas who find it difficult to attend conferences due to their distance and the lack of other physicians to see their patients in their absence.
These continuing education credits may be available at no cost, or a reduced cost per credit hour, to physicians and group members. Continuing education is very important to healthcare professionals. A lack of continuing education will result in a clinician not being kept abreast of changes in the field, both positive and negative, and being unaware of which treatments have now been ruled ineffective or even hazardous. This will lead to being unable to properly treat their patients, and possibly endangering their lives in the process.