Healthcare is a sector that is constantly evolving. New technologies and practices are continually changing the ways in which healthcare is being delivered. All healthcare professionals must keep themselves constantly updated with best practices in the medical environment, in order to be able to provide the best patient care. They must commit to lifelong learning through Continuing Professional Development (CPD), which is defined as the holistic development of professionals toward enhancing their professional knowledge and skills, throughout the course of their active career.
CPD has significant implications in the healthcare sector as it directly relates to public well-being, and is the means through which standards of high-quality patient care are maintained throughout the world. Professionals must undertake work-based activities that contribute toward their learning. It is expected that the individuals should be able to apply their CPD learning through practical application or reflection in their career.
What are the benefits of CPD?
- Regardless of your age, level of knowledge or job role, you can continually upskill or reskill.
- Practical and academic qualifications stay current and do not go out of relevance.
- The quality and depth of your professional knowledge will keep increasing.
- By staying updated, you will prove your competence to work in any global healthcare practice.
- You will show your commitment to self-development and to staying on top of your career.
- Many Nursing Bodies have mandatory requirements of a certain number of CPD points that must be obtained within a specified period, in order to maintain the status of the registration. This is to ensure that all professionals stay updated.
So, how can you undertake CPD?
Start by identifying any gaps in your knowledge or skills, and find out ways to enhance your expertise to be able to provide your patients with the best care possible. This can be through attending educational workshops, seminars and conferences, reading or publishing articles in journals, or undertaking self-paced learning, among other educational routes.
CPD and Online Learning
Professionals who already have a full work diary and busy schedules may often find it hard to keep up with the time required to undertake CPD. Attending traditional classrooms may be time consuming and expensive, and they may simply not be able to balance their work and other commitments and take the time off to physically attend a class. This is where the benefits of online learning come in. With online classes, you can have the advantages of face-to-face live interactive classes led by an online tutor, without any of the hassles of travel or accommodation costs associated with traditional learning. Online courses are very inexpensive too and can transcend geographies; your tutor could be in another country while you study from the comfort of your own home!
To sum up, Continuing Professional Development is an obligation that should last as long as your career does, and its importance should never be underestimated. Especially in the healthcare sector, it is a mandate that contributes to the protection and quality of life in your community and in the world as a whole.