Learn About the Benefits of Continuing Education

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Many animal career paths require the completion of continuing education (CE) credit hours for practitioners to maintain certification or credentials.  While having to complete CE hours can seem like a bit of a hassle to busy professionals, it can actually be extremely beneficial in the long run.  So what can continuing education do for you? Here are some of the major benefits of completing continuing education requirements:

Keeping up With Current Research and Advances in the Field

Continuing education conferences tend to showcase the latest innovations that would be of interest to industry professionals.  Most conferences include a variety of lectures and presentations as a part of the program.  These opportunities expose attendees to the most current advances in the field, perhaps even before they are presented to the public or published in industry journals.

Networking With Other Industry Professionals

A large number of professionals attend continuing education events, so this can be an excellent opportunity to network and make connections that could translate into profitable relationships or job opportunities down the line.  It can also be a great opportunity for recruiting new team members if you are an employer with open positions.

Enhancing Your Skills Through Participation in Labs

Many continuing education events feature a laboratory component where participants can sharpen their technical skills and gain practical experience with new techniques or equipment.

  Labs are especially common within the animal health career community, with those working in the veterinary and veterinary technician fields in particular.

Broadening Your Knowledge to Other Areas

Professionals are encouraged to select from a wide variety of lecture and lab options in order to complete their continuing education credit hours.

  This, in turn, encourages event attendees to expand their knowledge and consider other aspects of their field.  Expanding your skill set can better prepare you for the job you currently have, or you can learn valuable new skills that could prepare you for a career change.

Maintaining Professional Licensure or Credentials

It is very common for licensing organizations and professional membership groups to require that continuing education credit hours be completed (and documented) to ensure that credentials remain current.  This helps them to hold their members to a higher standard of education and ensures that they are capable of giving the highest quality care to their clients.  The animal health professions are well known for requiring continuing education credit hours to maintain a license or certification to practice.

Improving the Quality of Care

Professionals that complete continuing education credit hours are able to offer high-quality care due to their exposure to the latest innovations, techniques, and research.  Education has an overwhelmingly positive effect on patient care.

Increasing Job Prospects

Continuing education can greatly enhance a candidate’s prospects of securing a new job, and the CE credit hours can provide a significant boost to a candidate’s resume.

  A high number of documented CE credits can demonstrate the candidate’s serious commitment to the field and their desire to provide high-quality service.  A candidate with a strong educational background may have the edge on a rival candidate with fewer documented CE hours.  Networking at conference events can also be a big plus, allowing candidates to find out about unadvertised job openings.

Final Word

It is fair to say that there are some costs associated with completing continuing education (such as the time that must be spent away from work, paying hotel or travel expenses, and paying attendance fees that can vary widely from one event to the next).  In the long run, however, the many benefits of continuing education seem to far outweigh these minor drawbacks.  Continuing education requirements promote high-quality performance, keep professionals up to date with the latest advances, and provide excellent networking opportunities.