We have people all across the country and globe that are constantly pushing our profession forward in new and innovative ways. They are making technological leaps that make our workflow easier. They are making advances in a myriad of different ways and applying new innovations to old problems. And, to accompany all of these advances are countless articles and blog entries detailing the experience and attempting to show readers how to use the latest and greatest. However, it can be difficult, if not impossible to wade through all of that information and still attend to daily duties.
Continuing education can provide the bridge between these two divides. Because of the many different formats for delivering CE (in person, virtual, short meetings, forums, semester-long classes, etc.), it is the ideal way to keep current with the changes in our profession and still balance the daily grind of work life. It is also an important vehicle for staying energized about the profession and to interact with other professionals.
While it is vitally important to stay current with the latest technologies and innovations and how they apply to and impact our profession, putting this into practice can be difficult. One way to approach this problem is to create an education plan. When you were in college, you probably developed a plan for your studies. Some semesters, this might have come together more cohesively than others, but regardless, you had an educational goal and the options were laid out in front of you. You can do the same for your continuous learning each year. Set goals based on what you want to and need to learn to stay current with your career. Additionally, we all have different learning styles and your educational plan should address this by incorporating classes that best fit your style.
It is important that we remain excited and enlivened by our work and continue to find innovative ways to solve problems and incorporate the work of our colleagues.