With dental practices now reopened throughout much of Canada and the United States, you’re – at the very least – back to work. Undoubtedly, it’s a more productive way to spend your days rather than isolating at home.
But what are you supposed to do with the rest of your time? After all, there’s a tremendous likelihood that you’re still being hyper careful, given the higher risk of exposure for dentists, hygienists and dental assistants.
Outside of work hours, many throughout the industry remain at home, avoiding crowded public places as much as possible. What can you do to fill this downtime? Sure, you can improve your personal wellness with something like yoga (a suggestion made by industry experts), but like yoga, life is about balance. There’s more you can do with your time.
So, why not invest more time in your personal and career growth? More specifically, you could use this time spent social distancing at home on continuing education courses.
No, Learning Doesn't Have to Be a Giant Yawn-Fest
In many jurisdictions, continuing education is often a mandated part of the dental professions. There’s a need to accumulate credits to maintain your licensure, permits, or certification.
There’s no denying that ramping up your expertise and accumulating excess knowledge can do wonders for your career (and salary). All the same, you’re only human. And some continuing education courses have a reputation for mind-numbing boredom and dryness.
Plus, dentistry isn’t straightforward and simple. Earning further accreditation isn’t a matter of paying a fee and holding out your hand until you receive a certificate!
As such, it’s understandable why you’d be hesitant to take the plunge in these uncertain times.
By following the suggestions below, you can enter engaging programs that benefit your patience, practice, and the community.
How to Enroll in the Right Course
Here are a few suggestions on how to enroll in a course that works for you:
Many courses are going to be incredibly dense and challenging to keep up with.
While this might not be an issue for some, balancing your full-time gig with the education course might not jive.
Seek out previous people who've completed that course (if possible) to see how time-consuming the course material will be. If this isn’t an option, there should be a feedback platform that helps you perform due diligence.
Try your best to land on something that meshes with your work and home life.
2. Your Learning Style
Before choosing your course, decide if the format works for you.
Let’s look at a list of course layouts you’ll come across:
- A hands-on practical style
- Lecture driven content
- A mixture of lecture and hands-on
- Poster sessions (previously known as table clinics):
- Revisiting your old dental school to see what students are studying
- Ask your dental company to provide opportunities with the following options:
- Bringing in reps to visit your practice
- Video chats
- Online materials
3. The Instructor
An integral factor in your success with these courses would be the person teaching.
We’re living in the information age, and feedback for any teacher or chorus is readily available online.
If you're considering a teacher who's received mixed reviews, that might be a sign that you should continue your search.
4. The Material
Does what’s being taught fit with your profession?
Of course, you don't want to take something below your skill level, because that's a waste of your time. Conversely, something far outside of your scope will prove equally valueless since you can't apply it at work.
We suggest talking to your employer and coming to a consensus over which course would work for you.
5. The Cost
First and foremost, see if your employer is willing to pay for your continuing education. Many bosses are enthusiastic about helping in this regard, though this means they have the final say in what you learn.
Alternatively, you can branch out on your own. In which case, you must be careful about keeping costs reasonable.
Use Your Free Time to Further Your Career
The world isn’t going to stand still forever.
You must strike while the iron is hot! Now is an ideal time for you to further your knowledge, skills, and career as a dental professional with continuing education courses.