Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Continuing to Learn

As I prepare for my trip to Boston to participate in a two day seminar with Mary Osborne, I am called to reflect on the importance of continuing education.

  I am a health care professional. With my official title belongs a responsibility to gain updated and accurate information. If my learning had stopped when I left college I would still be "cleaning teeth". Thankfully I've had amazing mentors, begining with my Mother, a practicing dental hygienist for over 30 years. She installed my enthusiasm for dental health while I was still in school. We would take advantage of family dinners during college break to hash out the best ways to address agressive periodontal disease or pregnancy gingivitis while everyone else at the dinner table cringed! Moving through my career, that enthusiasm propelled me to where I am today.

My philosophy is to search for the impact that will lead each and every one of my patients towards living a healthier life.

Continuing education is required for all health care professionals in the nation. It's purpose is to ensure that licenced providers keep updated and current with consistent guidelines and information, yet curiously the only strictly required courses for dental hygienists are CPR , "Preventing Medical Errors" and "Domestic Violence".

Going beyond the required is an individual choice that separates the lacksadsial professional from one who passionately cares.

This week Mary Osborne, a leader in effective communication and facilitation, is offering a course in Boston called Continuing to Care, A Team Approach to Periodontal Therapy. Her co-instructor, Dr. Mike McDevitt, is one of the best periodontist in the Country that intends to incorporate the latest information on periodontal disease and treatment. I'm looking forward to gaining new information that I'll be able to use when I get back to work next week. The most impactfull course I took was with a local Key's dentist. He is the one who passed on the information about sleep apnea. Now that was life saving information that didn't require me to travel far.

Regardless of what area of health care you are in, extended learning could be the most important thing you do for the progression and vitality of your career. It keeps me motivated and passionate about health care!


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