CPD – boring made interesting

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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – why does it sometimes seem like an onerous task to undertake CPD when most health professionals are more than happy to broaden their knowledge and skills to improve the care they deliver?

In part it is because we are all busy doing what it is we do to try and improve health outcomes for our patients.  However, the thought of sitting through another lecture-style seminar on a relevant topic made boring is also extremely off-putting. Most health professionals want practicalities. We want our CPD to be relevant to the work we do, but we also want to be engaged, involved and have an opportunity to share our experiences and have others share their experiences too so that we can take something away.

We love the convenience of online learning, but our preference still seems to be to meet face-to-face. We want key messages, strategies and new ways of thinking or doing that we can relate to and use to improve our work with colleagues, patients and their families. If we can’t immediately implement the information or skills we have just acquired, we tend to lose it and forget the whole educational experience.

Apart from yearly CPR updates, most CPD is not prescribed, allowing health professionals to select topics that interest them or will be useful and relevant to their practice.

But how do you choose?

I suggest avoiding anything that mentions lecture, or doesn’t have a clear outline of the content.  Look for terms like workshops, activities or case studies  as these suggest a learning environment which will more likely engage you.

This thinking motivated Larter to create education modules that facilitate interaction and engagement. We aim to be interesting, relevant and practical and most importantly, to keep you conscious! You can read more about our education modules here.

I knew I was not the only HP who thought interesting topics could be made boring! Have a read of the article ‘CPD formula needs a shake-up’ in the Australian Doctor; it is very amusing. (Note: you do have to be a registered HP with an AHPRA number to gain access).

Or, check out this online query from a student nurse.  Mmm… maybe we can all just go to sleep!

Enjoy your CPD!

by Frances Cieslak, Primary Health Education Consultant

Image credit: Ted Eytan via Flickr Creative Commons