How Continuing Education Classes Work

Many professionals such as doctors are required to take continuing education classes.
Many professionals such as doctors are required to take continuing education classes.
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When you go to the emergency room, you expect the doctors and nurses to have the latest information and skills available. If you need a lawyer, you want that person to be up to date on precedents, case law and trends. Change is a certainty, especially in professional fields such as medicine, law and finance. Their dynamic nature demands continuous education for the people who practice them. That's where continuing education classes come in.

In many fields, continuing education isn't an option. But, Lawyers, doctors, nurses, architects, teachers and many other licensed professionals must complete a certain number of credit hours to maintain their professional certification. Licensing boards, often set up by state government agencies, set standards and ensure that individuals comply. The license holder is responsible for finding and completing courses -- and then providing proof to the licensing agency.

Continuing education protects everyone. It protects professionals by ensuring they keep their skill sets current, preventing those skills from becoming obsolete. Professionals also have the ability to network with each other.

At the same time, continuing education protects clients by making sure the professionals they hire are proficient, competent and familiar with the latest advances in their fields. Doctors, for instance, might be required to take a continuing education course on advancements in antibiotics, increasing their knowledge about specialty drugs they might need to prescribe. Dentists, on the other hand, might learn about advances in pain control so that their patients can undergo more pain-free procedures.

Advancements would work their way into the mainstream much more slowly without continuing education, and both professionals and their clients would suffer consequently. In recent years, the growth of the Internet has resulted in the availability of online courses, which makes it easier for professionals to acquire this valuable training.

In this article, we'll talk about finding courses online, how these courses work and the pros and cons of this type of continuing education