Pharmacy CE or continuing education is a structured educational activity designed to support the continuing development of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to maintain and improve their competence.
It’s crucial for the practice of pharmacy that must promote problem-solving and critical thinking.
CE programs are more than just a license renewal requirement. They allow you to expand your professional outlook, stay updated with the latest in healthcare, and network with professionals from diverse communities.
Continue reading to learn what you should consider before joining a continuing education for pharmacy.
What to Consider Before Joining a CE Program
The past years have seen only about 9% of the licensed pharmacists who maintained their Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (BPS) certifications.
It doesn’t happen due to the lack of reliable pharmacy CE programs. Several online programs give you comprehensive learning that is strategic to your professional development.
Here are some factors you need to consider before joining a pharmacy CE program.
1. Contact Classes
The first point to consider in a CE program is if they have contact classes. It is necessary as most state boards require either 15 contact hours per year, or 30 contact hours every two years to renew your license.
Your main aim of a CE may not be license renewal, but it’s a necessary formality that needs to be addressed.
2. Internet-Based Home Study Courses
Next, check if the course offers online home-study materials. Since you’re a practicing pharmacist, your work can be demanding and may not allow you to attend more classes than required.
If the course offers online study material, then you can study at your convenience. These courses are usually a combination of audio and visual elements and include a self-assessment at the end of the course.
3. Accreditation Assistance
Check to see if the school that is offering the pharmacy CE program also assists in accreditation. The course should ensure that their learning material, seminars, lectures, and assessments direct towards meeting the ACPE Standards.
Those who don’t know what an ACPE accreditation is, it’s a public recognition that provides a professional judgment of a school or college of pharmacy.
4. LMS Based
The Learning Management Systems (LMS) market stands at $5.2 billion and is likely to reach $16 billion by the end of 2020.
LMS makes content delivery quick and easy via mobile learning, webinars, on-demand content, and videos. Also, high-quality user experience is vital to keep the learners engaged.
The CE program should be self-directed, which means you should be able to schedule learning based on your convenience. You should be able to decide the topics that you require learning on and opt for those topics in your CE. Self-directed programs create lifelong learners.
The idea behind CE is to ensure improved patient outcomes. Unfortunately, most CE programs focus on credit hours instead of outcomes. A program that focuses on results will add valuable knowledge and skills to your resume. A program that is knowledge-based with a keen focus on issues will give you all-round professional development.
A CE program must include an evaluation and reporting mechanism. Several of them offer the facility of reporting credits directly to the CPE monitor or broker.
They also allow you to test your competencies via self-assessments, online tests, and case studies. Moreover, these evaluations are carried out regularly rather than at the end of the program. Ongoing assessments help augment learning during the program.
Society expects pharmacists to be able to do more than filling out prescriptions and understanding drug to drug interactions.
The role of pharmacists has evolved in tandem with the healthcare profession. This calls for pharmacy CE programs that can meet your learning needs rather than focus on credit hours.
If you want to be a professional pharmacist, you must consider joining this continuing education program. It’s highly recommended that you conduct some research on this course and the institution before making any final decision.