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5 reasons to attend a live continuing education course

Aug. 21, 2018
Online opportunities for CE abound, but what are the benefits to live dental hygiene continuing education courses (besides the fact that your state may require them)? Jill Engel shares five reasons why you should be excited about these opportunities.
Just because you have graduated with your dental hygiene degree does not mean the learning has ended! As a dental professional, continuing education is not only required for your license—it is crucial for your career as a hygienist to stay current in your profession.

There are constant changes that need to be kept up with, including technological advances and new inventions. There are a variety of avenues to obtain CE credits, but I am going to highlight the five reasons why you will benefit from attending a live continuing education course.

1. To meet requirements for license renewal

The most obvious reason to attend a live CE course is because there are a certain amount of live CE credits you need to renew your hygiene license. Each state has different requirements in order to maintain your professional license. It is important to know what your state requirements are. If these guidelines are not being followed appropriately, then there is a chance you could lose your professional license.

2. For team building

Another important reason to attend a live CE course is for team building for your office staff or students. Once a year, the DSO company I work for attends a live seminar as a group. This always occurs on a Friday and when we go back to work on Monday, everyone shows up with a positive attitude, more motivation to provide better patient care, and a new perspective on our profession. Some seminars have team-building exercises or trust exercises. Other seminars focus on how to improve patient care as a united team. These staff-oriented courses will improve quality of service which will attract more patients and enhance your reputation.

3. For hands-on training

One thing you can’t get from an online course is hands-on training. There are CE courses to learn a new skill or to refresh a skill you may have learned in school. There are opportunities to earn certificates you didn’t get in school such as local anesthetic, nitrous oxide administration, or laser certification. In a live course, you are able to perform and practice these skills and receive guidance and feedback from the instructor. The more certificates you have, the more opportunities you have in your career.

4. For engagement

At an in-person CE course, the speaker is present to answer any questions that may come up. The attendants are able to share opinions and ask for advice. Some may present new ideas and look for feedback or new insight.

5. For networking

In my opinion, networking is the greatest benefit of attending a live CE course. The connections you make with professionals in your field can open new career paths. Striking up a conversation with someone during a break might lead to a new opportunity. The connections I have made in the dental community are the reason I had the chance to publish this article.

The social and educational benefits of a live CE course are tremendous. At a live seminar, you are able to retain the information and have notes or slides to refer to with less distraction than watching a webinar from home. The presenter is there to answer any questions you have or to learn more about them. Attending a live course will provide you with the tools and skills in order to learn the newest trends in the dental profession. There are more options for obtaining CE credits, but neither of them will give you the benefits of attending a live seminar.

Jill Engel, RDH, began her dental career in her teens as a dental assistant. She fell in love with the field and went on to obtain her bachelor in dental hygiene at Southern Illinois University. She has been practicing clinical dental hygiene for the last 10 years and also volunteers in helping the Chicago dental community. Excellent patient care and education is her top priority, but she is always open to opportunities outside of the operatory. Continuing her education and networking has helped her excel in her dental career.