Continued professional development – why is it important and how do we Chiropractors do it?
Most UK Chiropractor's would have spent four to five years studying to be a chiropractor at university. After the known hardships we go through as university students, one may think that degree in hand, the studying is done and dusted. Well… that’s not quite right!
Each year every registered chiropractor has to carry out a minimum of 30 hours of continued professional development in the form of seminars, courses, conferences, research, clinical discussion or similar.
In September time, we must all log with the professional regulator, the General Chiropractic Council, the past 12 months’ worth of learning, complete with proof, reflections and any other further information. So, why is it important and what are the benefits?
Continued professional development or CPD, as we affectionately know it, helps us by expanding our knowledge to best serve our patients and, consequently, improve patient outcomes; keeps us informed on new research developments and best practices; maintains us integrated and engaged in our profession. Updates on any regulatory changes relating to our profession are an essential part of CPD.
Our learning encompasses topics from other professionals and professions for that matter. One of the most enjoyable CPD events I have attended was held at the local Mount Alvernia hospital, where several consultants gave presentations on their speciality fields and I had a chance to discuss the presentations with the local physiotherapists, GPs, nurses and consultants. It was all round a very enjoyable experience and I certainly learnt a lot. As a result, I can serve my patients better and signpost them in the right direction should they present with something for which I’m not the ideal professional to help with. Knowing how to treat, is as important as recognising when not to treat, as well as who to refer to. Attending a variety of CPD events is also plainly interesting, certainly enriching and overall enjoyable.
It is also a healthy practice to be challenged in a professional and friendly manner by colleagues. Being put in a position of having to defend one’s thinking and approach, forces us to reflect and explain what we are doing and why.
Undoubtedly, I am lucky to work alongside great fellow professionals here at Guildford Chiropractic Centre and we are constantly learning from each other in-house. As well as our external CPD modules each of us chooses independently, we do gather together once a week over a lunch break and for those 1.5hrs, the aim is purely learning from each other. We regularly have lively discussions on varying topics – however the constant that carries through weekly, is the value of the support and knowledge we get to share as a team. Chiropractors and massage therapists, each of us have valuable knowledge to share. For myself, hearing the perspective of my colleagues on managing challenging situations or sharing information and clinical titbits is a true joy and I strongly believe it makes us all better practitioners. Afterall, life is for learning!