March 31, 2015
As an independent community pharmacist, you lead a busy life. You’re already juggling multiple roles and responsibilities within your pharmacy, and it’s hard to take time away from that to fulfill your continuing education (CE) requirements.
The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) maintains that continuing education is “intended to support the continuing development of pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians to maintain and enhance their competence,” and requires that CE “promote problem-solving and critical thinking and be applicable to the practice of pharmacy.”
But what does that mean for you?
It means that as a pharmacist, you have opportunities and obligations to build your clinical knowledge and skills. It means your patients can be confident that you aren’t following outdated standards in your pharmacy. It means that policymakers and regulators can confidently give pharmacists increasing responsibility in patient care.
Amidst the hassle of trying to fulfill all your pharmacy CE requirements, it can be easy to forget why you’re doing it in the first place. The CE requirement may sometimes seem like a burden, but fulfilling that requirement is beneficial for you, your patients and your profession. Here are some reasons to get excited about your CE sessions.
As an independent community pharmacist, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s happening in your community and in your pharmacy—and have no idea what’s going on in other pharmacies across the country. But the role of the pharmacist is constantly evolving, and your knowledge and skills must evolve, too. Attending CE sessions will give you an idea of what’s happened, what’s coming and what you can do in your pharmacy to stay on top of industry trends, regulations and requirements.
A successful business leader is always looking for ways to expand his or her business. CE sessions can give you the knowledge and skills to implement those ideas in your pharmacy. And, it can give you a heads-up about new ideas. Whether that’s a course on compounding as a niche service, health information technology or specialty pharmacy, CE sessions may inspire you to look into a new area. Plus, you’ll be able to hear from experts, and learn from other pharmacy owners who have been successful.
The more you work to develop your knowledge and skills, the more you’re able to help your patients. There are several studies linking continuing education to health care outcomes. This study from 2009 links continuing education meetings and interactive workshops for healthcare professionals to improved patient outcomes, and this study from 2013, which looked specifically at continuing education programs in pharmacogenomics, found that CE presentations significantly improved pharmacists’ knowledge and ability to address pharmacogenomics in their pharmacies.
CE sessions aren’t just a requirement—they’re an opportunity to grow your business, improve your standard of care, and prove that pharmacists are increasingly valuable members of the health care team.
Don’t miss the continuing education opportunities at the Next! 2016 PBA Health Conference & Business Seminar. Take your pharmacy business to the next level at this three-day event, which will take place July 24-26, 2016 at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo.