Log in and learn: what are the benefits? – julie Deverick President BSDHTFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 10th December 2019
In the modern age it’s unsurprising that the internet is fast becoming the place we turn to for all of our needs. We shop online, we order food with the click of a button, and there are countless ways to socialise and share our passions on screen, forging new bonds with people all over the world.
Aside from these fascinating changes to daily life, the internet has also brought us a different way to learn. In the dental profession this is particularly relevant, as unlike in many other industries, individuals in dentistry have to continuously learn and gain CPD, which often means travelling to conferences and lectures.
By turning to CPD courses online, you may be surprised by the many benefits this new way of learning can bring…
A varied approach
Whilst study days, hosted by BSDHT Regional Groups, offer quality CPD with a great chance to network and meet those companies that you don’t see in practice, we recognise that for some dental hygienists and dental therapists, finding physical CPD courses can be somewhat of a struggle. Not only do you need to find educational seminars or events that cater directly to your interests, but they also have to be within a manageable distance and this can quickly dictate which events and courses are viable.
Online learning removes this barrier and instantly opens up a wide array of options. Not only can you search for the CPD courses that cover areas you are most interested in, but you are no longer restricted by factors such as distance or time, meaning that you can focus your career more effectively.
Comfort comes first
For those with social anxieties, large dental events can feel a bit stressful and overwhelming. Although they are a fabulous resource for networking, it’s also sometimes good to explore alternative ways to learn which keep you more within your comfort zone.
By using your computer to learn online, you can avoid the social anxiety that large events can set off, while also learning at your own pace. Many of these online courses are accessible from various devices, which means that you can take a course in your pyjamas on one of your days off from work, or take your laptop to a coffee shop and earn your CPD whilst enjoying a nice latte. The options are limitless, and by approaching information with a calm, relaxed mind you may find that the information is easier to remember – especially as some research suggests that calm minds retain knowledge much more effectively.[i]
Furthermore, you can often email the course leaders any questions without the worry or having to draw attention to yourself in a large group of people. This means you can get a better understanding of the material and develop your ideas more effectively.
Don’t interrupt your schedule
It almost seems ironic that the very act of having to go to classes that let you earn the CPD to develop in your career, also inevitably means you will have to take time out from work to attend (although most BSDHT study days are held on the weekend for your convenience!) The time requirements of going to big events can be numerous, and as well as having to possibly take days off work, you need to factor in travel time, socialising time and the expenses that these will bring.
Online courses, although often costing a registration fee, are likely to be a much cheaper and convenient option for the majority of people. These sessions can fit into your schedule whenever you have some free time, and this means you won’t have to take any time off work to enrich your career.
However, that being said there is a lot of value that can be gained from visiting regional events and meetings tailored towards your profession. These are ideal places to network and meet other enthusiastic colleagues, and therefore a mix of online learning and visiting events is a fantastic way to get the best of both worlds.
Curated content for your profession
Sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming. That’s why, when it comes to earning CPD online, it’s a good idea to focus on educational providers who can offer you a varied selection of CPD courses that are tailored more succinctly to your profession.
The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) has a wonderful range of online CPD available for members, in conjunction with Dental Health. Members of the Society can log in to start learning about a wide variety of pertinent topics, all of which can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
The BSDHT also offer a fantastic array of Regional Study Groups and other, physical events that people should still attend to make the most out of their profession. These are exceptional chances to learn from the experts first-hand, and provide numerous network opportunities that are impossible to replicate online. So why not benefit from both and mix online learning with visiting these events?
Learn your way
Everybody learns differently, and physical events and meet ups do come with their own set of benefits that can’t be replicated by the online learning experience. However, online learning does open a lot of avenues for people who want to fit their CPD more effectively into busy schedules. By finding a reliable source of online CPD and learning at your own pace where and when you want, you can develop your career your own way.
[i] PsychCentral. Relax Your Brain – You’ll Learn more and be Happier! Link: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2016/09/relax-your-brain-youll-learn-more-and-be-happier/ [Last accessed August 19].