How to get the most out of a ConEd course

  1. Find a manual or any background information on the course. If you are lucky to find an old manual, skim through it in order to get an idea of the course layout. This may help you understand the treatment philosophy and get yourself in the correct mindset to get back in student mode.
  2. Read the manual or handouts before taking the course. This helps so you understand at the basic concepts of the course.  This also leads to the next point…
  3. Write out questions that you have as you read the manual – Make sure you do not leave the course without them answered. If you are still unsure, clarify with the instructors during break.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You always hear, “Ask questions, your neighbor is probably confused too,” but it’s true. Plus, it may lead to a great discussion with some blue-light specials!
  5. Practice the skills on the instructors and ask for feedback. Chances are that your practice partner is taking the course for the first time, so doing the skill on the instructor gives you feedback on your pressure, speed, direction and most importantly, if you are doing the technique effectively.
  6. Volunteer to be demonstrated on. This is not only important so you can feel what is being learned, but so you can also appreciate what your patients will inevitably feel.
  7. Take the course with a co-worker. A Con Ed course can be exhausting and usually cram a ton of important information in a few days.  Having a co-worker there can help to bounce ideas off of each other, as well as reinforce the skills once you both return to the clinic.
  8. Strategize future treatment plans for current patients as you learn the new techniques. Not only does this help with learning the material, but you’ll be able to put all the new information to use right away.
  9. Use it, or you will lose it! Whatever you do, do not take a week off from the material. Try to use is as much as possible, or will forget the finer points of the technique.  This is also why bringing a co-worker and planning treatments for current patients is critical to help bridge the gap from the course back to the clinic!