Before there is an insurrection from the accreditation wing of the Sterile Processing world, let me just come out and offer a disclaimer right here at the outset -- I support continuing education credits. I think they give our industry, in particular, a helpful dose of standardization and incentive for growth in knowledge and professional expertise. And just like the rest of you, I meticulously keep track of my own annual CEUs for re-certification submissions every year for my CRCST, CIS, CER, and CHL credentials. So this post isn't as much an argument against a CEU-culture in toto as it is a plea for CEUs to be a single pillar, not the foundation, of our overall conception of Sterile Processing education.
So, with that out of the way, what's my beef with a solo CEU-culture? Allow me to argue the case:
A Part, Not the Whole: The Risk of CEU Mission Drift
The mission and purpose of most industry continuing education units (CEUs) is to keep the individual holding a particular certification or license up to date with a baseline knowledge of current standards and best practices. And as I noted in the introduction to this post, that is not, by itself, a bad thing. Particularly for industries such as medical device reprocessing where regulations and technology changes at a rapid pace, it is important that certification holders retain the value of that credential year after year. CEUs provide that on-going, education-centered value.
The problem comes when that mission for credentialing consistency begins drifting into areas where is should not be, or at least where it should not be the authoritative force for gauging educational value. If you've made it this far and are still asking yourself, "What in the heck is this guy talking about?," let me get a little more practical about how this CEU