Whilst remote and rural practice can provide a rich environment for CPD, there are a number of barriers for remote and rural Allied Health Professionals, mostly due to the difficulty in accessing events hosted in the city, or the effect of small department size on CPD opportunities. Below are some tips for addressing some of the commonly recognised barriers.
Formal CPD frequently requires funding (e.g. registration costs and study leave). Funding required to attend CPD can be higher for remote and rural practitioners as travel and accommodation costs are often incurred. Tips:
- Make the most of work-based CPD opportunities (there are many learning opportunities right at your door).
- Explore funding support options such as Scholarships & Grants.
Finding time to undertake CPD can also be challenging. It can often be hard to squeeze CPD (especially self directed) into your busy schedule. Tips:
- Dedicate 1/2 hour a fortnight to reading new articles (include in your diary)
- Have articles printed out (ready to take with you and read in downtimes e.g. waiting for client etc).
- Negotiate protected time for CPD with your manager/supervisor.
- Embed reflection and recording into the daily routine
Much work has been done to address the issue of access to CPD. A larger range of CPD is now available via videoconference or in self-directed format. Access to the Internet has also enhanced the ability of allied health professional’s to keep up to date with current research and directions. Tips:
- Find out what CPD is available via videoconference.
- Work with your professional association to make CPD available via flexible delivery (including video-recording events and making them available for loan).
- Make use of online resources such as journals, web sites etc.
- Consider studying postgraduate programs via distance education etc.
- Invest some time in developing a list of Internet favourites – linking you to quality sites to enhance your CPD.
Frequently learnings from CPD are specific to a context or practice situation that may not be directly applicable to remote and rural practice. This often means that you have to apply these learning to your context. Tips: