How CEU Educators Helped Healthcare Workers Remain Licensed Through the Pandemic
After a painful odyssey of more than 20 months, the one thing all Americans can agree on is that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every facet of life; everything from the global supply chain to the educational system have been forced to adapt.
In some cases, changes wrought by the pandemic threaten even the licensures of healthcare workers who were suddenly and unexpectedly left unable to obtain their required Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Live CEUs ceased during the first lockdown, as most occurred within healthcare facilities. That’s when two providers of CEU instruction—Katie Cochran and Jay Jones—recognized the problem and decided to do something about it.
While working with Home Instead, an in-home care provider, they went to work on a plan to provide live CEU coursework via Zoom. Those courses continue under a new sponsor, CarePatrol.
Jones, who now works with CarePatrol, says, “CEUs are a vital part of professional life for healthcare workers and social workers, who must meet hourly requirements to remain licensed. The pandemic made so many straightforward processes difficult and the delivery of CEU instruction was just one of them, but it was one we felt we could help with.”
A Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a unit of credit offered by a continuing education provider approved by a state’s clinical licensing board. Aside from any licensing requirement, professionals use CEUs to improve their skills and to stay current on the latest trends and developments in their profession.
The Alabama Board of Social Work (ABSW), for example, requires clinicians to obtain 30 hours, or units, of continuing education every two years. Ten of the hours must be live. A minimum of three hours of ethics must be included. But with many senior care communities in lockdown, it suddenly seemed impossible for practitioners to get the CEU instruction they required.
Stephanie Morris of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama said she’s grateful Jones and CarePatrol stepped up and made something happen, telling CarePatrol how much she appreciated “the efforts you and your staff take to help those who can’t help themselves. Love the courses you offer. They are so informative, and Jay is a wonderful teacher.”
Shawn Barnes, owner of CarePatrol in north and central Alabama, said providing critical CEU programing to providers is thoroughly consistent with the company’s partnership approach.
“We’ve always felt a sense of partnership with those who are on the clinical frontlines. The pandemic gave us the opportunity to demonstrate that by stepping in to provide CEU instruction. Jay Jones has done a phenomenal job and we are pleased and proud that our senior living referral agency could play such a positive role,” Barnes said.
“The pandemic has strained a number of professional alliances and relationships, but this is perhaps one example of where it has also strengthened the ties that bind our firm, as well as those professionals who have had so much to deal with and didn’t need another source of stress in their lives. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to be of help to them,” he said.
No one knows what the future holds, but Jay Jones says CarePatrol is ready to help in any way they can. And that provides a ray of hope for healthcare workers who wish to retain their license.