By Frank Merillat
I just completed my license renewal last week. It was relatively painless and easy. All was done online. First I went to CEBroker.com and entered my user name and password. I had established this free account option awhile ago. Once in my account, I confirmed that all of my continuing education requirements were complete. I knew that I couldn’t renew until all my CE requirements were met. I noticed that my account even had a little graph that showed the percentage of completion and then below were listed all the classes that had been recorded for my license number.
by Dar Mikula
The onslaught of continuing education offers has made me consider the benefits of in-class vs. online instruction, especially when it comes to the requirement for ethics and laws and rules. The Florida Board of Massage Therapy will accept either live or online credit (as long as the courses have been approved!) so it becomes up to the individual therapist how one might want to approach compliance.
I’ve observed that most online options are cheap, quick, basic, and you don’t even have to leave the house to earn credit! Whereas, when you sit in on a class at the Florida School of Massage, you have the opportunity to discuss real life situations, be guided by seasoned instructors who have longtime practices, and interact with your peers. And you even get a chance to get out of the house!
Instructor Jackie Ferber said, “With the feedback I’ve gotten, people are really glad they took the live ethics and laws classes,” she said. “Therapists get immediate feedback on challenges, there’s camaraderie and professional discussions that you don’t get with the online format. People learn from one another and it’s an opportunity to be in a room with a variety of levels of experience.”
Ferber also pointed out that in our profession we often work by ourselves. “Unless you work in a group clinic, there is very little opportunity to have discussions about ethics,” she said.
Instructor Karen Ball joins Ferber in her thumb’s up on the live experience of this continuing education core requirement, particularly when it comes to the laws and rules portion. “I think a lot more can be gotten from the law classes when live as well,” Ball said. “Mostly because participants can bring up individual situations and we can help people figure out what to do within the law. Because of the format that FSM offers – with Laws and Rules and Ethics together – we also can get attendees to determine whether their personal laws (their ethics) match Florida Law.”
Ball said that when it comes to ethics, there are a few good online choices with a different slant on the topic. “It depends on the nature of the online course as to whether it is more useful or beneficial than live,” she said. “For example, I have an online ethics course called Conscious Ethics that does not lend itself well to a classroom. It’s a totally introspective exercise that is not designed to be influenced by outside opinions and information.”
Upcoming core classes at FSM include “Ethical and Legal Considerations in the Practice of Massage Therapy” with Karen Ball on Saturday, May 9 from 11:30AM-3:30PM, or with Jackie Ferber on Sunday, July 26 from 9:00AM-1:00PM. Suggestion: take care of all the core requirements in one day! Come from 9:00-11:00AM Saturday, May 9 and join instructor Kristen Toth for “Medical Errors Prevention” before the ethics class, or stay later on Sunday, July 26, from 1:30-3:30PM and knock it out while you are on campus.
Dar Mikula is the Assistant Director of the Florida School of Massage and Editor of the Connective Issue. Her other favorite way to get credit for ethics and law (not mentioned above) is by attending meetings of the Florida Board of Massage Therapy. The board meeting schedule can be found here. For the Board guidelines on this option, see “Other Methods of Obtaining Continuing Education” on this page.
By Frank Merillat
Well here we are again. By the time you are reading this we will be within 365 days of the next license renewal. It is surprising how quickly this will happen. There are some things to consider. Fingerprinting is here and all continuing education credits will need to be on file with CEBroker.com in order to complete the renewal of the license.
At the 2013 renewal, we had to add a picture to our license. This time we will need to be digitally fingerprinted. This will be required to be completed by all licensees by January 15, 2015. We will have to select a provider to fingerprint us and pay for this ourselves. We should be receiving information from the Department of Health on how to successfully complete this requirement in the near future, so be sure your mailing address is up to date with the DOH.
We will also have to have all our CE credits completed and recorded with CEBroker before we can renew our license. This means that each of us must make sure that all our CE credits were submitted for classes that were taken. CEBroker has made it possible to see our records without paying to join. They also have a way for each person to enter credits themselves if the provider did not. Remember that each of us is personally responsible to meet the licensure requirements even if we do not agree with them.
Since we are moving closer to the renewal deadline each passing day, it is time to have a plan for meeting the CE requirements. We have to have 24 hours total. Of the 24, 12 hours have to be live and focus on the practice of massage. Six can be taken online or in an approved related area and 6 are the required medical errors, ethics and law.
How do you plan to meet your requirements? What interests you? Where is your growing edge? What will add to your existing skills? Who is a teacher you would like to join in class? These are all part of making a plan. So many therapists wait and take what is available rather than have an intentional plan. Also, often if one waits, the classes they really want or need are already full or have already taken place.
I was just looking at the FSM workshop calendar and am so grateful to have so many interesting options for subject matter and experienced teachers available. It is a real gift to be able to get quality education right here in Gainesville. Several of the instructors are internationally known: Deane Juhan, Giorgia Milne, Luann Overmeyer, plus our own Karen Ball and Pete Whitridge. Nancy Smith is recognized nationally as a leader in scar work. Ariela Grodner is becoming well known as a leading Thai instructor. All are offering workshops, along with many other local educators.
I will be offering a one-day class on the neck and a two-day class on working with whiplash injury as well as sponsoring Deane Juhan before the end of the year.
A real benefit of studying locally is cost. Whenever I travel to take class, I note that the greatest expense is usually the travel, food and lodging associated with the class, not the class itself. And if you are returning to FSM to take a class, you often know someone or can arrange lodging at much better cost than a hotel. I encourage you to look at the schedule of classes being offered and make a plan. All offerings have descriptions and how to register. Do note that not all classes are registered through the school. Some, like my own, are registered directly with the provider.
So, make a plan. Get registered for the class that fits your needs. Get fingerprinted and check out CEBroker so you can be ready to renew. Remember, each of us is responsible for meeting all the requirements in order to be able to successfully renew in a timely manner. Click here for another useful link to CE At Renewal.
Hope to join you in class!