Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Update: SC AHEC Regional Centers Pivot Continuing Education Programs Online

We know that even through unprecedented times, health professionals still need continuing professional development to maintain certifications and licensure. To continue to be able to offer education to the professionals in their communities, the regional South Carolina AHEC centers quickly began transitioning scheduled continuing professional development programs from in-person events to webinars. Here are some brief highlights:

Lowcountry AHEC worked with longtime instructor Francine Muscarella, LMSW, LCSW, to offer her already scheduled courses The Art of Leading and Are You Running Out of Time? as webinars to professionals statewide. The transition allowed a multidisciplinary group of attendees to still participate in learning opportunities without leaving their homes. “Huge thanks and shout out,” remarked one attendee, “to all those involved to take this from an in-person class to transition it on short notice to a webinar.”

Likewise, Mid-Carolina AHEC cancelled all in-person educational courses through at least April 30 and transitioned existing programs to online, enduring or webinar format.  Specifically, they offered an already scheduled four-part leadership series and a program on the ABC’s of pediatric care as webinars. The programs were also recorded and will be available as on-demand videos for professionals who were not able to attend the webinars.

Many people may be feeling more stress during this time. To address that, Pee Dee AHEC hosted a webinar on April 3 about how to manage and cope with stress during the COVID-19 epidemic.  Susie Owen, a licensed clinical social worker, provided strategies to adjust to our new “abnormal,” assess the impact of disruptive events, and the do’s and don’ts for coping. Continuing education credit was available but the course provided useful information for health professionals and community members alike and nearly 200 people attended.

Upstate AHEC has also transitioned its in-person programming online. They have worked with frequent partner and presenter Pam Collins to plan a series of short webinars for school nurses. Since many schools are currently closed, the two programs, Legal Issues and Documentation for School Nurses and Professionalism in Nursing, have been a great opportunity for school nurses to obtain necessary continuing professional development. Upstate AHEC plans to offer these webinars again for anyone who would like to attend.

To see all upcoming learning opportunities, visit the statewide South Carolina AHEC continuing professional development calendar at https://www.scahec.net/calendar.html.