Commit to becoming a life-long learner

December 12, 2018

A commitment all healthcare professionals must make to their individual professions, the interprofessional community and patients, and to themselves is to become life-long learners.

A commitment all healthcare professionals must make to their individual professions, the interprofessional community and patients, and to themselves is to become life-long learners. Worldwide advances in communication technology have created an abundance of opportunities to easily accomplish this goal: to learn and expand ones’ knowledge base and expertise within a global learning environment. Today’s technology has put such learning chances at our fingertips. An article from a national or international clinician/author/researcher that provides new evidence to support or refute a clinical practice guideline can be accessed online, often using interactive, engaging technology to view, for example, a video of a clinician-patient encounter in which both are immersed in real-time decision making. Similarly, the December 2018 digital issue of Contemporary Pediatrics offers all readers who were not physically present at the annual national American Academy of Pediatrics conference in Orlando, Florida in November, the opportunity to obtain an overview of the most current thinking about pediatric/adolescent healthcare offered by expert clinicians, educators, and researchers who presented.  

Choose Articles Based on Personal Learning Goals

For this commentary, I suggest that each individual or group of individuals in a group practice select articles of interest from this issue to read, discuss, and think about applying to personal practice, or just as a means of updating personal knowledge. What is your pleasure?

1.     You can go the tech route – Reading Top Tech for 2018 or Digital media and children: Integrating the positives and addressing the negatives.

2.     Adolescent healthcare – several options are offered – Adolescent health/sexually transmitted infections or Back to basics for student athletes: Educating parents and athletes about performance-enhancing drugs.

3.     Of course there are many more topics, eg, human trafficking, helping suicidal youth, sleep management

Beyond Just a Table of Contents

My objective here is not to list the table of contents. My message is about using personal self-reflective behaviors to make decisions about what you, the individual, want to read or actions you wish to take to update your knowledge base to meet your personal life-long learning goals.

Each month, I ask the editors at Contemporary Pediatrics to send me 3 articles from the table of contents to review. I recently realized that I select topics about which I clearly know the subject content and personally like.  I, too, needed to ask myself, what should I select to enhance what I know and make me a better clinician, educator, or researcher? There are certainly lots of options in this December edition of Contemporary Pediatrics.

Road Warrior for Learning

 

This coming Spring (yes, it is only December, and I am thinking about Spring), I will attend a variety of conferences, including those for nurse practitioners (one of my favorites: the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners conference, March 7 to 10, 2019), nurse practitioner and doctoral educators’ conferences, and a research conference. I am planning to self-reflect before I attend each of these conferences to determine how I as an individual will meet my personal goal to become a life-long learner.  Are you setting similar goals?  Are your life-long learner goals established for this year and for 2019?  If not, consider selecting 1 or 2 life-long learner goals as your 2019 New Year’s Resolution.  After all, such a goal may be easier-and far more worthwhile-to accomplish than others we all more commonly set each year as midnight approaches on December 31st!