Sometimes we don’t know as much as we think we know. I mailed in my CBET certification renewal journal last week with the requisite documentation and fee, probably for about the eighth time since I achieved certification in 1993. This was the first time, however, that I’ve renewed under the new ACI guidelines. They are a bit more stringent and I’m all for it. I didn’t really take a close look at the new requirements until very recently.
Under the new requirements, an individual must earn 30 CEUs over a 3-year period. At least 15 of these CEUs must be in Category IV: Professional Development. Luckily for me, I’ve attended an AAMI Conference during this three-year period and two different ultrasound courses (thanks to GMI). This new journal emphasizes the need to be a student. As a motorcycle instructor, I am required to update my certifications every two years. And part of that renewal is to attend a professional development activity (such as a motorcycle-related conference) plus taking a motorcycle course as a student. This continuing need to be a student is absolutely necessary in all fields, in my opinion. Charles Darwin once said, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” (Maybe that is where the Darwin Awards originated).
In a recent article in a non-HTM magazine, the author mentioned the Dunning-Kruger Effect. As I understand it, the Dunning-Kruger Effect basically says that people with low ability in an area frequently think they have a much higher ability than they actually do. This made perfect sense to me. Ask any 10 drivers to rate themselves from poor, below average, average, above average or excellent and my guess is that most, if not all, of them will rate themselves above average or excellent. Perhaps this is why we see so many people using the cellphone while driving. It is seemingly only dangerous for those with below average abilities. It is also evident in the classroom when students (and instructors) are genuinely shocked by a less than perfect score (or review).
For most, the more we learn, the more we realize how much we don’t know and how much more there is to learn. In HTM, the need to continuously learn is obvious. As a biomed, and afterward as an instructor, I was fortunate to work with some very talented and competent individuals. They are so talented and competent that many times I question my own competency.
For educators, when students do not graduate with the skills they need it means we failed. Our advisory boards keep us on track as to what should be taught, but it is up to us to decide how we do it and how well we do it. While it is really easy to place the blame on the students, “Wow, students these days are just not as bright as they used to be,” it is probably more correct to do some self-assessment and realize we could be doing a better job of teaching. So back to the ACI, the increased requirement for professional development is a good thing.
Sometimes, it is a good thing to be criticized also. I realized this recently when my wife and I were talking about writing and this column came up. She said she hasn’t read any of my writings lately because “they are all basically the same.” Wow! Spouses have a unique way of calibrating people when they need it most. The fact that she is an HTM professional made it sting that much worse. On that note, I will promise to branch out a bit and change things up. Consider me calibrated.
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