The 3 things online education providers don’t want you to know…
- Devoid of clinical pearls
Online classes have to be combed over by lawyers and often several staff members. For this reason the info must be: a) backed up by the research b) doesn’t say anything that can lead to a lawsuit. But think about this: How many times were you given a clinical pearl that wasn’t mentioned in the research? I know for myself this has been the case multiple times. After tearing my Achilles tendon last year I was instructed to give Russian muscle stimulation early in the rehab. It felt so much better after this modality that I added it to my Achilles post-surgery protocol with great results. There is no research on this and you will not find this info in online education because it is not backed by the research or literature. When in the same room as an expert clinician however, they will mention the treatments that have worked for them. Online classes will not.
- You don't get to see treatment in action or get feedback.
I attended a class taught by Clare Frank of movement links a few months ago (One of the best Physical Therapy instructors ever by the way). Often she will use a student in her class at a “patient” to demonstrate her exam/treatment. In this class one of the students had buttock pain and low back pain on the same side when running. After the exam she performed PIR (post isometric relaxation)on the piriformis muscle and the positive tests that reproduced the low back pain were pain free on reassessment. The mechanism for why this worked is not reported in the literature and many of the students were pretty amazed. It was simply something that she was utilizing in her practice and she was sharing it with the class. Now, ask yourself, would this clinical pearl work in an online class?
Everyone in this class was able to practice this technique and get feedback on correct performance. In our TMJ class with Nancy Adachi, every single student was able to improve their manual therapy technique with her feedback. These instructions can only be given to a student in person.
- Many professions are hungry for education and are doing a great job at improving. With online classes, you will fall behind.
Lately I have been seeing a lot of personal trainers, Chiropractors and athletic trainers in my Physical Therapy CEU classes. This is great! Often they are very motivated to get better and make their business more marketable. We need to understand that there are plenty of patients to go around for everyone and if more people benefit, this is great. I am here to say however that the profession that is able to settle for getting their clinical education online is the profession that will fall behind. As health care goes through the many transitions that are inevitable for the future, the consumers will have a big say in who lands on their feet. The profession who gives the best results in the least amount of time will be the public’s choice.
Randal Glaser PT, DPT, OCS, CEAS I
is currently designing courses for Jetset Rehab Education, www.jetsetrehabed.com , working in the clinic and researching tennis elbow.