For those of you surfing the Internet waves for a summary of the Utah Physical Therapy Continuing Education Requirements, you've come to the right place. Within the two year renewal period, licensed therapists must complete 40 hours of PT CEUs, and assistants up for renewal must complete 20 hours of PTA CEUs. Only half of those hours may be completed through online or distance learning courses. The deadline for completion is based on the expiration date on your license. If you've stumbled upon this blog looking for a story, you've come to the right place. Keep reading to decide if I successfully tied together rock climbing, one of Utah's most thrilling outdoor attractions and my favorite hobby, with continuing education in the "Beehive State." Let me know how I did in the comment section below!
I discovered a passion for rock climbing in 2012 after a visit to the local climbing gym in my hometown. The first day did not result in many physical accomplishments (besides a lot of sore muscles), but I did learn several key terms associated with climbing. For instance, in indoor gyms and in predetermined outdoor areas, there is a specific starting point and ending point, with designated moves in between, creating a "route" for climbers to follow. These routes would be designated by colored pieces of tape in gyms, so the climber knows they can only put their hands and feet on the holds marked with that color. It's not as simple as going from bottom to top, even though that's a welcomed exercise in itself. (That's me in the picture to the right).
Routes are also called "problems." I had to laugh when I found that out, and immediately followed up with the question, "does that make me a 'problem-solver' if I complete the route successfully?" No, not exactly, but it doesn't stop the feeling of accomplishment that comes from a solid "send" (that's the correct term for completing a problem from start to finish). The challenge and exhilaration was enough to win me over that very first day, and since then it's been part of my weekly fitness routine.
Coming from a very flat state, severely lacking in boulder fields and mountains, I've had to make due with climbing inside, or "pulling plastic" as the seasoned mountaineers would call it. So when I look at pictures of places like Utah from an outdoor climber's perspective, I imagine they see a gigantic playground full of towers, arches, boulders and mountains ready for ascent. And with no less than 5 national parks inside the state's borders, it's understandable why Utah is a top-rated destination for beginners and champions alike. I'll get there some day, but until then I'll be working on my technique from the climate-controlled comfort of the gym...
The best part about it is the clarity of mind that occurs while you climb (and I imagine this is amplified when you're surrounded by the beauty of Utah's deserts and canyons). Climbing problems, while they require a certain level of strength, are mainly a mental challenge. As you make your way to the top of the wall, your focus has to be undivided as you thoughtfully put each hand and foot in the right place at the right time to achieve the goal of reaching the top.
The frustrations of the day are set aside, because without total attention to detail you'll fall. Even with your undivided attention that happens frequently, but don't worry, the floors are padded - another indoor climbing perk, in addition to air conditioning and heat!
This may be a stretch, but to me, navigating your physical therapy continuing education requirement is a lot like a climbing problem. Go with me on this for a moment. There's a specific starting point; selecting your online courses and planning for attendance at live conferences. And there's a specific ending point, completing your hours and submitting your application for renewal to the PT board. During the CE completion process, it takes focus and diligence, and it's more mental than physical, unless you do a lot of traveling to physical therapy seminars.
Your goal is to come up at the end with a successfully renewed license. The only difference is that there is no padded flooring waiting to soften your fall should you miss your deadline! If that still seems like a weak connection to you, I've got one more. Whether you complete 2 hours or 20 hours, you feel a since of accomplishment when you're done. You've solved the problems (I mean exam questions), and have leveled up in your knowledge of physical therapy.
Here's where you start. Choose your 10 or 20 hour course modules out of over 960 hours of course material designed to help you reach your professional goals. Contact a CE Specialist for set up, or go to MilestoneCE.com to create your account. We're here to assist you day and night at 1-800-709-8820 (toll-free) or info@MilestoneCE.com. Choose Milestone Continuing Education and take your PT knowledge to new heights!