Rachel Johnson is the lead OT at the Seashell Trust and here she explains why podcasts can be a great way of contributing to your CPD, especially when you are low on time.

“Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the way in which registrants continue to learn and develop throughout their careers. They do this in order to keep their skills and knowledge up to date and are able to practice safely and effectively”. Therapists are required by the Health and Care Professions Council to prove they have kept up their CPD.

The most common reasons cited for not taking CPD opportunities appear to be lack of time and the cost.  In the current financial climate, and with the ongoing pressures on the NHS, these considerations are very real challenges that limit participation in CPD. For staff not working in an academic setting, or in the NHS who do not have access or an Athens account, access to journal articles/text books can be limited. To supplement my own CPD, I have recently started using podcasts as a free and easily accessible means of ‘learning on the go’. There are a large number of free podcasts available covering a wide range of topics. E-books are an alternative form of ‘portable’ CPD, however there is usually a fee to download them.

I listen to podcasts when walking my dog, waiting in a waiting room, sitting on the train and sometimes when driving. I have developed a number of favourites over time and chosen to subscribe to them (there is no cost involved), which means my phone downloads them automatically for me and they are ready and waiting when I have the time and inclination to listen. I am completely free to choose the topic dependent on my circumstances on that day. The benefit of listening on the go is that I regularly take the time to press the ‘pause’ button and reflect on my own practice – something that can sometimes feel like a luxury during the working day!

For those of you who have not listened to podcasts before, it is very easy to do. If you have a smart phone, open your podcast app and ‘search’. My favourites include A Glass Half Full (occupational therapy talk), The Sensory Project Show, The OT School podcast (hosted by Jayson Davies) The Sensory Matters Show and of course the Royal College of Occupational Therapy Podcast. When searching for ‘occupational therapy’ in podcasts, there are a wide range of options covering every aspect of occupational therapy. I recommend not limiting yourself to occupational therapy topics; management, leadership, reflection and self-development have been recent topics I have explored which all contribute to my CPD in different ways.

*Article originally appeared in Jan/Feb 20 issue of The OT Magazine.

Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay

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