Continuing Education Should Be Comfortable, MASSAGE MagazineBefore you sign up for your next continuing education class, take a few preparation steps to ensure you make the most of your investment in terms of time and money. Ideally, you should have an experience with continuing education that is exciting and comfortable at the same time.

Prior to considering the excitement and comfort level of any continuing education class, you should first find out what types of continuing education requirements exist in your state or region, as well as any professional organization to which you belong. If massage and bodywork in your area is governed by any kind of regulatory body, then there is a good chance there are specific guidelines to be followed when it comes to completing continuing education hours. The same is true for the major massage and bodywork professional groups as well.

Once you are aware of exactly what these guidelines entail, you will be ready to move on to the more flexible aspects of choosing a continuing education course. A priority in making this choice might be your comfort level. First and foremost, a large number of massage therapists and bodyworkers will want to know they can handle the time commitment that comes with a continuing education class.

The time commitment of a continuing education class encompasses the time it will take the student to get to and from the class, how long the class lasts and how much time it may take to complete any homework or practice hour assignments. If you are finding it tough to gauge the time commitment of a continuing education class simply by looking at the class synopsis, then reach out and ask the provider for an estimate, either by phone or e-mail.

There are, of course, a few ways to tell roughly how much time a continuing education class might take up in your schedule. One of the main ways of measuring this is by finding out how the class is offered—online, in person or at a destination seminar.

For example, if the continuing education class is offered online, through distance learning, that immediately cuts out the time it would take to travel to and from a traditional classroom or a destination seminar.

You also should be able to fairly easily evaluate how long a given continuing education class will last, simply by looking at the start and end date of the course, as well as how often it is held and how long each class runs.

In the example of distance learning, you might have a class that lasts three months, but only requires online attendance three days a week for one hour. When looking at a continuing education seminar, on the other hand, you might have a course that lasts only three days, but students spend six hours each day learning the material.

Another important part of one’s comfort level when attending continuing education classes might be how much the class costs. No one wants to break the bank or be worried about budget matters the whole time he or she is attempting to excel in class. Make sure the continuing education class you’re looking at fits your financial situation.