We recently began an affiliation with Medbridge, an online resource for continuing education, as well as other clinician and patient tools, that is available for physical therapists (and assistants), occupational therapists (and assistants), speech language pathologists, and athletic trainers. I (Whitney) already had a Medbridge membership for several years and found this to be a helpful resource for access to continuing education material and for maintaining licensure and certification requirements, as both a physical therapist and athletic trainer. I have also discovered many other perks to my subscription, as you’ll read below. We are very pleased to begin this affiliation with Medbridge so that we can share this resource with fellow healthcare professionals. By signing up through our affiliate link or code (fifthwheelPT), you will receive a discount on your annual membership, and in addition you will be monetarily supporting our blog. I’d like to share the different ways that Medbridge can be a resource to you.
Maintaining CEU Requirements
As I mentioned, I am both a physical therapist (PT) and athletic trainer (ATC). I first started my Medbridge membership when I was in physical therapy school and needed to maintain my certification requirements as an athletic trainer. I was able to count some of my PT coursework toward my ATC certification requirements, but I still needed some additional CEUs. Through Medbridge, I was able to get unlimited CEUs online at my own convenience with my annual membership. Each course will list how many and what type of credits you will receive for your specific license/certification and state. So for example, as an ATC you need a certain number of credits in the “Evidence Based Practice” (EBP) category, and then the others can be from various other categories. Similarly, PTs in Virginia have to specifically have a certain number of “Type 1” CEUs. Medbridge has access to all different categories and types of CEUs for PTs, ATCs and other disciplines.
Another perk of using Medbridge as both a PT and ATC is that many of the courses will be eligible for CEUs as both an athletic trainer and a physical therapist, so I can “double dip” and get credit for both. Medbridge’s website makes it so easy to see which courses qualify for what discipline, category/type, number of CEUs, etc.
Medbridge has also been very helpful while working as a traveling physical therapist, because it has been more challenging for us to attend on site continuing education courses. As traveling PTs, we do not necessarily know where we will be located far enough in advance to sign up for courses. As well, once we are already on assignment, it can be more difficult to ask for time off to attend courses if the time off was not previously requested in our original contracts. In addition, as a traveler, you don’t necessarily get an allowance for CEUs or CEU reimbursement from your employer like a permanent employee might. While on site courses may in some cases give you more benefit than watching an online video, you can’t beat the price and convenience of the annual Medbridge membership which provides unlimited CEUs, when you compare it to the cost of an on site course.
For those who are not travelers, Medbridge is still very beneficial. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to attend some on site courses, but it may or may not be enough to meet all of your continuing education requirements. I’m sure that even as a permanent employee where you may have a CEU allowance, there may be some years where it is more feasible than others to take time off of work and travel to continuing education courses. As I said, you can’t beat the price and convenience for a one year unlimited access to all types of CEUs.
Learning for the Sake of Learning
Besides just maintaining your required licensure or certification, we have both found access to the continuing education very beneficial to us as clinicians. There is a huge variety of clinical material on the website, from evaluation/treatment of various body parts and conditions (for all disciplines PT/PTA, OT/OTA, SLP, ATC); to research methodology for the healthcare professional; to use of prosthetics and adaptive equipment in rehabilitation; to up and coming research on topics like pain science; to educational materials for health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease; and the list goes on and on. Not only is there a large variety of material, there is high quality content from well known and respected presenters. We were pleasantly surprised to see presenters such as Chad Cook and Adriaan Louw. For the lifelong learners in all of us, this is a great website for expanding our knowledge in a variety of areas or refreshing our knowledge on familiar topics.
In addition to clinical materials, there are also videos for the following areas: compliance (OSHA, HIPPA, fire safety, cultural competence, etc.); documentation, business, and marketing (Medicare, documentation, fraud, etc.); ethics and licensing requirements (medical errors, harassment, legal issues, etc.).
Live Webinars, Certificate Programs, and Certification Prep Programs
I’ve recently learned that the continuing education resources go beyond individual videos that count for CEUs. They also offer live Webinars that you can sign up for and then tune in live, as well as ask questions to the instructor in real time. This is a different type of learning experience which may provide more benefit to you than just watching a recording, and it may even qualify as a different category for CEU purposes depending on your license and state. They also offer “certificate programs” which are a series of many videos on a certain topic, which individually will count for CEUs, and at the end you will get a certificate of completion on that specific area. This can be a more comprehensive way to expand your knowledge and skills in a certain area.
The next one is huge: they offer online prep programs for advanced certifications, including OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist), SCS (Sports Certified Specialist), GCS (Geriatric Certified Specialist), NCS (Neurologic Certified Specialist), and PCS (Pediatric Certified Specialist). These prep programs are already included in the membership. This means you do not have to pay extra for these prep programs! I do not hold a specialized certification in any of the above areas, so I do not personally know the quality or depth/breadth of the prep programs compared to other prep programs. But I do know that this is a huge value already included in your annual membership, without paying extra. It’s definitely a good place to start if you plan to pursue one of these advanced specializations.
Patient Engagement Tools: HEP & Patient Education
In addition to the benefits of having access to online continuing education resources, Medbridge has also expanded its website to other materials including customized Home Exercise Programs (HEP) and Patient Education tools. You have access to a HEP builder that not only has pictures, but also has videos. You can change all the parameters and descriptions for the specific exercise, and you can even write to them and request a modification. You can print a paper copy, email, or text the HEP to your patient. They will also be given a link and code to access it on the internet at their leisure. This means they can see the interactive video instead of just the picture. You can even track if the patient has logged in to the website to use the HEP, including how many times per week they’re using it. You can save templates and use them again for future patients. There are also patient education videos you can send to your patients which give an overview of anatomy, pathology, and potential treatment options for their condition. This really takes patient education to the next level!
Overall, I’ve been really pleased with my Medbridge subscription for the past several years. I have mainly been using mine for CEU requirements, but now that I’ve researched all of the other benefits to my membership, I am going to be getting so much more out of it (for the same price!).
By signing up through our affiliate link or using our affiliate code below, you will receive a discount on the annual membership price, and a portion of your membership payment goes to support the blog. We know that your membership with Medbridge will be a great asset to you as a healthcare professional, and we greatly appreciate the support you would provide to us by using our affiliation.
Please don’t hesitate to message us if you have further questions about Medbridge, our affiliation, or our experience with using the site.
Promo code: fifthwheelPT
Affiliate link: https://www.medbridgeeducation.com/fifth-wheel-pt
Please note, if you click the above link, it will display “physical therapy,” but that is just a default because we are physical therapists and it’s our link. But the link and discount will apply to you regardless of your discipline (PT/PTA, OT/OTA, SLP, ATC). You can also just use the promo code at check out instead of the link.