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Developing as a professional, shaping your career – a Canadian approach

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By Eric Sandelands
Dean, Canadian School of Management
http://www.c-s-m.org


Reflecting on technical developments and change

Developing our skills and aptitudes is not a choice in this profession. Any analysis of, say, the last 30 years (the length of many careers) in medical radiation technology can only conclude that it has been a period of momentous, almost unimaginable change.

Then let us consider the major specialties within the field - radiological technology, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging. To practice in any of these individual disciplines requires ongoing, almost constant attention to understanding new knowledge as it is discovered and applying it in practice as new techniques are developed.

Many people are dual trained, stretching into, say, ultrasound requiring twice the effort! And, while in-depth, up-to-date knowledge of a chosen specialty is required, the overall context of developments within the medical radiation field and inter-relationships between disciplines cannot be ignored.

Indeed, part of what your association provides in pledging to foster excellence in patient care are standards of practice and opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD).

Opportunities for professional development

Continuing professional development can represent a means of remaining effective while actively employed. It can also, if proactively managed, provide the building blocks through formal and informal learning for a "successful" career. In this context, there are four major areas of activity from which to learn:
1. At work - e.g. advising on a difficult case;
2. Self-directed, informal learning - e.g. planned reading of books, use of audio tapes, videos and CD-ROMs;
3. Courses, seminars and conferences - e.g. professional education;
4. After work activities - e.g. on the management committee of a sports club or participating on a school council.

Building your career

In shaping a career, though, there are the management challenges too. In a professional career we can quickly find ourselves supervising and managing others. For others, a personal career goal may be to map a path to becoming Department Manager or beyond. Like clinical competence, managerial competence is equally important in the effective and efficient delivery of health care. The management of a department with staff on three shifts striving to provide the highest standards of care on a consistent basis is highly challenging.

Founded by a Kellogg Foundation grant in 1976 to specifically address the need to develop management expertise in the healthcare sector, the Canadian School of Management (CSM) helps professionals and managers achieve career goals. We try to start where you are and build towards where you want to go next with your career.

1. Choose the program most appropriate to you.
2. Tell us of your hard won experience together with training and education you have received. Our application system is one designed for adults with life experience.
3. You decide the pace at which you want to learn – two concurrent courses, just one, or when you need a break because the pressure is on elsewhere.
4. You are not asked to pay up-front for your program or even in two or three stages. You only pay for the courses you are taking. Design your learning around your budget as well as your time constraints.
5. All assignments are your workplace challenges – we won’t teach you our favorite theories, we will help you understand the subject while succeeding at work.

Our Internet resources and tutorial are delivered to you wherever you are and whenever you want it. For many of us, "ideal" programs of CPD are fine on paper, but our own issues fall into the category of "real life":
- "I have to juggle a demanding job with an active family."
- "I have social and leisure commitments."
- "I have to be able to budget for my education – plunging myself into massive debt to pay for a program is not an option."

If this sounds like what you need, then why not join the many thousands of healthcare professionals who have benefited from studying with us. I believe it will be among the most powerful learning you will experience, boosting your ability to deliver results at work and shape your career the way you want it.


Footnote
To discover which Canadian School of Management program is best for you, visit our Web site at: http://www.c-s-m.org
Or contact: Mary Darby, Director of Healthcare Programs
Toll free: 1 888 508 7642
E-mail: [email protected]
Mail: Canadian School of Management, 335 Bay Street, Suite 1120, Toronto, On M5H 2R3.


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