State Board of California

The last meeting of our Board wants to require 30 hours of continuing education (over a 2-year period) to maintain your electrology license. I have an opinion on this, but I’m much more interested in hearing YOUR opinions. If you are in a licensed State, do you have continuing education? How many hours?

My thoughts are that it’s commendable to require “educational hours.” But who is going to give the instruction and how much will it cost. I talked to several physician friends and their continuing education ranges from 30 to 50 hours (per 2-year period). However (and this is a BIG “however”), the continuing education is on-line and it’s FREE. FREE!

If it’s free I say YES! If this is going to be a “goldmine” for the few remaining schools, then I’m skeptical. (What does the AEA offer for FREE continuing education?)

Actually, it would be wonderful to have LOTS of free educational material on line … for credit or not for credit. Nobody would have to MAKE you do it.

In Ohio, we are required to obtain 25 hours every two years. Five hours can be obtained at home and 20 hours must be obtained by physically going somewhere. I have attended continuing ed courses in the Cleveland area where I left home at 5am Sunday morning or I have driven there on a Saturday night, stayed in a hotel and attended an eight hour course all day Sunday, driving back to Columbus from 5pm to 8 pm. It is a hassle. The courses are not always high caliber, but I always learn something and I meet new people, so that’s a plus.

I also have to obtain 24 hours every two years to keep my nursing license active. I try to choose courses related to women’s health, dermatology or depression, so I can submit these courses for approval to the state medical board person, hoping that they will be accepted for my cosmetic therapy/ electrologist license requirements. These courses, for approval, have to be submitted three months in advance, so the board members can approve or disapprove them. Sometimes I get a written response and sometimes I don’t . I will attempt next year to submit nursing courses related to electrology and see where it gets me. It doesn’t seem to be well-organized and much confusion exists about who we are suppose to contact.

Courses for electrology courses are about $100 - $225 each. Nursing courses cost about $80 each. The local electrology school charges $20 per credit hour last I heard. I don’t think they should be free because someone has to use their time and labor to make it available to others. It should be reasonable and easy though.

The people in charge do their very best and I am not one to complain about any weaknesses I may see. If I am tempted to bitch and gossip, then I need to volunteer and work toward making it better.

I like having the continuing education requirement for both of my licenses. Continuing Education for Ohio Nurses course book makes it really easy. I am sitting here staring at my NetCE booklet that they automatically mail to all Ohio nurses. In it, I can fulfill 26 hours of continuing education for $39, in the comfort of my own home. I can choose to do home study or physically go to a hotel seminar. The subjects for year 2012 are the required Ohio law review section where we are updated on the Ohio Nurse Practice Act, A Review of Infertility and Autoimmune Diseases, all good subjects. I love this system. Easy and cheap and I wish there was a counterpart for electrolysis just like this system for my cosmetic therapy/electrologist license.

The AEA, of course, has their CEU offerings for home study. Many of those are short nursing courses and are excellent. I do think people want more home study options because we are so busy working away in our offices.

I am surprised that California does not already have this CEU requirement. I do think it is a good idea as long as the courses are not the foo-foo stuff that bore people to death. Last March, I attended an all day Sunday course through our state association. Our lobbyist spoke and updated us on legislature issues and we had two excellent speakers on Sterilization and Disinfection. There was a device demonstration, too. It was fun to meet electrologists from all over the state, but I treasure my Sundays off.

This is something I wouldn’t fight, as there are many advantages for having a continuing ed requirement. My biggest hope is that most course work could be done online. It is tough, not to mention expensive, for many of us to spend our weekend traveling. It is also tough on those that do their very best to plan these conferences only to have people complaining about the content or sleeping through most of it. My hat goes off to those that get involved to make things better.

Thanks so much for your thoughtful insight. I think you are correct on all accounts. I’m going to forward your ideas to the Board.

On-line would be great and I would assume that there are plenty of courses already available that would be appropriate for our industry.

(I know all of us have attended association meetings with talks that were “what the heck is that supposed to be” to the members.)

Dee you got me thinking about ways to do this …

Dee, I’m amazed by your dedication to keeping both licenses! It sounds like a hassle, but for what it’s worth, I think if you’re able to meet other electrologists and sling ideas across, just as one can in this forum, it’s not a bad thing. For a comparison of what happens when there aren’t ‘refresher’ courses, just look to the UK. You’d both be an asset here and could teach them a thing or two.