If you’re like me, you hate wasting time. And, nothing screams time-suck like your daily commute. I’m lucky these days in that working odd hours affords me the luxury of driving the speed limit on my way to work. But, there have definitely been times in my NP career when bumper to bumper traffic kept me twiddling my thumbs (…or rocking out to 90’s pop) behind the steering wheel for more than an hour a day.
Whether you drive to work, walk, bike, or take the subway, there are some easy ways you can put your commute to work to improve your clinical know-how. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Rack up some continuing medical education credits
Fitting in required continuing education hours can be tough. Fortunately, some CME companies offer courses that are recorded so you can easily listen to them any time you please- no reading required. Try downloading a continuing medical education app featuring audio courses for your next drive to work.
2. Brush up on the latest medical studies
If you take mass transit to work, the sky’s the limit when it comes to using your commute for clinical improvement. You may not have the motivation to read more mind intensive materials on your way home from a long day. Instead, check out 2 Minute Medicine. This site boils down the latest medical studies into quick, 120 second reads so you can keep up to date without drowning in lengthy reading material.
3. Study for the NP or PA certification exam
Studying for the nurse practitioner certification exam? Or, maybe you’re a physician assistant required to take the boards every five years? Whatever your situation, your commute can be a perfect, distraction-free study zone. Purchase an audio study guide to assist your efforts while you rive yourself to work. If you aren’t the one behind the wheel, knock out a few practice questions on your way to work or review flashcards.
4. Tune in to a medical podcast
Whether you’re looking to improve your knowledge of emergency medicine, get some internal medicine insight, or stay up to date on the state of the healthcare system, there’s a podcast to meet your needs. The British Medical Journal, for example, offers talks on everything from genetic variants in Crohn’s disease to blood transfusion recommendations and cerebral palsy football.
5. Follow healthcare blogs
Following healthcare blogs during your commute is another option for non-drivers. Checking in with medical blogs is a great way to keep an eye on changes in healthcare, monitor medical trends, and connect with other medical professionals. Here are a few healthcare blogs worth checking out.
6. Give your mind a break!
After a long day in the clinic or hospital, the most beneficial thing for you may be to zone out for a bit. This way you can wake up feeling refreshed to tackle another day of on the job learning. You can’t always be an overachiever!
What’s your favorite way to spend your commute?
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