Most people have a basic understanding of what questions to ask when choosing a treatment center, but one that is often overlooked is, “What type of continuing education in treatment does your staff receive?”. Most licensing boards require some amount of continuing ed to maintain their credentialing, like nursing, social work, counseling, etc. The importance of continuing education for licensed personnel is maintaining contact with the professional community and staying updated with the latest research, and professional standards. Say you were licensed as a nurse or social worker in 1990. Think of the advances in medicine and the different ways we focus on treatment since then. This is why it is imperative for licensed clinicians to stay up-to-date.
It is important to ask a treatment center what boards their staff are licensed with. Are their staff members pursuing any other credentialing? How does the treatment center support their staff in continuing ed? Do any of their staff have certifications in alternative medicine, like yoga or massage? Do they partake in conferences and other face to face training?
This type of questioning gives you idea to how the treatment center supports their staff and how up-to-date they are in Best Practices. The training of the professionals supporting you or your loved one could make an enormous impact on how well their recovery begins. Imagine going back in time 25 years and being treated with the same medicine or therapy they used then. Treatment is ever evolving, just as people are. Needs are different, drugs are different, detoxes more complex. The right information and education could literally mean the difference between life or death.
At AACC we pay for our staff to attend regional and national conferences. We have staff in pursuit of additional and higher credentials. We hold training and recertification in house. We pay for face to face continuing education. We are sponsors at conferences regionally. We have staff members trained and certified in alternative therapies like yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction. We are accredited with CARF, a national organization that makes sure we are in standard with Best Practices. And most of all, we are willing to change with the trends. We have developed new detox protocols around marijuana withdrawal and long acting opioids, and not too long ago the research stated marijuana didn’t have withdrawal symptoms.
Wherever you or your loved one seeks treatment, make sure it is a place that supports continuing education.