There is no question that although healthcare is a booming industry, these are still cautious and even tough times for many people in this country. Most of us these days weigh our expenses carefully and are more frugal when it comes to "extras". Joining a professional association can be costly especially when you are just starting out in the field. However, as you will note below the tangible and intangible benefits you receive as a member can far offset the sometimes hefty dues.
- The healthcare field is constantly evolving and changing, both in its knowledge base and technologies, as well as in its regulations and laws. A professional association is the major advocacy group with local, state and national governments for a particular healthcare specialty regarding pay and marketing of the specialty. As such, they are on the front line of the latest advances in the industry. They disseminate that information to members through on-line databases of articles and periodicals, as well as professional publications delivered to the home.
- Many healthcare specialties require continuing education credits (CEUs) for licensure renewals and career development. Using the latest technologies, associations offer their members courses through web seminars, podcasts, self-study programs, and at their annual conferences. Members receive substantial discounts for CE products, and the accompanying handbooks, reference books and other resources.
- Healthcare associations also offer other money-saving affinity programs. Membership provides access to discounts on insurance, healthcare and wellness screenings, auto purchases and rentals, personalized marketing materials and national conference registrations. Becoming a member of a local and/or regional chapter of the association can substantially increase your savings in these and other areas.
- Associations are synergistic, their collective effect on and in the field is greater than that of any one of their individual members. Attending an association event, peer mentoring, participation in on-line forums and chat groups, and volunteering for a committee at the local/state level are all networking resources that enhance a member's knowledge base, aid their career development and provides access to experts in their field around the world. Each association's annual national conference is a huge networking opportunity that is not to be missed.
Annual association conferences for 2012 are:
- American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA): April 26-29 in Indianapolis, IN.
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) PT12: June 6-9 in Tampa, FL.
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): November 15-17 in Atlanta, GA.
In addition to all of the reasons above, becoming a member of a professional association has the added benefit of enhancing your resume. Then contact Centra at 800 535 0076 and let us parlay that professional enhancement into a great job!