Curious if MedBridge is a good fit for school-based OTs? If you’ve read my blog on school-based OT CEUs, you already know I recommend them for OTs looking for convenient CEUs that they can earn at any time. But if you’re looking for more specific info on what courses are available, I’ve got you! As a school-based OT, I know that one of my biggest needs with CEUs is finding ones that are actually relevant to our setting. So, I’ve curated the best MedBridge courses that are the most relevant to school-based OT practice.
Note: Affiliate links are used in this article, but please don’t feel pressure to use them! Your use of these links comes at no additional cost to you and helps support The Dynamic School OT.
MedBridge for Occupational Therapists
First, if you’re not that familiar with the MedBridge platform, let me give you a brief overview. MedBridge is an online continuing education platform that offers courses for multiple medical disciplines, including occupational therapy. Their website is easy to use and navigate, especially when searching and filtering courses that are relevant to specific settings. One of my favorite features of the platform is how simple it is to see if a certain course will count for your particular state’s licensing requirements, which is especially helpful if you hold multiple state licenses as I do. The courses themselves tend to be high-quality recordings that allow you to speed up or slow down playback and use a variety of audio-visual styles and print materials to teach information. And, potentially my favorite feature of MedBridge is that it’s one registration fee for a year of unlimited courses – so you can truly take as much continuing ed as you would like without worrying about increasing costs. Overall, the website makes it about as easy as it can be to complete CEUs for licensing requirements.
Criteria for MedBridge Courses for School-Based OTs
For this list, I focused on a few criteria for the best courses for school-based OTs. First, I chose only pre-recorded courses. While MedBridge does offer live webinars, our schedules don’t always allow us to attend these easily, and I wanted to pick courses you’d be able to do right away, on your own time. I also only included courses that were created by OTs. While I do think we can learn from other related disciplines, it’s hard to know all of the intricacies of our profession, especially in the schools, without being an OT yourself. Lastly, I chose courses that were directly related and applicable to the schools, with a focus on practical strategies that you could implement into your practice the next day. With those criteria in mind, here are the five courses that I thought were the most relevant to school-based OTs on the MedBridge platform.
How to Write an OT Educational Evaluation for School-Based Therapists
This is such an area of need for school-based OTs, and it’s an area that we often don’t get a lot of training on, so I’m happy to see continuing ed in this area! This course goes over the components of a good school-based OT evaluation report, including how school-based evaluations may differ from other settings. It talks about the importance of making your report educationally relevant and reflective of our full scope of practice, not just fine motor skills. The thing I liked most about this course was that it was very pragmatic: it discussed the constraints of IEP software, teams that may not be reading your full report, and how to modify the administration of standardized assessments. One thing I really appreciated in this arena was practical advice on language and tense to use, which I feel is something that often gets missed when discussing documentation, but is so important. I also like that the course went over including an occupational profile in your report, and how to get feedback from educational stakeholders to develop it. Overall, I think this course did a great job of highlighting how to use our unique lens as OTs to observe and assess students in this setting and communicate that information to teachers and parents in an effective and legally defensible way.
There are a few other courses in this particular series, so if you liked this one, they’re also worth checking out!
- Effective Evaluation Strategies for School Based Therapists
- Evaluation Strategies and Case Examples for School Based Therapists
- Service Delivery in School: An Overview of Best Practice by Occupational Therapy Practitioners
Executive Functioning Skills: Strategies for Children With ADHD and SPD
Executive functioning is a hot topic in OT, and I’m always looking for more info in this area. This course is a great introduction if you want to know more about this area of our practice, and may even have some strategies for more experienced therapists as well. One of my favorite parts of this course was that the presenter chose to include lived experiences of children and adults with ADHD in the course itself. I think this shift to recognizing people with these diagnoses as the experts is a crucial one, so I’m glad to see more OT continuing ed heading in this direction. Beyond that, the course does a good job of explaining why executive function is important and part of our scope of practice. But it also goes beyond theory into the practical, and gives very specific strategies for the classroom and schools.
Model of Collaborative Integrated Service Delivery
I am all about push-in/collaborative services in the schools, so this course immediately caught my eye. It discusses the necessary shift from what we knew when special ed law was written, i.e. the medical model, and how to change and update with best practice. This is a change that I’ve seen many therapists struggle with, and I still have my own challenges, so it was nice to get some affirmation to keep pushing our practice in this direction. The course also goes over remediation vs compensation, how to know when OT is required, and shifting to starting with participation vs a fine motor lens. It talks about what the least restrictive environment actually means for OT services and how we should be considering it with each recommendation we make. One point during this section that I thought was especially salient is examining if you have your own biases about if pull-out, direct, weekly OT services are “best” and if that is coloring your interactions with your teams. Plus, it discusses the importance of intervention plan in the school system, which is definitely one of my own personal soapboxes.
Service Delivery Models in the School: A Case Study Application
This is another course that goes over service delivery. It’s similar to the last course, but goes a little bit deeper with practical applications via case studies. I appreciated the reiteration on how we can all move towards best practices in service delivery, which usually means thinking about more contextual and collaborative services. This course also discusses the importance of collaborative goals instead of discipline-specific ones and gives more info about the components of a school-based OT intervention plan, including a sample template. It also includes info on intervention approaches and practical advice on how to actually get started with OT services. I appreciated the “real-life” case studies with students at different grade levels from preschool to high school. Lastly, there is a good reminder in this course about being collaborative – that it means learning from others as much as they are learning from you, which is so key in actually helping students.
Assistive Technology Overview
My last recommendation is for another topic that’s dear to my heart: assistive technology. While this course is not specific to the school setting, it does a good job of giving a broad overview of this area. If you’re not sure where to start with AT, this is a good intro. It discusses why AT is important, talks about different examples of AT from low tech to high tech, and how it relates to occupational therapy. Like many of my course recommendations, it includes practical considerations for making decisions around AT, including pragmatic advice for funding. I strongly believe that every school-based OT should know at least a little about AT, so this is a great way to get started.
I hope these recommendations were helpful! I know one of my fears of signing up for a CEU course is that it won’t actually be relevant or useful for my specific role as a school-based OT, so I hope this blog offered a more transparent look inside the platform! If you’re ready to give MedBridge a shot, you can sign up here with the promo code BREITHART to save up to 40% off a yearly membership. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!
And if you’re looking for even more school-based OT continuing education opportunities, I’d love to have you join my course, The Dynamic School OT! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Did I miss one of your favorite courses? Come discuss in my Facebook group!