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What to Do With a Thousand Dollars – Invest in Education and Secure Your Future

The most important thing when thinking of what to do with a thousand dollars is to think long term. A thousand dollars is a good sum of money which if utilized correctly could reap immense benefits that could last for a long time. What better way of securing a bright future than investing in education? Education goes a long way in empowering us to achieve our dreams. Education may not be the only way that we can make it in life, but it is the safest bet.

The way salaries are being paid in the current job market is very logical. The more educated you are, the higher your job group and the more you earn. Education however should not be seen as an avenue of getting into formal employment. We can also get empowered with the relevant skills and knowledge to start up a business in our preferred area of training. Investing in education is what to do with a thousand dollars.

For parents, what better way to secure your child’s future than investing in their education? Give your children a wonderful gift by setting up an education savings fund for their high school or college schooling. Such funds normally attract very generous tax incentives. We shall be paid back handsomely when the kids are all grown up and successful. The question what to do with a thousand dollars should not be a hard nut to crack; invest in education and secure the future. This will be a good decision, it will be the best one you could have made!

Education and the Unemployment Rate

I read a couple of interesting statistics the other day in an article about the widening talent shortage among many American companies. The first was a citing about a study done by ManpowerGroup, a Milwaukee-based workforce consultant, showing that 52 % of employers can’t recruit skilled workers for their open positions. The other stat, this time by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that of the 9.2% of American currently unemployed, 78% have only a high school education or less.

These numbers are surprising and they tell me a couple of things worth noting regarding our stubbornly high unemployment rate. One is that the rate might not be so high if Americans would get educated and trained in areas of shortage and need. The other is that thinking you are going to get ahead in the 21st century with just a high school education is not preparation for the future.

The public and their proxy the media love to play the blame game for the high unemployment rate. It’s the Democrats fault or the Republicans fault. It’s greedy Wall Street or lazy Europeans and so on and so on. Instead of finding fault, perhaps we need to hold up a mirror and look into it. We could lower the unemployment rate and all of the misery associated with it significantly if we would further our education in strategic ways. Education is one of the best ways out of this mess.

I rarely hear or read the mainstream media report about this lurking education gap as being a contributor to the unemployment rate and I pay attention to a lot of news. Why do you think that is? Why is the national anchorperson hesitant to say that too many of the unemployed are lacking in the right kinds of education? Perhaps there is a concern that to say so might be perceived as elitist or that someone’s feelings may be hurt. There is an elephant in the unemployment room that is being ignored and not fully discussed. And we as a country do ourselves no favors to avoid it.

We should address this issue head on. If we could be delivered news we could really use such as where the human resource shortages are and what is involved in preparing to fill them we could be much better informed. Let’s hear more reports about the skills deficit for a change instead of this constant obsession about budget deficits. Let’s agree that without a vigorous push for high quality education at all levels, then our chances of competing in the world marketplace are greatly diminished.

School districts and universities need to be more engaged in this conversation as well. Of course their mission is to provide a broad range of learning opportunities to the greatest number of people. But by not identifying and shifting resources to address critical shortage areas of the economy they are denying our workforce significant solutions needed now. Academic advisors and counselors need to work more aggressively aligning emerging talent with areas of employment need.

And let’s try harder to see education as the benefit that it is. There is too much of an attitude that views education more as a cost than as an investment. Education can provide individuals with practical skills, a critical thinking ability, and confidence to succeed. It’s among the best self-help techniques society can do for itself.

We can do more to reduce unemployment than to just wait for banks, corporations, or government to release more money. We can be smarter about creating a congruence between hiring gaps and workforce development.

Sterile Processing Schools, Education, and Training

A common keyword phrase searched for on the major search engines is “sterile processing schools.” You will find some of the schools (mostly career, technical, and community colleges) that will come up in such searches on the CSPI website. Inclusion in the CSPI links section does not indicate endorsement, rather these are placed merely for your convenience (this site aims to be a consolidation of resources on all things SPD).

A few notes about such programs…

1) Though most such programs are “certificate” programs, one is not deemed certified upon completion of these programs. One still must register and apply for either the CBSPD or IAHCSMM exam and pass to achieve certification.

2) Most of these programs cost $1000+.

3) Most of the programs are live, on-campus offerings and therefore one must live near such a program for it to be of any benefit. Virtually no programs are offered with an online option (there are one or two good ones, e.g., the program via Purdue Continuing Education). However, most of the online offerings aren’t 100% online.

4) Such training programs (primarily speaking to those looking to break into the field) don’t guarantee employment opportunities.

5) Quality control. There is little uniformity in central sterile processing education and as such quality is always a question.

Considering all of the above (particularly affordability, convenience, and quality), it is for this reason that The CSPI is set to launch a completely online, comprehensive SPD courses that are affordable, comprehensive, convenient, and quality products.

The SPD profession has been under served and under valued for far too long. There is a long way to go before it achieves the standing in the professional healthcare community that it deserves-that its professionals deserve.

There are several ways to raise the standing of the profession and both center around education. The first way is for SPD technicians take the initiative for education and personal growth upon themselves and pursue every avenue to increase their knowledge base and thus, subsequently, equip themselves to provide a better quality patient care product.

Secondly, is for perioperative leaders (those of whom to whom SPD reports directly) as well as infection control directors and hospital administrators to recognize the importance of the sterile processing field and department within one’s facility and the role of sterile processing in infection control and patient safety. Administrators, those with the most local power to impact the SPD profession (at least at their facility and within their own organizations) should take the time to learn more about the field and department. Sterile processing will then be viewed as a clinical and technical field and less pure service and support arena.

One thing that an administrative team could implement today is to require their HR departments to mandate, for new hires, a minimum of 6 months work experience, professional certification, and at least completion of a minimal course in central sterile.

The profession is changing rapidly and, as the profession changes, how it is viewed by its clinical and technical peers will continue to change as well.

Copyright 2010 by Shane Huey. All rights reserved.