April is STD Awareness Month. Over the month, the CDC has been presenting a series of posts around this year’s theme – Treat Me Right – which focuses on the important relationship between healthcare providers and patients. Last week, Dr. Gail Bolan discussed the use of expedited partner therapy to ensure your patients’ sexual partners are treated. Today, in the final installment of this series, Dr. Bolan talks about The National Network of STD Clinical Prevention Training Centers (NNPTCs) and the educational opportunities and resources they provide.
We all know how valuable continuing education is but sometimes it feels like we can’t squeeze it into our already jam-packed schedules. I know just how hard it can be to carve out time for CMEs! That’s why we fund in-person and online educational opportunities for healthcare providers to increase their knowledge of current STD prevention and treatment recommendations while earning free CME, CNE, or CE credits.
What kinds of educational opportunities?
- The National Network of STD Clinical Prevention Training Centers (NNPTC) is a group of regional practicing clinical experts dedicated to increasing your knowledge and skills in the area of sexual health. The NNPTC provides year-round, high quality and efficient educational opportunities in the prevention and treatment of STDs. Both in-person and webinar based trainings are offered. You can find out more information here, including upcoming classes being offered and a full course catalog. The NNPTCs also disseminate printed reference materials summarizing screening and treatment recommendations from the CDC STD Treatment Guidelines for use in clinical settings.
- The National STD Curriculum is a free educational website, funded by a grant from the CDC and developed by the University of Washington STD Prevention Training Center and the University of Washington. The curriculum addresses the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, management, and prevention of STDs. The website also seamlessly integrates the most recent CDC STD Treatment Guidelines. The curriculum tracks your progress, allowing you to complete modules at your own pace, on your own schedule, and offers free CE credits.
- STD Clinical Toolbox is a mobile app that provides physicians and other healthcare providers immediate access to the latest STD information; STD resources including the CDC’s STD Treatment Guidelines; STD training opportunities across the United States; and upcoming STD-related conferences. Currently, the STD Clinical Toolbox is only available on iOS devices.
While education is critical, I understand that sometimes you may need direct help with specific cases. The STD Clinical Consultation Network (STDCCN) is a free STD consultation service for licensed healthcare providers provided by the NNPTC. STD CCN is the first online, medical consultation system for the treatment and management of STDs nationally. This innovative network connects healthcare providers to expert STD faculty from the regional Prevention Training Centers. STD CCN is available during business hours, 5 days a week.
I hope that throughout this month I have provided you with useful information and helpful resources that will help you strengthen the relationships with and care you provide to your patients. Each of you plays an important role in helping to curb the rise of STDs. On behalf of myself, and all of us here at the CDC, thank you for all you do for our nation and for engaging with us over STD Awareness Month.
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