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Courses open for VSPNer registration

STAF133-0310 : Practice Management 101-The Basics

Rebecca Rose, CVT

March 17-April 30, 2010
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings, March 23, 30, and April 13 and 20, 2010 (no class April 6); 8:00pm-9:30pm ET (USA)

Interested in practice management? Would you like to understand management topics more or would you like to get the groundwork of understanding to launch your future career in management? The goal of this course is to enable and empower veterinary technicians and assistants to better understand basic practice management principles and make them a more valuable asset to their veterinary team. The course will cover the importance and use of an employee handbook, safety regulations and laws, budget, inventory control, performance reviews, effective team meetings and career development towards practice management.

The course consists of four (4) online real time sessions of 90 minutes each covering discussion of basic practice management tools and career development; homework reinforcing the handouts and real time sessions; interactive message boards to discuss the real time sessions and online homework quizzes in lieu of a final exam. The goal of the homework is to test the participant's knowledge of the material discussed in each session.

All veterinary support staff are encouraged to join the course and its discussion; however, this course is focused on veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, and individuals considering a career move into a supervisor position or management role.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to

TEXTBOOK: There is no required textbook for this course. A list of resources and references will be supplied to course participants


Week 1: Benefits of an Employee Handbook and Laws Governing Small Businesses
Content: The first week of class we will discuss how often an employee handbook needs to be reviewed/revised, when to use it, the benefits of having an updated handbook, laws governing small businesses, labor laws, confidentiality, and resources to creating/updating an employee handbook. Participants will learn how to critique current employee handbooks and how to create or revise one. We will cover what should be in a handbook and why. Tips for finding laws governing small businesses by state will also be included.

Week 2: Managing Safety Issues within Veterinary Practices
Content: This week we will discuss OSHA, laws governing safety within the workplace, OSHA consults, increasing safety awareness and implementation of safety training. We will also cover MSDS, secondary labeling, personal protective equipment, safety hazards, review current statistics on injuries within veterinary practices and Workman's Compensation Insurance. Finally, we will include tips on finding laws governing safety by state.

Week 3: Team Meetings and Performance Reviews
Content: Week 3 will cover the advantages of effective team meetings, how to create productive meetings, agendas and follow-though. We will also discuss how to set up performance reviews and options, properly and objectively offer constructive feedback, set goals and assist your team in achieving a more satisfying, professional career. Participants will learn how to create interactive, meaningful, open-minded team meetings. Finally, we will include tips on how to find resources regarding human resource development.

Week 4: Hospital Budgets and Inventory Control
Content: During the final week we will dissect a budget, determine what the categories and percentages mean, and how to implement a budget. We will also discuss the importance of tightly maintained inventory, what the inventory specialist does, and how to implement an inventory protocol. We will conclude this week by learning how to work with an accountant and cover some basic software functions that allow for good budgeting and inventory control.

LIBRARY MATERIALS: Library materials will be made available prior to the topic week so participants will have plenty of time to prepare for the real time sessions and discussion.

MESSAGE BOARD DISCUSSIONS: Message board discussions regarding the topic presented will begin on the day the course opens and continue for one week following the last real time session. These discussions will be held in the VSPN CE course area.


$120 ($108.00 early bird special if registered before March 3, 2010).
*Students currently enrolled in and taking at least 2 classes or 5 units at an AVMA accredited or CAAHT approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status). You must include the following information in the comments section of the CE enrollment form in order to be eligible for this discount: your program director's name and contact information (email/phone) and school name.

** NOTE: Enrollment will be closed when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first real time session.

**For more on how online CE works see the VSPN Participant's Resource Center


  1. Each person must individually be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. To enroll in any VSPN CE course click on the ENROLL NOW link below the course title on the right side of the page at
  3. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. This is our major form of communication with participants. It is highly recommended that course participants use their own, personal emails rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  4. VIN Member veterinarians SHOULD NOT register for their staff. Please have the staff member register through VSPN. Please email if you have questions.
Note: "This course has been submitted for approval for 6 continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. Call VSPN CE at 1-800-700-4636 for further information." (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board).
This course has also been submitted for approval for continual education units toward CVPM requirements through VHMA.
COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VSPN or VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdraw retroactively.
Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).
** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881
Charlotte Waack (; ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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