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VSPN CE Course STAF112-1012: Personnel Issues Facing Veterinary Practice


COURSE OPEN: October 29-December 6, 2012
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS):Mondays, November 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2012; 9:30pm-11:00pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter

Practice Sessions: In order to prepare you for a successful experience in your CE course, we request you attend a Practice Session prior to the first Real Time Session. Please arrive promptly at the start time; each Practice Session is up to 1 hour in length. For more information, please visit the CE Practice Area.

*The instructors for this course will be using audio which will require you to have a headset or speakers to listen. If you have any concerns regarding your computer's audio capabilities, please be sure to attend one of the Practice Sessions.

Level and Prerequisites: This advanced course is focused toward veterinary practice managers, hospital administrators, supervisors and those involved in the personnel management aspects of the practice. This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinary technicians and veterinarians and is approved by VHMA for CVPM credits.

Course Description:This goal of this course is to enable and empower veterinary practice leaders to effectively manage hiring and personnel issues. We will cover how to hire the 'right' people for the veterinary profession, conduct an orientation, set up and maintain personnel files and information, and incorporate performance planning, employee evaluations, disciplinary action, and termination procedures. The course includes interactive components each participant must complete during the course to test the participant's knowledge of the material discussed in each session.

This course consists of four (4) ninety (90) minute Real Time Sessions covering discussions of situations, supplemental library materials, interactive message board discussions, a mandatory end-of-course test, and may include online multiple choice quizzes (after each Real Time Session). Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course.

** The question and answer/discussion portion of this course will be an audio presentation.  Please be prepared to listen. 

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

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.

Required Textbook:There is no required textbook for this course.
Recommended Textbooks:

About the Instructor: Heather Howell is a credentialed veterinary technician in CA and NV.  She received her BS in Animal Science at UC Davis and her MBA at the University of Nevada, Reno. Since 1988, she has worked in all capacities of the veterinary hospital including hospital administrator, practice management consultant, and instructor.

Course Outline:
Week 1: (Real Time Session November 5):  Hiring the Right People
Content: During this lecture we will discuss what to look for in an applicant. Developing a hiring team and the reasons behind involving your staff in the hiring process will be a key component. Recruiting, hiring issues, and methods will be the focus. In addition we will cover suggested interview questions and techniques applicable to the discussion.

Week 2: (Real Time Session November 12): Orientation and Personnel Records
Content: This session will cover new employee orientation programs and their importance; examples will be given of such programs. The manager's role in overseeing proper orientation as it relates to liability issues will be discussed. Personnel record keeping methods will also be covered. Suggestions for how to start a personnel file: what can and should be included, as well as what must be filed separately will be reviewed. We will also discuss maintaining personnel files and avoiding potential liabilities in record keeping.

Week 3: (Real Time Session November 19): Performance Planning, Evaluations, and Progress Reports
Content: This session will focus on formal communication with employees. We will discuss the merits and downfalls of traditional employee evaluations. The concept of performance planning will be reviewed and will discuss empowering employees, goal setting, and dealing with substandard performance. This session will also cover the record keeping and liability aspects of formal communications.

Week 4: (Real Time Session November 26): Disciplinary Action and Termination
Content: This lecture will cover at-will employment, contractual employment, and how to handle disciplinary procedures. We will cover the importance of an employee policy manual, consistency in handling employee issues, and liabilities involved in disciplinary actions and termination. This session will discuss warnings, mentoring programs, retraining, documentation, and finally termination procedures.


Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird special if enrolled October 15, 2012).
*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).

** NOTE: To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first Real Time Session unless otherwise noted. If the first Real Time Session is on a weekend, course will close on the Friday before the first Real Time Session. *For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email (VIN CE) or (VSPN CE) Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
*Note: "This course is 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/VIN 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).

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN/VSPN office 1-800-700-INFO (4636) to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN/VSPN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).

*For more information on VSPN's upcoming CE courses, check the VSPN Course Catalog.

Nanette R. Walker Smith, MEd, RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & CE Coordinator

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
Barb Burri (; ext. 764 (New Hampshire)
Charlotte Waack (; ext 193 (Illinois)
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197 (Florida)
Debbie Bess (; ext 178 (Nevada)
Jennifer Withrow (; ext 159 (Virginia)
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187 (Colorado)

800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

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