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VSPN CE Course STAF119-0113: Communication & Conflict Management Module 1: Communication & Organizational Development


INSTRUCTOR(S): Heather Howell, LVT, RVT, MBA
COURSE OPEN: January 14-February 14, 2013
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Mondays, January 21, 28, and February 4, 2013; 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 instructor 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 intermediate course is open to all veterinary staff with the focus of enabling team members to more effectively communicated and resolve conflicts. All three modules are recommended, but not required for participation or completion for each individual module.

VSPN CE Course: Open to VSPN and VIN members. This course has been approved for veterinary technicians and veterinarians and approved VHMA for CVPM credits.

Course Description:
Interpersonal communication and conflict management are essential tools in any business. This course intends to teach office managers, practice managers, veterinarians, and all support staff more effective communication and conflict resolution techniques. The intent is to impart knowledge and techniques that can be utilized with clients as well as coworkers when conflict occurs. The overall goal of all three modules of this series is for the participant to become a more knowledgeable and confident communicator. This module will introduce communication techniques and information about elements and structure of conversation. Listening techniques will also be presented. Organizational development will be discussed in terms of how it affects communication and workplace culture.

This course consists of three (3) ninety (90) minute Real Time Sessions, 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.
*A 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 Textbooks: There are no required textbooks for this course.

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 January 21) and Week 2 (Real Time Session January 28): Communication
Content: These sessions will cover the basic knowledge of how we communicate with others. We will discuss methods of more effective listening and communicating. Social perception, elements of communication (transition events, turn taking, topic changing, termination, elicited meaning, interdependent behavior, choice and change), and listening will be covered. An awareness of ineffective communication styles and how to change them will also be gained.

Week 3: (Real Time Session February 4): Organizational Development
Content: This session will cover organizational development and behavior. Normal patterns of development will be covered to gain an understanding of the stages organizations go through during growth. How organizational structure and workplace culture support communication will also be discussed. This session will discuss leadership and mentoring others in communication styles.


Tuition: $90 ($81 early bird special if enrolled December 31, 2012).
*Enroll in all three Modules by January 21, 2013 and receive a 15% discount off the regular course price.
*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 enrollment 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 has been approved for 4.5 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)
Darci Palmer (; ext 179 (Alabama)
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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