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VSPN CE Course STAF133-1013: Practice Management 101-The Basics


COURSE OPEN: October 8-November 15, 2013
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Tuesdays, October 15, 22, 29, and November 5, 2013; 8:00pm-9:30pm 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.

Here is an introductory video regarding this course. If you have any concerns regarding your computer's audio capabilities, please be sure to attend one of the Practice Sessions.

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

VSPN CE Course: This course has been RACE approved for veterinary technicians only and is VHMA approved for CVPM credits.

Course Description:
Are you considering a career move to practice management? Would you like to understand management topics more? 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 become 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, goal setting, effective team meetings and career development towards practice management.

This course consists of four (4) Real Time Sessions of ninety (90) minutes each, 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). The instructor places emphasis on Message Board participation as an important component of the learning process. Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course.

*The lecture portion of this course will combine both text and 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(s): There is no required textbook for this course.

About the Instructors:
Rebecca Rose has been a CVT for several years and is a current industry consultant at Red Valley Rose Consulting, LLC. She has authored two books on veterinary technician careers, writes peer reviewed articles, is a contributing author in a text book for veterinary technicians as well as sits on several professional councils and committees.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session October 15): 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 (Real Time Session October 22): 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 (Real Time Session October 29): Team Meetings and Performance Reviews
Content: Week 3 will cover the advantages of effective team meetings, how to create productive meetings, agendas and follow-through. 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 (Real Time Session November 5): 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.


Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird special if enrolled by September 24, 2013)


* 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).

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close at 5pm ET Tuesday, October 15, 2013, or when the maximum number of participants is reached.

*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 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)
Lisa Kernaghan(; ext 159 (Arizona)
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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