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Courses open for VSPNer registration

STAF157-0512: Money Smarts for Support Staff: Your Piece of Payroll Pie

INSTRUCTOR(S): Katherine Dobbs, RVT, CVPM, PHR

COURSE OPEN: May 7-24, 2012

REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Monday, May 14, 2012; 9:00pm-10:30pm 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. Times and dates will be listed in your course confirmation email. Expect to spend up to 1 hour at one of the 2-4 practice sessions held prior to the first Real Time Session.

* 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 a Practice Session.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic course is designed for anyone new to the financial end of the veterinary business including veterinary technicians, support staff, client service teams, and anyone who gets a paycheck each pay period. Those new to management or considering management will gain a basic understanding of the money flow in the practice. The course format is that of a VINgnette where interaction in the message boards discussing case scenarios will be required to enhance the single Real Time Session. Participants should plan on this more intensive study.
VSPN CE Course. This course has been submitted for RACE approval for continuing education credits for veterinarians and veterinary technicians and submitted for VHMA for approval for CVPM credits.

Course Description:
Ever wonder where the money goes? You finish a client invoice, the client pays, and then the real fun begins as that revenue makes its way through the wheels and cogs of the practice's expenses finally ending up in your pocket as your paycheck. But how is the size of your piece of the pie determined and how can you make it BIGGER? This course will demonstrate how fees are set for both products and services and consider the concepts of basic finance in a veterinary practice. Overhead and how it affects the fee structure of services you provide will be covered. Planning on profitability rather than just hoping for money left over will be discussed. Roughly 50% of practice revenue is generally earmarked to pay the team. Realistic budgeting for the practice including how the income is split and, more importantly, what can YOU do to make the practice pie and your piece of that pie bigger will be components of discussion. The Real Time Session will be highly interactive and questions are welcome. The course message boards will contain calculations to help facilitate understanding and improve your Money Smarts.

This course will consist of one (1) ninety (90) minute Real Time Session, 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 be considered for a course certificate of completion.
** The lecture 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 Texbook(s): None

About the Instructor: Katherine Dobbs holds credentials as a RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician), CVPM (Certified Veterinary Practice Manager), and PHR (Professional in Human Resources). She has taught and lectured worldwide both in onsite and online venues.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session May 14): Where Does The Money Go?
Content: As a member of the veterinary practice team, you likely have seen some high dollar invoices leave your practice. Perhaps the invoice was from a sick patient that needed hospitalized, a major surgery, or even an unexpected emergency. This big number might make you stop and think, wow, we're making a lot of money here, how come my paycheck is so small? Even when a product such as heartworm preventive or shampoo is purchased, you may wonder how much of that income filters down to your position on the team. A basic understanding of the financial aspect of veterinary practice has many benefits. It will help you understand why your paycheck is the size that it is, for one thing. It will also help you to understand how that money has to be stretched over all the needs of the practice, from paying rent to buying medications. This basic financial understanding will also help you demonstrate the value of your products and services to the pet owner. For example, you may be asked to give a financial estimate, or treatment plan, for a patient that needs diagnostics and possible surgery. If you aren't confident that the prices are fair and reasonable, then you won't be able to deliver the estimate with that same level of confidence. If you can't express the value the patient is getting from those prices, then the client will not be convinced either. Much of this interaction is beyond words, and relates to your body language and unconscious feelings; it's very difficult to fake support of the prices if you really don't. If the client subsequently refuses the estimate, not only will the practice lose out on that income, but the animal will lose out on sometimes life-saving services. So there are many reasons why it is important to know more about the numbers and where the money goes in veterinary medicine.


Tuition: $50 ($45 early bird if registered by April 23, 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).
** 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 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 submitted for approval for 2.5 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 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 out

Nanette R. Walker Smith, M.Ed., RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & VSPN CE Director

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
Charlotte Waack (, ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178
Jennifer Withrow (; ext 159
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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