Practice managers: Why you need CE
Talk yourself into it
We get it. You're busy. Here's why you should get over it: Classes, conferences and industry meetings offer unique and hard-to-replicate learning opportunities. They offer a chance to engage with colleagues, access cutting-edge information and new schools of thought and provide insights into trends within your area of interest. Conference expenditures may feel like discretionary spending, but it's really a smart investment in professional development.Be committed
Quiet the voice suggesting you'll be more productive if you stay in the clinic. If you've done your homework, you know you've made an informed decision. My colleagues shared with me these favorite benefits of attending conferences:
Maximize the experience
When choosing a conference, look for one that includes at least one practical session that provides information you can use as soon as you return to the office. Then at the conference, keep a list of action items. The action item list makes it easy to implement strategies when you get back.
Cultivate your colleagues
Talk to your colleagues and get to know them. Network with a purpose. Use the face-to-face time to address the issues bothering you. Listen to your peers and be open to new suggestions.
Embrace the exhibit hall
Spending time with exhibitors is another important way to educate yourself. When you understand what exhibitors do and offer, you are in a better position to use their expertise or product to enhance your practice.
Make time to relax
Although professional conferences are filled with educational programs, activities and more, remember to rest and relax. Recharge your battery so you return to the office refreshed.
Choosing a meeting wisely and following through on what you learn can ensure that the conference yields a big payoff: your continued professional growth. Visit http://dvm360.com/VHMA for a tool to help you conduct preconference reconnaissance. Then check out CE opportunities at http://thecvc.com/.
Christine Shupe is the executive director of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association. The association is dedicated to serving professionals in veterinary management through education, certification and networking.