Continuing education is something many professionals are required to do to maintain their ability to continue working in their fields. Veterinarians and, in most states, veterinary technicians are required to keep their knowledge and skills current through continuing education.
Required it may be, but for many of us, it’s a pleasure to step away from our routines briefly and enjoy learning something new. No matter what courses you take, chances are you’re going to bring something back that will make things better in your practice.
As valuable as CE is, chances are good that relatively few of your clients know about continuing investment in your bank of knowledge. But they should know, and there are ways to let them in on your work in ways that are to the advantage of your professionals and your practice alike.
How to let them know? Use all the communications tools at your disposal.
Your practice’s website, and any blog or social media accounts that you may have is a good place to share information about CE. You could also provide information in exam rooms or waiting areas. For waiting areas, consider attractive binders and/or bulletin board/white board displays to educate the captive audience waiting for an appointment. Hire a writer and graphic designer, if you don’t have those skill sets in house – materials need to be appealing to be picked up and succinct and easy-to-understand to be read.
In exam rooms, integrate your knowledge with your regular client communications. Don’t neglect to mention to your clients that fantastic dermatology seminar you attended, or how learned up some new strategies to help keep pyoderma in check. Share the latest thinking on osteoarthritis, giving you a wonderful opening to a discussion on obesity. If you do this during your examination it will make your hands-on show-and-tell seem even more valuable to your clients.
On social media, showing off CE knowledge cements your reputation as a practice that stays on top of the current veterinary knowledge. That’s good for retaining existing clients and attracting new ones.
In all your communications, you should work in an explanation of what CE is, why it’s important and what the benefits are to pets and their owners. Let clients know that just as their own health-care professionals take CE to stay up to date, so do the veterinary professional who care for their pets.
You should always let your knowledge and skills shine, and you’re missing an easy and important way to do so if you don’t share the full value of CE. With the major conferences at hand, make plans now to make the most of what you bring back.
This article was one of those featured in the December edition of Practice Insights, Nationwide‘s free monthly e-mail newsletter for the veterinary community. Don’t miss a single issue: Click here to sign up. Your information will not be used for any purpose except sending you the newsletter.