Talk to the boss with a plan in hand for turning your CE into better patient care or practice management.
Associates and practice managers, you probably understand why paying for CE could be a stretch for your practice, especially if your revenue is lagging. But you can't afford to stop learning, either. So what can you do? Your best bet is to do some research on the CE you're interested in, says Brian Conrad, CVPM, practice manager at Meadow Hills Veterinary Center in Kennewick, Wash.
If you want your practice owner to cover the costs, you have to prove that it's worth it to the practice, Conrad says. So evaluate numerous opportunities and choose subjects that will best help the practice. A specialized topic like avian CPR might interest you, but it may not provide much of a return on investment for your practice owner. Look for CE opportunities that provide value.
Next, be flexible. Are you willing to cover some of the cost? Could you take a red-eye to save on airline costs? Shop around to find the best prices for flights and hotels, then present the total cost to your practice owner.
Finally, offer a plan for what you'll do with the information. Maybe you'll take charge of a specific service or institute a new recordkeeping system. Perhaps you could run a meeting to fill in other team members on what you've learned. And don't forget about marketing. A simple Facebook or Twitter post telling clients about your CE experience tells them that you're working hard to make your practice even better.