Make time to improve your veterinary skills with some continuing education.
It's easy to skip continuing education (CE) opportunities. But the next time you must choose between attending a CE event or catching up on work, pause to consider the importance of education with these tips:
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.
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:
> You gain a new perspective on work by talking to peers and listening to their feedback
> You explore new strategies for dealing with issues that may have stymied you
> You get to focus on the topics being discussed without being sidetracked by office distractions.
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.
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.
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.
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 dvm360.com/VHMA for a tool to help you conduct preconference reconnaissance. Then check out CE opportunities at 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.