The medical industry is blossoming with innovation and exciting, less-invasive ways to care for humans and animals. Breakthroughs in Stem Cell Therapy, Laparoscopy, and Prosthetics are just a few areas where veterinarians find new ways to help soothe their patients’ ailments.
Such innovations, alongside professional and individual practice growth, are the main reasons why CPD Certifications are essential to veterinarians. However, that doesn’t mean keeping up with these certifications is easy. After all, veterinarians have a duty to their patients and a life outside the office. So, that leaves little room for sitting for hours on end wading through CPD or other upkeep.
Nevertheless, CPD is crucial to success in the ever-changing world of veterinary medicine. So, this article aims to help you and your practice keep up with this training while also juggling the day-to-day responsibilities of a veterinarian’s professional and personal life.
What is CPD?
CPD or Continuing Professional Development is necessary for every veterinarian’s job. Essentially, CPD training keeps you updated on what is happening throughout veterinary medicine.
Veterinarians must complete at least 105 CPD hours every three years, averaging 35 hours annually.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways a veterinarian can get CPD hours, whether on their own or as part of a group.
The Six Best Ways to Get CPD Training
Here are some of the best ways for veterinarians to keep up with CPD Training:
1. Attending Professional Veterinary Events
The medical field has always hosted professional development events. Yet, with the rise in event hosting and even virtual event attendance, it is easier than ever to spend the day amidst renowned minds in the veterinary field.
You now have the option to find a CPD event close to your practice or online. These events are usually a few hours long and allow you to discover a wealth of information about worldwide veterinary innovations.
To get the most out of these events, take the following steps:
- Check the event schedule online and plan your day to optimize your time.
- Take pictures, videos, and recordings to help you remember the wealth of information you will be receiving at the event.
- If you want specific information on a topic, write your questions down, so you’re not put on the spot when you get the chance to inquire.
- Take notes.
- If possible, attend the event with a colleague. Professional events are always more fun when you attend with a friend.
2. Shadowing Other Veterinary Professionals
Even if you own your practice, you don’t know everything about being a veterinarian. The best professionals throughout the medical field and beyond usually recognize that there is always more to learn.
So, by shadowing other veterinary professionals, you will pick up on different techniques, get the opportunity to ask questions, and have professional discussions. Plus, the more you reach out to other veterinary professionals, the bigger your network grows, and thus, the more apt you are to help your patients.
3. Signing Up for CPD Courses
In the same vein as shadowing other veterinarian professionals, it is always a good idea to hit the books and sign up for a CPD course. These courses can be specific to a topic you are interested in learning more about or a general advancement of knowledge: either way, the hours in the class and researching for the class count toward your CPD hours.
When you take a CPD Course, here are some tips for success:
- Plan out what you want to get out of this class. (Why did you choose to take this class?)
- Focus on learning strategies you can implement into your veterinary practice.
- Be open and willing to learn new information and ways of doing a medical or clerical task.
- After the class is over, reflect on what you have learned, and contemplate whether there are other areas where you can improve your practice with the information you have learned, now having the benefit of taking the class from start to finish.
4. Reading and Researching CPD Material
Every professional should keep up-to-date on the latest information in their field. For veterinarians, reading and researching acknowledged CPD material is a great way to become more informed without having to schedule anything, talk to anyone, or travel.
There are applications you can download on your phone or tablet that will track your CPD hours and offer resources to help advance your learning whenever you have time. That way, you don’t necessarily need to carve out a lot of time to read or research. When you have an app specifically designed to help you manage your CPD hours and engagement, twenty minutes here and there add up quickly.
5. Participate in “Learning Sets”
Participating in a Learning Set can be a useful tool whether you coordinate it yourself with fellow professionals you know or join a new group. From a learning set, you will gain CPD hours and for learning new methods throughout the field of veterinary medicine.
A Learning Set is a professional way of saying a study group. Although, you aren’t studying for a test. Rather, you confer with other professionals in your field, trying to garner new information from a specific case study or medical finding.
6. Logging Your Hours
While attending an event and taking a course are more public and provable ways of racking up your CPD hours, it is always a good idea to log your hours for yourself, regardless of how you choose to earn them.
When you keep a record of your hours, you won’t need to wait for acknowledgement or certification to know what you’ve accomplished. Rather, keeping track of your hours offers you real-time development updates.
The best way to get CPD hours for you and your practice depends on the available time, location, and personal preference. However, there is no doubt that there are plenty of different, informative, and engaging ways for veterinarians to keep up with CPD training. You need to figure out what works best for you.
Plus, you never know what kind of opportunities you could come across by getting more involved in your field beyond the walls of your practice.