Specialized staff training offers many benefits

June 19, 2014

Creating your own in-house training can benefit your staff and your practice in many ways, according to Jody Comstock, M.D., an aesthetic dermatologist in private practice in Tucson, Ariz. She walked attendees of the 2014 Vegas Cosmetic Surgery conference through the development of her staff bootcamp.

Creating your own in-house training can benefit your staff and your practice in many ways, according to Jody Comstock, M.D., an aesthetic dermatologist in private practice in Tucson, Ariz. She walked attendees of the 2014 Vegas Cosmetic Surgery conference through the development of her staff bootcamp.

The benefits of staff education reveal themselves in a number of ways that directly and indirectly affect the success of your practice, she said. Education is motivating; it facilitates staff bonding; and it helps staff to perform at their very best, which are all things that benefit the practice as a whole.

“Engaged employees are a big part, I believe, of a successful practice,” Dr. Comstock said.

The goal for Dr. Comstock’s practice was to create and endorse a culture for staff and employee education, she told fellow physicians; however, there were several challenges that arose upon assessing the best way to do this.

In her practice Dr. Comstock employs anywhere from 25 to 30 employees at any given time and sending that number of people to conferences together or over a staggered period of time can be cost-prohibitive, she said. You lose revenue having to close the office or operate short-staffed; staff members may face challenges in juggling family responsibilities with travel; and sometimes the conference doesn’t offer information that is relatable and relevant to your practice, she said.

Next: Developing a tailored "boot camp"

 

 

 

Dr. Comstock began the process of developing her own staff boot camp, executing their first training in 2009. Each year, they have evolved the camp to be more convenient, more educational and highly engaging.

Keys to developing a successful training have been:

  • Keeping the location close to home;

  • Limiting the amount of time away from home required;

  • Providing benefits such as paying employees for their time at the event and offering a day off following the retreat.

Partnering with other physicians in the area as well as your vendors is also key.

“This last year we had 30 reps,” she said. “We had vice presidents of companies, heads of marketing - and they all came in for a noon meeting, they attended sessions with staff and they really helped from stem to stern.”

Topics they choose are well-rounded and address:

  • Selling tips

  • Device and product education

  • Customer service

  • Personal development

  • Procedural training

The agenda is tight and they vary the sessions by having a mix of lectures, break out groups, role plays, injection trainings and projects, she explained.

“Engaging our staff has been our best investment,” Dr. Comstock said. It has helped the staff become more cohesive through their mutual appreciation for what each one does and their varying roles in the practice’s success. “Our staff is more compassionate toward each other, they’re passionate about what they do, and it’s fun to share what you love,” she added.

Read more of our VCS 2014 coverage