New equipment is always a hefty business decision, so be sure to prepare and educate accordingly.
Whether you’re toying with the idea of purchasing a new instrument for your practice or you’ve already placed your order, proper training—for both you and your staff—is important.
The word instrument is used to refer to many different types of tools. A spring-loaded adjusting tool for providing targeted adjustments is an instrument, as is a tool that is fully computerized and provides a precise measurement and graphic of the spine. Soft-tissue mobilization tools are often handheld and require specialized knowledge for proper use but do not use electricity or have moving parts—these are instruments, too. Specific education for adjusting instruments is essential for successful use.
Knowledge is key
Regardless of the simplicity or complexity of the instrument, knowledge is the key to using it to effectively treat patients. Some of the simplest tools require the most finesse and background knowledge for the treatments to provide patients with the greatest degree of improvement. And, of course, using more complex, computerized instruments requires specific background knowledge, as well. A certain level of technological savvy is necessary.
Since every DC is unique and has particular areas of expertise, it’s impossible to say just how much training you may need. However, you can be sure that you will need some training for any new instrument you purchase. Your staff may need training, as well, especially if they will be called upon to discuss various instruments with patients or will be required to clean and care for the instruments in your office.
Where to find training
Many companies provide seminars and online training sessions to support customers’ use of their products. Such training is often free, but there is a minimal charge in some cases. When you purchase an item, it’s reasonable to expect support to be part of the package; however, training may be an add-on
service. Training may even be able to be used as a continuing education unit—but, of course, it is important to ask.
In fact, asking questions is the best way to find out what training is available to you and at what cost. If you prefer hands-on learning, you will want to know where the nearest location to receive in-person training is. If you need flexibility, you will need to know ahead of time if the company offers online training. In the event that some training is provided with the purchase of the instrument, ask how much and find out if that support is on going.
You may find that the best approach is to learn as much as possible about an instrument before you decide to purchase it. Attend seminars and demonstrations if possible—that way, you will have an idea of what type of training to expect, as well as a clearer understanding of how the instrument can help your patients.