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Sandy Walsh, RVT, CVPM

Column:Getting Technical

Sandy Walsh is a veterinary practice management consultant, speaker and adviser. She is an instructor for Patterson Veterinary Management University and continues to work in a small animal practice. She has over 35 years of experience in the veterinary field and brings her in-the-trenches experience directly to readers.

Sandy Walsh is a veterinary practice management consultant, speaker and adviser. She is an instructor for Patterson Veterinary Management University and continues to work in a small animal practice. She has over 35 years of experience in the veterinary field and brings her in-the-trenches experience directly to readers.

hazardous waste

Risky Business

Getting Technical

How you handle, store and dispose of medical waste is strictly regulated, so make sure to do your homework.

Processing medical waste can be an overwhelming responsibility within a veterinary practice. Team members should be aware of and follow specific guidelines when dealing with infectious waste, biohazardous waste, and anatomical or pathological waste. Questions we often face and must know the answers to include “What constitutes hazardous waste?” and “How do we handle, store […]

employee training

Educate and Document

Getting Technical

Whether you and your employees like it or not, safety training is a must at veterinary clinics.

Many practice managers and employees cringe at the thought of conducting or attending safety training, the most dreaded meeting of the year. Among the excuses heard about why training doesn’t happen regularly and consistently are: we’re too busy; safety training is boring and nobody cares; “it” will never happen to us; getting the whole team […]

hazards

Safe and Sound

Getting Technical

Remember to assess your practice for workplace hazards at least annually, and then draw up mitigation plans and share them with all team members.

Workplace safety is a general term used to address workplace hazards. Veterinary professionals face many risks while on the job, some of which do not have specific Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. These risks fall under the general duty clause, which states that every workplace is responsible for worker safety regardless of whether an […]

safety

Better Safe Than Sorry

Getting Technical

Workplace violence is nearly impossible to predict, but having a safety plan in place is in everyone’s best interest.

We owe it to everybody on the veterinary team to take all reasonable precautions to prevent a violent or dangerous workplace situation, whether the circumstance involves a potentially volatile client or an upset employee. Here are the most common threats you might face on the job and the steps you can take to de-escalate them. […]

customer service

Nurture the Bond

Getting Technical

The pandemic upset client relationships, but you can still provide good customer service.

Connecting with clients is a crucial part of the bonding equation. We strive for lasting relationships between the veterinary team and clients and do whatever we can to build and maintain the bond. The goal has always been to dissuade clients from stopping at another practice in town as they drive to ours. We achieve […]

burnout

How to reduce burnout

Getting Technical

The pandemic has made work and daily life even more stressful. You can mitigate the tension if you set expectations for clients, fine-tune staff schedules and practice self-care.

Burnout is an inevitable aspect of working in the veterinary profession. Characterized in many ways, it’s commonly described as “persistent physical, mental or emotional exhaustion caused by long-term stress, usually as a result of excessive workplace and/or personal responsibilities.” A function of where you work rather than what you do, stress-​related burnout is more prominent […]

sanitizing

A clean bill of health

Getting Technical

Everyone on the veterinary team, from managers to groomers, is responsible for ridding the hospital of germs and then doing it again and again. Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing is a never-ending job.

Virtually all businesses that are open to the public tout their enhanced cleaning protocols in light of the pandemic. We see it everywhere we go as customers. The veterinary profession is no exception. When it comes to personal safety, our clients and employees are more knowledgeable than ever. Infection control is essential and is more […]

emergency meeting

What COVID-19 has taught us

Getting Technical

We learned to navigate through the unthinkable and prepare for the unknown.

As I write this article, the world is smack dab in the middle of a bona fide pandemic. We are all scrambling to adjust and continue to provide veterinary services to clients while at the same time trying to take care of our businesses, our employees and ourselves. It has been a tremendously stressful time […]

veterinary technicians

A recipe for success

Getting Technical

Leveraging technicians gives them a greater role in patient care and frees veterinarians to focus on active, rather than passive, revenue streams.

One of the challenges we face in practices nationwide is a shortage of veterinarians. According to JAVMA News, nearly 20% of U.S. veterinarians are set to retire within the next 10 years. For the last decade, the number of veterinarians has risen by roughly 2.2% a year. So, the question is: Can we keep up […]

surgical procedure

From preop through postop

Getting Technical

Surgical outcomes are optimized when the client is engaged and educated at every step, beginning with consent and ending with discharge and at-home care.

A client’s decision to approve a treatment plan and go forward with any procedure is largely dependent on the relationship and trust level she has with the hospital team. If she is not comfortable with the care and communication, your recommendations will not be accepted. Financial resistance is often thought to be the reason that […]

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