Columns

Modern mentoring

H.R. Huddle

Veteran employees often take the lead in sharing knowledge and advice, but newbies can do it, too. The key to success is to create the best possible relationships.

Although mentoring is not a new concept in the workplace, modern partnerships are not necessarily like those of the past. According to HR Magazine, formal mentoring relationships in previous eras would typically last at least a year and informal ones could last a decade. In today’s workforce, these relationships are often shorter and more specialty-oriented […]

The winds of change

Politics and Policy

As 2019 approaches, several critical matters — from the Fairness to Pet Owners Act to opioid abuse to telemedicine — remain unresolved.

It’s October, schools are back in session and politics are in full campaign mode with the off-year elections. Here are notes and updates on most of the items we’ve been following all year. 1. Fairness to Pet Owners Act This bill has hung around Congress since September 2010 and still hasn’t gained a hearing in […]

Lost in translation

Fearless

Failure to accurately assess a patient’s body language can lead to a petrified animal, an unproductive exam and poor owner compliance.

As a profession, we are making progress toward recognizing and treating our patients’ emotional health. We’ve implemented pheromones at home and in our practices, prescribed relaxation medications to give before a visit, added music and new color palettes to exam rooms, and introduced high-reward treats to enhance the patient experience. However, one incredibly important aspect […]

See the light

Constructive Criticism

The smart use of natural illumination supports the health and happiness of patients, employees and clients. Artificial light has its place, too, but you should be selective.

What if I told you about a simple strategy that would make team members feel more alert, improve their attitude and attendance, and help them achieve higher goals? It also would help clients feel more relaxed and, most importantly, reduce patient stress. When implemented during a hospital’s construction or renovation, it would cost very little […]

The language of medicine

Diversity Toolbox

Health care is harder to access when someone doesn’t speak English, but you can bridge the gap by becoming multilingual, hiring a diverse staff and embracing numerous resources.

A Harvest Public Media article on demographic changes in production animal medicine made the social media rounds recently. The article, available at http://bit.ly/2BS9gT1, noted how a 2015 study by Texas A&M University found that roughly half of the dairy and meat-processing workforce is composed of immigrants, many of whom speak something other than English as […]

Care repair

Talk the Talk

When client service falls short, remember the expression “Notice something, say something, do something.”

Something occasionally goes wrong at any business, but how employees respond to the situation can make the difference between losing and retaining a client. With planning and training, you can create a team that knows how to make things right when things go wrong. A significant part of the planning involves establishing that you have […]

A view from the trenches

The Vetalytix Report

Today’s business environment is more complex, more dynamic and more competitive than ever before.

More than 300 industry leaders attending the KC Animal Health Corridor’s Market Insight Seminar in August witnessed “A View From the Trenches,” our presentation about some of the most pressing issues facing today’s veterinarians. Here are a few highlights. It’s the Economy, Stupid Economic data from the first half of the year showed that 2018 […]

Fear factors

Protect and Defend

All hospital employees should be taught how to react in the face of a physical threat. The principles behind ALICE are a good starting point.

Unprovoked violence against groups of innocent people is frightening. Sometimes random, sometimes retaliatory, the acts are perpetrated against businesses, churches, schools, theaters and even military installations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards. The risks to veterinary practice employees traditionally have focused on bites and scratches, […]

Think twice

Money Matters

Investing in your hospital shortly before a sale makes sense only in certain situations. Needless spending can depress the practice valuation.

With so many veterinarians considering a practice sale, either to an associate or a corporate consolidator, some owners wonder whether making further investments in the hospital or new equipment will yield a higher price. The answer? It depends. Your Facility Is now the right time for new construction or a remodel? If you plan to […]

From manager to momager

Take Charge

How becoming a mother changed my perspective on clients, co-workers and protocol.

In our DINK (dual income, no kids) years, my husband’s and my parenting efforts were channeled solely on our dog, Marlie, an 11-year-old, gentle, playful chocolate Labrador. We took her on vacation, to the beach, on the boat and out for drinks. We invested in training, Tempur-Pedic bedding and annual preventive dentals. After we had […]

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