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Leadership

pet owners

The Client’s Perspective

Talk the Talk

Five specific communication skills can help the veterinary team maintain a strong connection with pet owners, especially during difficult times. 

I recently took my long-haired dachshund, Gidget, to a veterinary hospital because she needed treatment for atopy. Because I had moved a short time before, I didn’t have an established relationship with a local veterinarian. My first thought when I scheduled the appointment was, “Are they going to let me be with her?” My next […]

work-life

Find a Happy Medium

H.R. Huddle

Some people are career-oriented while others place greater value on time away from work. Practice leaders can support both.

We have all heard about work-life balance. Over the past few years, though, a new phrase has been tossed into the mix: work-life integration. Is there a difference, or has the old phrase been given a fresher name? The short answer is that the idea of work-life balance has evolved into the more holistic concept […]

Six Growing Issues

The veterinary world is getting more complicated. It’s time to embrace change for the good of the profession, clients and patients.

If you’ve been around long enough, you’ll remember these two reports: Pew Research Center’s “Future Directions for Veterinary Medicine” (1989) and KPMG’s “The Current and Future Market for Veterinarians and Veterinary Medical Services in the U.S.” (1999). Both reports helped explain what was going on in the veterinary profession then and, more importantly, what the […]

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 […]

telemedicine

Assisting From Afar

Fearless

Telemedicine allows veterinarians to communicate with homebound clients, observe patients in a relaxed state and even suggest alterations to the pet’s environment.

I don’t think a single veterinary colleague of mine would disagree that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years professionally and personally. Abrupt changes to workflow, curbside appointments, the immediate need for instant digital communication and the exponential pet explosion involving many first-time owners have all occurred at once. The typically slow-to-change veterinary […]

manager

A Lasting Impression

Take Charge

A manager who delegates properly will create a veterinary team that performs autonomously and confidently.

My tenure at Daniel Island Animal Hospital is drawing to a close. (More on my impending move in future articles.) As I work to organize the practice for success in my absence, I look for ways to enhance my teammates’ involvement, empowerment and motivation. My skills in organization and delegation are being stretched. I have […]

psychological safety

Install a Psychological Safety Net

Veterinary practices thrive when team members feel free to admit mistakes, propose ideas and express opinions. A close-mouthed culture does no one any good. 

Several years ago when I co-owned and managed a small animal general practice, we hired a newly graduated certified veterinary technician who was enthusiastic about animal care. She brought a zest for learning and a desire to connect with the team. With roughly a year of full-time work in her wake, this CVT — let’s […]

emergency hospital

My dog broke his leg

Practice Smarter

Sure, veterinary practices are super busy, but curtly turning away emergency cases or making pet owners endure long, silent waits won’t endear clients to your hospital. Video or audio visits, anyone?

My 18-month-old, love-of-my-life Great Dane rescue dog broke his leg. Ben was playing in the backyard and caught his right front leg in something, causing a greenstick fracture of his distal radius. This happened in the early afternoon, so I called the veterinary practice where we have been a client for over a year. Now, […]

mindfulness

Your unique path to mindfulness and flow

Go With the Flow

Identify an appealing activity that you can consistently incorporate into your regular routine.

Our most recent article, “Flow in Uncertain Times” — read it at bit.ly/TVBFlow — reviewed the key elements of the flow state. When in flow, we are likely to: Have clear goals that we are inspired to pursue. Experience a deep focus of attention and effectively tune out distractions. Be fully present and accepting of […]

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 […]

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