Leadership

agreement

Close the deal

Legal Lingo

When negotiating an employment agreement with an associate veterinarian, start with the basics — at-will or contract? — and go from there.

Managing your veterinary practice can be overwhelming, but protecting your business is of the utmost importance. That’s why having a solid employment agreement with an associate veterinarian — one delineating pay and responsibilities — is critical. For an employment agreement to be enforceable, what need to exist are a clear job offer, an acceptance of […]

strategic

What’s your game plan?

Take Charge

You can’t rely on a stroke of luck to get your practice to the next level. Strategic planning and written goals are essential.

When executed well, strategic planning sessions can be an invigorating experience where dreamers and number crunchers join forces to improve a veterinary practice. If these leadership meetings are not part of your hospital’s culture, here are ways to get started. Review the Mission, Vision and Core Values Formal leadership gatherings are a great time to […]

technicians

5 things you didn’t learn in school

Getting Technical

Your clinical skill set is important, of course, but there’s more to being a veterinary technician if you want to thrive and survive.

Veterinary technicians enroll in credentialing programs for many reasons — a love of animals, a love of science or the desire to make a difference in the lives of pets, to name just a few. Inside the classroom and in clinic rotations, there is so much to learn, from chemistry, anatomy and radiology to pharmacology, […]

communication

Fix the disconnect

H.R. Huddle

Bad communication will stunt a veterinary practice’s growth. Staff meetings and active listening can ease tensions and create a more productive workplace.

When you look back at your former teachers, you realize that some people make learning more engaging and communicate concepts better than others. They all might have the same degree of knowledge, but not everyone possesses the communication skills needed to effectively share that knowledge. In the same vein, someone can be incredibly knowledgeable in […]

time

Minimize maxing out

Go With the Flow

If you’ve reached your mental limitations, get centered, exercise self-compassion and remember to do something fun every day.

One way to bring more flow into your life, as our column has explored, is to be aware of and hopefully avoid the states of mind that are incompatible with flow. In our last column, Jeff shared his brush with burnout and his insight into how to heed the warning signs. This time, Trey will […]

manage

Who’s managing your practice?

Practice Smarter

Employees can’t run on autopilot. They need proper training, oversight and feedback. You’re not doing your job if policies aren’t enforced and necessary discipline isn’t meted out.

I was consulting at a veterinary practice when two team members began arguing and yelling at each other in the pharmacy/laboratory area. Clients sitting in exam rooms could hear them, nearby colleagues were aware of what was going on, and the practice manager could not have been more than 10 feet away in her office. […]

burnout

Douse the flames of early burnout

Go With the Flow

Recognizing signs of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion is the first step in returning to your natural flow state.

Are you having fun in your work and life? If not, you might be on a path toward burnout. Anyone who’s spent time camping in the woods will likely recognize Smokey Bear’s admonition: “Only you can prevent wildfires.” As the incidence of burnout rises steadily in our profession, it’s important that we learn to become more […]

feline veterinary care

Improve the feline experience

Take Charge

Devoting a day to cats and practicing low-stress handling techniques all the time will elevate wellness care in the mind of pet owners and improve medical care.

For the past five years, October has equated to CATober in my practice, a month where we rally around all things feline. The marketing program was a response to the industry’s call to expand our reach and enhance our approach to feline veterinary care. Nearly seven years after the release of the Bayer Veterinary Care […]

veterinary client

Take the lead on pet insurance

Getting Technical

Technicians are in a great position to raise the topic of health coverage — and all its benefits — with clients.

Pet health insurance has been a part of our industry for longer than you might think. It dates back nearly 130 years to Swedish businessman Claes Virgin, who wrote policies covering horses and livestock. Not until 1982 was the first policy issued in the United States. As of 2018, about 2.2 million pets were insured […]

How to negotiate a starting salary

You can easily talk your way out of a job or accept less than you’re worth.

A veterinarian interviewing for a job indicates that she needs to earn a certain starting salary. The hiring manager decides the veterinarian is the best candidate for the position and offers the job at the requested salary. The candidate then asks for $50,000 more a year. The hiring manager is not pleased. Feeling as if […]

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