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feline veterinary care

Improve the feline experience

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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 clinic

How to avoid a vaccination confrontation

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You might not be able to change the beliefs of anti-vaxxers, but you can communicate the veterinary perspective.

The notion that “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it,” penned by Jonathan Swift in 1710, is present in today’s pervasiveness of social media, fake news, fearmongering and pseudoscience. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Family Practitioners and other institutions have poured money, […]

practice manager

How to support your doctors

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Managers should take the lead in finding ways to pay veterinarians more and get them additional free time. Their well-being is at stake.

Practice managers and veterinarians share the goal of producing healthy patients, happy clients and team members, and a thriving business. However, their starkly different vantage points sometimes leave managers and doctors struggling to understand one another. The recently published Merck Animal Health Veterinary Wellbeing Study quantified and gave insight into why veterinarians experience lower levels […]

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Stop-gap measures

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Your appointment calendar should be teeming with patients but not so crammed that you regularly turn away or turn off clients.

As you plow through the spring and gear up for what promises to be a busy summer season, maximizing efficiency and minimizing the craziness of the appointment schedule should be at the top of your mind. This year I am determined to coach up the reception team to passionately and proactively manage the calendar to […]

employee

Help is on the way

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From employee assistance programs to well-being seminars, the practice manager has a number of options for addressing a team member’s actual or potential personal crises.

Without a doubt, a team member struggling with a personal issue — marriage, financial, substance abuse or mental health, for example — can show a decline in productivity, attendance, energy and attitude while on the job. Personal rough patches are inevitable. But how can a practice manager support the team member, minimize any negative impacts […]

Family first

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Rather than look at maternity leave and parental needs as impediments to business, see the bigger picture and adopt a practice culture that communicates empathy.

While I have always respected the roles that mothers play in society, it was not until I became a mom that the breadth and depth of the job sank in. I have the tremendous fortune of working for a true servant leader, a working veterinarian-mom of three who is sympathetic and accommodating to the demands […]

From manager to momager

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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 […]

Resolve to solve

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Client relationships can fracture if you and your staff don’t address complaints properly.

I will not go so far to say that I enjoy handling client complaints, but the assignment is something I have developed a knack for over my years in management. The less time I spend in the practice, however, the more I realize this is a skill the entire support staff should possess at some […]

Filter your applicant pool

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A structured hiring process and adjustments made inside the practice can be big factors in reducing employee turnover.

As I write this, Indeed.com shows over 40 active job postings for veterinary receptionists, technicians and assistants in greater Charleston, South Carolina. All the employers essentially are looking for the same applicant. Frustration with short staffing and turnover can be felt at times in any practice, even those with better-than-average employee satisfaction rates. The reality […]

Get the best out of your team

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Take short, focused steps to shape the desired habits and behaviors of employees.

My attitude and energy toward managing employees can ebb and flow as quickly as the tides, depending on the degree of heat I might be feeling from the perpetual daily fires. At my worst, I am angered by apathy or pettiness and wonder why people can’t just show up, do their jobs and get along. […]

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