So, Snoopy it was. My little right hand cat that followed me around from day 1. Well more like day 20 when she could actually walk. We were inseparable, she always waited for me at the door when I came home from school, and I always shared my pillow with her. She got into the habit of sleeping with one of my hands on her at all times, and she could be very demanding if that didn’t happen. Every day I would come home from school and we would hang out. She was there when I was doing my homework, she was there when I had one tonsil infection after another, on my good days and my bad.
The core principles of teamwork are all the same, regardless of what work environment you’re in. It doesn’t matter if you work in a vet clinic, an office, or at Smart Flow, the goals and foundation of teamwork is all equal.
For teamwork to be effective and smooth you want to:
- Set clear goals
- Hold yourself and your team accountable,
- Be supportive
- Train your team
- Reward your team
- Communicate openly and productively
- Be approachable
19 years ago..
I got my first cat. She was my first pet ever, my first kitten, my first friend that I can remember. Later, she would give birth to the best friend I ever could have asked for. My confidante, my security blanket, my snuggle buddy, the reason I went into veterinary medicine. This is how I got there.
Part of the reason why Smart Flow is so great, is that it’s really easy to use. This means that it’s relatively simple to get it up and running in your clinic yourself, with the help of one of our amazing (and talented) onboarding specialists. These guys help you get set up with Smart Flow from A-Z, completely remotely. They help you upload your inventory, improve your work flow, show you how to set up your templates, and even help educate your staff. Our onboarding specialists are truly awesome. However, there are some situations where it’s even better to have two of Smart Flow’s staff travel to the clinic in person, to help lend a hand.
How many of you out there have more than just one tech job? One part time job? Two? Three?
It seems to me that veterinary technicians tend to be workaholics, always keeping busy taking care of other people’s animals, their own, their families, and still finding time to shower. Now that’s impressive. I was talking to someone the other day who said that all of her vet tech friends that she knows have at least one other part time job. If I think about it, most of the techs I know do have two jobs (at least!).
I myself had two (at one point three), up until a little while ago, and I only am taking a (hopefully brief) hiatus on specific instructions from a (human) doctor much to my dismay! :(
Do you ever have to defend your profession to relatives at Christmas? Vet techs, do you ever have to explain why you’re not a vet? Or how you’re not only a nurse, but so much more?
Vets, do you have to explain yourselves as to why you’re not a practice owner, or how what you do involves a lot more finesse than what a general doctor does? Or how you’re also a dentist as well as an emergency doctor, as well as general practice doctor?
Veterinary practices rely a lot on team work. Everything in a clinic runs alot smoother, more efficiently, and quickly if everyone works together. Communication is a big key factor in team work, as is mutual respect and understanding. Communication tools such as a patient management software (like Smartflow!), pagers, intercom, post it notes, emails etc are great for keeping all your staff in the loop of what is happening. Respect is a big part of making a team work, because if there is no respect, chances are your team will not work well together. Teamwork is key, for the health of your patients, the happiness of your clients, the well being of your technicians, and the efficiency of your practice. Being a part of a team takes work, though, as it has to be a joint effort. So, what can you do when your team is failing to communicate, failing to cooperate, and starting to fall apart? I read a great article the other day by Karyn Gavzer for dvm 360 on how to make your staff work as a team and have summarized the key points below.
Here are some ways that you can get your team back together :
So I live in Ottawa, and it has been snowing, or raining, or freezing, or doing something wintery for the past couple of days now, and it is cold. This just makes me want to stay at home. I just want to put on some warm and fuzzy socks, climb into bed, bury myself under a pile of cats and watch Netflix. Specifically Stranger Things, or Gilmore Girls (they're back!), Grey's Anatomy, or any sappy Rom Com I can get my hands on. I want to make a giant mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows (and Baileys?!) and never leave the comfort of my giant down blanket.
Alas, I need to work because I'm a (supposedly) functioning adult and a contributing member to society. So I force my butt out of bed. I take a scalding shower, put on my scrubs (or my jeans, if I happen to be working from home for Smart Flow), race from my house to my car huddled in my winter jacket, and wait patiently for my car to warm up before turning up the heat full blast and pretending that I'm warm. Mind you, I know that I live in Canada and I'm supposed to enjoy and cherish winter, go play in the snow and go ice skating, but I sometimes I just can't deal. Besides, I can't ice skate for the life of me. (My balance is atrocious!)
Veterinary professionals in clinics tend to love gross things that non-veterinary professionals think are disgusting, we all know this to be true. I have never heard anyone get as excited about a pus filled abscess than people that work in clinics. I remember coming home from my first abscess, pus and blood on my shoes and a big smile on my face. I sat at the dinner table and went to tell my boyfriend all about it, until I realized for non veterinary professions, pus and blood talk is not necessarily the most appropriate topic to discuss over food. But I was hooked from there on out and grew to adore all things gross and messy that happen in clinic.
I don’t know about all of you, but I very rarely have perfect scrub days in clinic. I’m talking like those days where there’s not a single drop of blood on my shirt, or urine on my pants, or diarrhea on my shoes. I took to wearing crocs because I was tired of trying to wash my shoes and make them look unstained. I’ve become inclined to wearing dark colored scrub pants, and seem to jinx myself everytime I wear a white Supergirl scrub top my parents got for me for my birthday one year; inevitably that day will become an abscess or ‘my dog ate underwear again’ kind of day. But, to me, messy days can be fun! So I’ve made a list of the top messy (and sometimes gross) procedures that vets and techs love doing while in clinic, that we don’t mind getting our scrubs a little dirty over:
It’s Halloween! Hurray! Personally I love Halloween, I love dressing up in ridiculous outfits, eating more candy than I would ever allow myself to eat the rest of the year, seeing all the little kids hopped up on sugar running around door to door in great costumes. I still love going to halloween parties and decorating my house to look super spooky. I love going to haunted houses and closing my eyes for the entire time because I’m just too scared to look. I love watching scary movies through the holes in my hands that are covering my face and I love making witchy cocktails.However, being in the veterinary field, I’ve noticed that Halloween isn’t the greatest time for pets, especially those with anxiety. A lot of people don’t realize that they’re stressing their animals out by putting them in costume. Don’t get me wrong, some animals absolutely love it! But the other day I was at a friend’s place, and her dog was wearing a ‘Hot Dog’ costume. While everyone else, myself included, loved how punny it was and how adorable her dog looked, I couldn’t help but notice how her dog kept stress yawning, pawing at its muzzle and hiding all evening, until the costume was removed. In general, her cocker spaniel is a rather anxious dog to begin with, so being dressed in a costume that he’s not used to and submitted to a lot of people wanting to take pictures with him wasn’t the best of times for little Freddy. (On the other end of the spectrum, her other dog, Zola, who is featured here, loved being a busy bee and was the star of the party!)