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.
We like to think that Smart Flow is pretty cool. We would also love to say that it is perfect and nothing ever goes wrong. Of course that is not the case. Nothing is perfect, even the cool digital flowsheet and only virtual anesthetic sheet out there.
Before I begin the story of my journey to become a veterinarian there are just a few things I must first get off my chest. What I'm about to say in the rest of this first paragraph is directed specifically at those individuals who are currently considering the veterinary field as a profession. So here it goes:
- Do not become a veterinarian if you want to make lots and lots of money.
- Do not become a veterinarian if you don't like the idea of working long hours.
- Do not become a veterinarian because you think you won't be interacting with people.
Do become a veterinarian if you truly want to help animals and you don't care about the things I mention above.
Alright… Now that I got that off my chest, we can begin!
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! :(
Another year, another checklist of things that did not happen since last year:
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking
- Find a better job
- Change the culture of the hospital
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?
Since we started with Smart Flow, I was asked many times: "Why don't you create your own Practice Management System." And my answer is: "Because I am good at saying "NO". Seth Godin in his book "the dip" describes how most successful people in this world achieved their goal because they were "quitters" – they quit everything else, but their main focus.
We took the same approach to optimization of Efficiency and creation of a true Paperless Veterinary Practice.