Smart Flow Blog

We are revolutionizing the way veterinarians care about in-hospital patients.

The 7 Principles of Teamwork in a Veterinary Clinic

Kat Milcke, RVT Dec 9, 2016 7:17:51 AM Topics: Teamwork


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 :

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What Helps Me Get Out of Bed on Gloomy Days

Kat Milcke, RVT Nov 27, 2016 4:40:50 PM Topics: Insider

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!) 

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Vomit and Diarrhea and Pus, Oh My!

Kat Milcke, RVT Nov 6, 2016 3:13:33 PM

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:

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Seven Tips to Keep You and Your Pets Safe This Halloween Season

Kat Milcke, RVT Oct 28, 2016 2:10:21 PM

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!)
So the following are 7 tips that everyone can (and should!) keep in mind around Halloween to ensure that their animals are having as good of a time as they are:
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7 Little Everyday Things That Will Make Everyone's Life Better in a Vet Practice

Kat Milcke, RVT Oct 21, 2016 4:36:04 PM

This week was Veterinary Technician appreciation week! I’m sure everyone saw a lot of posts around with messages of appreciation and gratitude for the hard work techs put in. I know that in my clinic, there were posters made by some caring vets and emergency overnight kits made up that included the 3C necessities: candy, chocolate and caffeine. While I think it’s wonderful that us lucky techs get a whole week dedicated to us, I think working together year round to make everyone’s lives easier, and doing little day to day things for each other are just as important. So without further ado, here are the top seven things you can do for each other in the clinic to brighten someone’s day:

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Why My Perfect Dog Makes Me An Imperfect Tech

Kat Milcke, RVT Oct 19, 2016 12:24:10 PM Topics: Vet Tech
As people in the vet community, we probably at one point or another have had a dog in our lives, and this dog was or is most likely a perfect-to-us dog. They’re gentle, loving, snuggly, trained (hopefully), and we know them better than we know ourselves. They give us love like no one else in this world can and pick us up when we’re down. They’re dog-gone great. But I think sometimes having that perfect dog at home can make us an unperfect tech, because we forget that not all dogs come from the same place. 
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The Top 7 Things Veterinary Professionals Wish Clients Knew About 'The Back'

Kat Milcke, RVT Oct 14, 2016 4:12:17 PM Topics: Insider, Veterinary, Vet Tech

What's 'the back' and why are you taking my baby back there!

I don’t know about you and your clinic, but in my clinic, we have exam rooms ‘in the front’ of the hospital, and then a treatment area ‘in the back’. The back is ‘off limits’ to clients and the door to the place where the magic happens, so to speak, is clearly marked with ‘Employees Only’. Does that always keep the clients out? No, but it does deter most.
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Top Reasons Puppies Are Easier Than Toddlers

Jada Lewis, CVT Sep 20, 2016 9:35:00 AM

 I wasn’t always sure I wanted to have kids, but I was always sure that I wanted to have puppies. All the dogs in my herd I acquired as puppies. I went through the potty training stage, the chewing stage, the setting boundaries stage, and so on. At times it was difficult finding a pee spot here or a chewed up sock there. Now that I have a human child, I am not really sure what I got myself into.

The one thing I know for sure is that puppies are much easier to care for than toddlers and here is why:

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A Smart Flow Hidden Treasure: blood transfusions

Jada Lewis, CVT Sep 13, 2016 2:06:00 PM

It may come as no surprise (if you are a Smart Flow guru), that there are many ways to use the patient management system. Our team has found that clinics have so many different ways to approach how Smart Flow is used in their own flow of clinic events.

While we are constantly updating the system and making things even more awesome, there are some hidden treasures that some clinics are unaware of. Here is just one of the great hidden treasures to Smart Flow.

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Why I Choose to Surround Myself with Veterinary Professionals

Jada Lewis, CVT Sep 6, 2016 12:00:00 PM

It really might be that I have a hard time making new friends or that I work so many hours I don't even know where to start. Of course, I have my long-time friends from way back before I even knew what veterinary medicine was all about and they've grown accustomed to my career path. However, I find it so much easier to just surround myself with people that understand me best and that means lots of veterinary professionals. Here's why:

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