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Veterinary Work-Life Balance: Can you stop hovering please?

Jada Lewis, CVT Mar 25, 2015 4:28:00 PM veterinary software

In the veterinary world the idea of work-life balance is sort of a mythical creature that we all talk about, but never see. 

It may even have a cute name like tropical vacation or volleyball league. Vets and techs have an extremely difficult time trying to balance work schedules with a life we are supposed to have outside of work. Most clinics I have worked for only ever gave me a start time. I didn’t go home until the work was finished, which made for a very complicated after work life. smart flow sheet
There were times though that I think if some of the techs and a lot of vets would stop hovering and relinquish some control then it would have made things run a little more smoothly. 

Here is a list of things that vets (and techs) can do to stop hovering (and maybe, just maybe leave on time for the day!)

 

Consider Cloud Based Software (for vets)

Switching your software is probably the most grueling and annoying task a hospital can take on. It is awkward, time consuming and expensive.

However, there are a plethora of software companies that have switched to the cloud and now you can stop hovering at work. Instead, you can peek on the daily activities from home. It may not be ideal to still work when you are at home, but maybe you can leave the clinic a little earlier and still peek in on how things are going without disrupting the work flow.

Have a stay late night (for techs)

One hospital I worked for was notorious for certain techs claiming they ALWAYS stayed late and pointed the finger at others saying they NEVER stayed late. To relieve the tension, I suggested a stay late night.

It was simple; we all picked one day of the week to always stay late and finish any after-hours work (including emergency surgery, walk-in appointments, transfers to referral hospitals, etc.). We had enough staff so that there were 3 different people staying late each night with rotating Friday nights.  

This allowed many of us to schedule after work activities knowing we could leave on time (or close to it). It also kept the vets out of wasting their time trying to figure out who would stay late. 

Creating slow time tasks that are actually enjoyable and productive (for all)

For me, I hated slow times. One clinic had a book dedicated to tedious jobs to do while slow. I dreaded peering into that book. Cleaning the clinic is important, but trying to find dirt to clean is a little annoying.

I was given the opportunity at another place to fill slow time with designing educational materials for clients and creating other marketing tools. I was happy to have slow time dedicated to my creative side and I am sure many techs, assistants and even vets have other skills that could be profitable to the clinic during slow times.

Whether you hover because you are anxious or wondering what everyone is doing, there is no need to breathe down your staff’s back. Watch from a distance, get organized and create tasks that everyone will enjoy doing! 

 
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