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Surgeries in Your Veterinary Practice: how to keep it running smoothly

Jada Lewis, CVT Mar 30, 2015 12:46:43 PM Veterinary

Many vets and techs enjoy being part of the surgery schedule in their veterinary practice. It can be thrilling, chaotic, fascinating and stressful. Here are some tips to keep your day running smoothly!


1. Prepare the day before

Preparing for surgery a day in advance is sometimes not feasible, however if you can take just 5 minutes to look ahead you may save yourself some valuable time the next day. Get acquainted with your patients. You may even be able to set up some equipment the night before like catheter supplies, anesthetic sheet, ET tube, etc. 

2. Keep an organized whiteboard

Keeping track of your patients during their stay is crucial with staying organized. This includes knowing who got their premeds, catheters, etc.  However, a plastic whiteboard can be redundant when it comes to filling out the needs of each patient after you have done so. Electronic whiteboards and flow sheets can save a boat load of time. 

Learn About Electronic Whiteboard

3. Designate a recovery person

For some patients, the post-op recovery period can be long and intense. If you have a body to spare for this part of the procedure, then the surgery tech can easily jump onto the next patient.

4. Avoid tackling surgeries over lunch breaks

You can't really call it a lunch break if you are performing or assisting in surgery during that time. I’ve witnessed many practices seeing appointments during the morning and afternoon while trying to sneak their surgeries in at lunch time. First off, everyone needs a lunch break! Secondly, it makes more sense to dedicate a doctor and tech team for a surgery day so they can focus and provide exceptional patient care. 

5. Have a solid plan for entering in charges

It is usually rare for the estimate to match the exact charges after a surgery is complete. Whether you find a tooth that needs to be extracted or the owner has called requesting an additional treatment, the charges usually change throughout a patient’s stay.  This is also a point where a clinic can lose a ton of money through missed charges. The quickest, easiest and best way to address entering in charges while not missing them is to move towards an electronic whiteboard and flow sheet that enters the charges at the point of treatment. Click here to see how it is done!


Are your surgeries running smoothly in your veterinary practice? Try out some of these recommendations to get your next surgery day off to a great start! 

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