I went to your pretty average, midwestern high school where FFA, show choir and wrestling ruled the roost. Milton, Wisconsin is pretty small (population 5,000), but very proud. The teachers were amazing, the students were typical and there were few true cliques since we all went to school from elementary and on. The problem was not with the high school itself, but the structure of nearly every high school across America.
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! :(
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.
"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.
Most veterinary technicians just absolutely cringe when someone says to them that it must be nice working with puppies and kittens all day. Meanwhile they just euthanized a 3 year dog with cancer, got splattered with anal glands and nearly broke their back trying to mop the 10th pile of vomit for the day.
But, you want to know my dirty little secret?
Anesthesia is an enormous responsibility for any veterinary technician. It is a precise art form that requires extreme attention to detail.The best techs are extremely alert at the most boring times, they always have a hand on their patient, and never rely on the monitors alone. Being on top of the patient under anesthesia is crucial to providing the best patient care. Sometimes, there is a technician that does not share these same ideals, which can be somewhat worrisome. Follow these next steps to ensure that patients are receiving top-notch veterinary care under anesthesia.
1. Is your staff qualified?
2. Provide a mentor
3. Case study
Do some of the staff believe that things with anesthesia just never go wrong? It might be beneficial to have a doctor put together real life case studies of real patients suffering from improper care under anesthesia. Provide the staff with a heart breaking story including pictures and see if that changes their tune. It is likely someone on your team has experienced a tragic anesthetic case.
4. Sharing techniques
Not every catheter needs to be wrapped the exact same way, but techniques in monitoring anesthesia do need to be followed to a T. An experienced and qualified tech might want to share their techniques with the newer staff. This might be a time to have a mock demonstration and brush up on things like CPR and studying the crash cart.
5. Create a protocol project
It might be time to dust off the protocol manual and see what is in it. A good way to teach someone is to have them write the protocol and make sure everyone adheres to it. If you are having difficulty with a lazy tech, make that person in charge of writing the protocol and have a deadline.
6. Continuing Education
When all else fails, send the staff to continuing education. Here you might get the case study, protocol outline, shared techniques and mock situations without doing it yourself.