Time Management Tips

You may walk into the door of your office feeling overwhelmed within the first moment.

Time flies, manage your time wisely.

Know that there is help! By consciously focusing on a few tips you may BE and FEEL more organized and efficient.

Following are Time Management Tips you may find beneficial:

1. Utilize Technical Tools, such as Google Calendar, to synchronize your work, personal, and financial stewardship calendar. Download to your cell phone and share events on your website.

2. Unclutter Your Work Space. Get really “down-’n'-dirty” on a monthly basis, throwing away papers, deleting unnecessary emails, filing or scanning papers worth keeping. Consider going “paperless.”

3. Plan your day the evening before to hit the office running, prioritizing tasks in the morning and re-evaluating mid-day. Organize your work week and schedule yourself “catch up time” a couple times a week.

4. Include Relationship Building on your “to-do list.” Networking with colleagues and keeping in touch with friends is good for  your work and personal life. Never underestimate the power of networking–extremely valuable!

5. Schedule Breaks and Vacations for a mental, emotional, and healthy “time-out.” Reserve this time to be unplugged from your phone and interruptions. Allow yourself to relax, rejuvenate, and regroup with the things that are near and dear to you.

What additional tips can you offer? Please post your comments and let us know how you plan your day, utilize technology, or where you recently took a vacation.

Cheers, RR

Disaster Planning is for Veterinary Hospitals, too!


DISASTER PLANNING IS FOR VETERINARY HOSPITALS, TOO

Disasters come in all shapes and sizes. How has your team prepared?

“Quick, there’s a fire, call 9-1-1!” The very thought of a disaster within your veterinary hospital must bring shivers to your spine. Those who have experienced it wish they never had and those who prepared for it are grateful they did!

The Institute for Business and Home Safety (www.disastersafety.org) estimates that 25 percent of companies are unable to reopen after a major disaster. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes, and only then do most businesses consider the importance of disaster planning and emergency preparedness. Continue reading

DOL Hourly vs Salary in Veterinary Hospitals

Attended the Financial Boot Camp this week and was surprised to hear the Department of Labor is ramping up their field investigators from 1,200 to 1,800! There focus will be on small business employers incorrectly classifying exempt and non-exempt employees. Non-exempt employees (such as receptionists, technicians, assistants) are entitled to overtime (in Colorado, that is anything over a 12-hour work day or 40-hour work week). Be sure your team member is properly categorized as determined by the DOL. http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDLE-LaborLaws/CDLE/1248095305395

 
 
Read the attached article in the body of the blog; DOL Ramps Up Wage and Hour Enforcement. SHRM Online Legal Issues, April 2012 Continue reading

Professionalism and Your Team

You may find it difficult to get your team on the same page when it comes to presenting a professional, consistent image at your veterinary hospital. You are not alone in this endeavor! Managers ask me about motivating their team, knowing how to engage them and what makes them work together as a team. A lot of times my answer is simply, “Have you asked them?”

Building a culture which allows for open dialog, problem solving and engagement seems to elude a number of managers. Please read a recent article created for My Exceptional Veterinary Team: How to Discuss Professionalism with Your Team.http://www.myevt.com/columns/how-discuss-professionalism-your-team

I strongly suggest, with the ENTIRE team, the week before you set down to create and initiate a professionalism policy or guidelines, you lead with the following exercise, which you can download from GoalInstitute, a Professionalism Quick Test: http://www.goalsinstitute.com/professionalism-quick-test.php

Make this exercise fun, lively and light. Put up a flip chart, grab colorful markers, ask your team characteristics or traits of a professional. Then have them fill out the Quick Test. Lead by example and explain your score (I came in as TOLERABLE, offering a large opportunity for improvement) and how you plan on improving your score over the next couple of weeks. Ask if someone else is willing to share their thoughts and ideas for improvement.

You will also find a Team Development Worksheet with MyEVT’s article. Use it for various other topics, both low and high risk topics. Start out with rather simple exercises (dress code, parking etiquette, etc) and move onto more challenging topics (smoking policies, socila media guidelines, etc).

The point is, LISTEN to your team, ask them what they want guiding their daily directions and offering help in the creation and discipline of issues that directly effect them. One common trait found amongst GREAT LEADERS, they were GREAT LISTENERS!

Cheers, here’s to your team creating their own guidelines for professionalism! RR

 

 

The cost of Veterinary Medicine

Why are Vets so Expensive? LONG blog read and well worth your time!  Dr. Marie hits the hammer on the head! She touches on so many topics affecting pet owners, veterinarians and the veterinary team. You will see the connection to the true cost of veterinary medicine for the pet owner and the fatiguing affects on the veterinary team.

http://www.askavetquestion.com/why-are-vets-so-expensive.php

Sometimes I hate my job.  Well, that’s not true.  I almost always love my job.  But what I hate is that everything I do costs people money.  Multiple times per day, I am helping people make decisions for their pets based on how much they can afford.

We also have salaries to pay.  The staff at veterinary clinics are, in my opinion, usually severely underpaid for the quality of work that they do.  A veterinary technician is an extremely skilled individual, able to place a catheter, draw blood, do a dental cleaning, counsel clients and multi-task animal care all day long.  According to Payscale.com a Technician generally gets paid between $10 and $12 per hour, writes Dr. Marie.

Know, that as a member of the veterinary team, some days will be harder than others. Most days you will go home exhausted and reflect on a rewarding day of offering the best care possible. Please TEND TO YOURSELF! The burn-out in veterinary medicine is high and Compassion Fatigue is REAL.

Here are a couple links that may help you TEND TO YOURSELF, balance and rejuvenate!

AAHA’s What is Compassion Fatigue? By Jan Thomas

http://student.aahanet.org/eweb/dynamicpage.aspx?site=student&webcode=whatiscompfatigue

For many, compassion fatigue is an ambiguous term that means something like that gross, angry, burned out, exhausted feeling you get after too many hard days, too many difficult clients, too many unwinnable cases and too many euthanasias. But misunderstanding the diagnosis — and make no mistake, compassion fatigue is a serious issue with health-related consequences — may be one of the reasons this potentially debilitating condition is becoming increasingly prevalent in the animal medical profession.

Compassion Fatigue and Burnout by Katherine Dobbs, CVPM, PHR, RVT

In contrast, compassion fatigue is about the work we DO, rather than WHERE we work. If you stay in a care giving profession, compassion fatigue will follow with you. This is one of the many reasons why it’s necessary to heal compassion fatigue, in order to prevent attrition from the veterinary profession.

http://www.katherinedobbs.com/compassion-fatigue-and-burnout

Here’s to a long, healthy career in veterinary medicine!

Stay healthy, RR