Veterinary offices can sometimes become a hectic place. Pet emergencies, employee burnout, screaming children in the lobby – there are days when you probably wished you just would have stayed in bed.
That’s not how life works, though. There are bad days, sure, but there are also good days. Making sure a family’s beloved pet is happy and healthy is one of the major reasons you got into this field in the first place. Still, in order to manage the day-to-day operations dealing with patients, their owners, and your employees, you need to have a veterinary plan in place.
The plan, which can be created by you or with your business manager or even as a group, is your go-to guide when it comes to how your practice is run. Think of it as your practice’s mantra – something that, no matter what, you can go back to and allow it to reaffirm the decisions you’ve made. Also allow it to be a guide for those decisions. Some call it your Practice Vision or your North Star or your Goal.
Your practice’s veterinary plan is a mindset that helps you manage everything from your employees, to the patients, to the owners. It can be as simple as “We strive to prevent more issues than to fix them.” It doesn’t have to be complex; in fact simplest is the best. You and your team can use it as words to live and practice by.
How the Veterinary Plan Works for Your Employees
Being a veterinarian, or a vet tech, can be a rewarding experience. It can, however, be a very stressful, very depressing job.
In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association, almost 25 percent of male and 37 percent of female veterinarians have experienced depressive episodes since veterinary school, which is 1 ½ times the norm for adults throughout their lifetime. Sadly, one out of every six veterinarians have considered suicide.
Your practice’s plan can go a long way in helping in these situations. With depression, it’s easy to get lost and become overwhelmed with feelings of worthlessness. When this happens, it’s a tremendous help to be able to think back and remember the plan. The plan provides focus for your practice members and helps guide them back on the right track.
This is not to say that this is the answer for the stress and depression. If you or someone in your office is suffering from severe depression (which does occasionally happen) it’s important to get help.
How the Veterinary Plan Works for Your Patients
The pets you see every day are why you’re there in the first place. You’ve probably been bitten and scratched more times than you care to count, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love your job. You also know these pets are more than just animals to their owners – they really are part of the family.
Having a plan in place for your team gets everyone on the same page for your patients. If your plan is to make sure you promote as many preventative measures as possible so you don’t have to worry about preventable issues, then go with that. Make sure your staff knows to drive those points home to the owners.
Emergencies will continue to happen and, sadly, there’s not a lot you can do about it. But if you stick with the plan, you can deal with the emergencies as they pop up and prepare yourself – and your staff – for anything that comes at you.
How the Veterinary Plan Works for Pet Owners
Pet owners love their pets, that’s one of the biggest reasons they’ve brought them to you. Some will do whatever it takes to make sure their pet remains happy and healthy, and there are some that break down when you tell them there’s nothing more you can do. You see the good, the bad, and everything in between. For owners, all they see is right now.
With your plan in place, you have a greater understanding of not only how to go about treating the pet, but also how to work with the owner. If your plan, again, is focused on preventative measures as opposed to treating what could have been prevented, educating the owner is just as important as treating the pet.
Some owners will work with you and follow your directions to the letter. Some, however, might not follow your guidelines exactly. Whatever you plan is, make sure pet owners are aware of it and how it affects their pets.
Sometimes You Have to Blow Up the Plan
It’s important to have the plan, but it’s also good to know that the plan needs to be a living, adaptable thing. If something’s not working, you fix it, right? In this case, if the plan needs to be changed, it’s best to adapt.
This could be anything from slight tweaks here and there to a complete overhaul. As time goes on, it’s good to really think about your plan and ask yourself if it still represents your overall goals. Talk with your employees and see how they feel about the plan. It’s always good to keep everyone in the loop.
If you do need to create a new plan, go back to the drawing board and figure out the best course of action for you, your team, and your practice.
Have a Little Help with Your Veterinary Plan
To make sure you plan goes as smoothly as possible, it’s always good to have a little help from time to time. That’s why it’s a great idea to use VPR Cloud at your practice.
VPR Cloud is the only vet reference built by vets, for vets. The VPR Cloud program puts a constantly updated drug database within your fingertips with instant results. VPR Cloud also offers a dosage calculator, off-label consent forms, and so much more.
To see how VPR Cloud can help your practice and help you with your plan, reach out for a free trial.