FIRSTLINE, Mar 1, 2008 - Firstline
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FIRSTLINE, Mar 1, 2008
Cover story
When pets and people behave badly
By Kelly Stazyk
Sometimes pets and their owners share an uncanny resemblance—bad behavior. Use this chart to tackle both species' less favorable features.
Ask the Experts
Ask Amy: Reminders: Third time's the charm
My team members are anxious about calling clients for third reminders. Can you offer a sample script to make these awkward conversations a little easier?
Revenue up, traffic down
By Lorraine Monheiser List, CPA, CVA, MEd
Q How do we help our practice owner see our revenue is increasing even though practice traffic seems slower?
The money's where the mouth is
By Pamela Stevenson, CVPM
Q Should I receive compensation or bonuses for the dental procedures I'm specially trained to perform?
Help me, Rhonda
By Debbie Allaben Gair, CVPM
Q When I ask my co-workers for help, they seem receptive but never follow through. What should I do?
Get your priorities straight
By Mary Ann Vande Linde, DVM
Q When the phone is ringing, there's a client to be checked out, and a technician has a question, how do I prioritize?
Making It Meaningful
Service in a strange land
By Tracey Nowers, CVT
You must watch what you eat. You can't drink the water or even brush your teeth with it. Nothing is sterile. And yet, my experiences at a spay and neuter clinic in the Dominican Republic have been among the most rewarding in my career.
Team Building
In their shoes
By Julie Gurnon
It's time to bare your sole to team members and share what rubs you the wrong way. Use these tips and insights to put your team on an even heel.
Front Desk
Those little betrayals
By Portia Stewart
Mary's a customer service guru and a gossip. Lisa's a whiz with lab work, but she tends to grouch when she's pressed and running behind. These are the perfect set-ups for little betrayals.
Marketing Strategies
Build better puppy and kitten kits
By Kelly Stazyk
Don't whiff on this all-important chance to bond clients to your practice for life.
Pearls of Practice
Saved by the bell
By Stephanie Preiser
When the school bell rings at Heritage Animal Hospital in Maple Grove, Minn., team members celebrate.
On the Job: Shannon Miller, DVM
By Shannon Miller, DVM
One night about a year ago, I was on call but had important business to attend to—I was standing in line at a local bookstore waiting for the release of the latest book in the Harry Potter series. It was midnight, and true to form, my pager, the black box of evil, chimed.
Hunt for a good time
By Susan Harr
To keep the team eggs-ited at Cloverleaf Animal Hospital in Westfield Center, Ohio, Linda Randall, DVM, AVBP, and Susan Harr, the practice manager, host an annual indoor spring egg hunt at their one-doctor practice.
Have your people call my people
By Tracey Cimmarusti
Pet owners with hospitalized pets at Associated Veterinary Specialists in Bridgeton, Mo., always know news about their pet's condition is just a phone call away.
Sample script: When tempers flare
By Pam Weakley
Everyone's bound to disagree sometimes, but it becomes everyone's problem when issues aren't resolved quickly, says Pam Weakley, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and the practice manager at Dickman Road Veterinary Clinic in Battle Creek, Mich.
Communication Strategies
Generation wars: Can't we all just get along?
By Meagan Johnson
She's a workaholic. He doesn't get the rules. She wants a steady, independent work environment, while he prefers lots of activity and public recognition. Here's a quick guide to the care and feeding of team members from different generations.
Confront the elephant
By Shawn G. McVey, MA, MSW
Are there tough talks you're not having? Learn to lay issues on the table and push that pachyderm out of your practice and your life.
Web Exclusive
Tracey Nowers' Project Samana pictures
Tracey Nowers, CVT, takes you on a guided tour of her experience with Project Samana, a volunteer program that runs spay and neuter clinics in the Dominican Republic.
Ultimate puppy and kitten kit idea list
By Kelly Stazyk
Review this list of items to include in puppy and kitten kits. Then select the handouts and giveaways that target your practice's education mission and goals.
What's your generational IQ?
Are you in tune with Baby Boomers? All-knowing of New Millenniums? Savvy with Generation X? Up to snuff with Traditionals? Take this quiz and test your generational know-how.
Winter care tips for your pet
Review these tips to keep pets safe and healthy during the fall and winter seasons.
Summer care tips for your pet
Review these tips to keep pets safe and healthy during the spring and summer seasons.
What shoe are you?
Use this card to record your biggest work challenges and what your team can do to relate to you. Then discuss your answers at the next staff meeting.
How can your team make your job easier?
Team members with different roles answer the question, "What can your team do to make your job easier for you?"
Professional Development
10 ways to appreciate your team
Everybody wants to feel recognized by their bosses and peers. Here's how you can say thanks and boost morale in your practice.

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