FIRSTLINE, Feb 1, 2011 - Firstline
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FIRSTLINE, Feb 1, 2011
Team Building
How to deal with a toxic team
By Shawn McVey, MA, MSW
Use these five coping strategies when stuck in a toxic environment.
I was a toxic employee
A team member confesses to polluting a veterinary practice, and shares what she did to decontaminate herself and the situation.
Toxic veterinary practices
By Shawn McVey, MA, MSW
Don't let bad attitudes, favoritism, or unresolved conflict contaminate your hospital. Neutralize noxious situations such as these using this advice.
Dear Firstline
Readers speak out on smoking and non- veterinarian owners
Read veterinary team members' feedback about our January issue.
News Report
Where did all your veterinary clients go?
A new study reveals pet owners are skipping routine veterinary exams—and not just because of the recession.
Ask the Experts
Q&A: Convert a Facebook-fearing practice owner
By Brenda Tassava, CVPM, CVJ
I'd like to increase our practice's social networking efforts but the practice owner dismisses it as a waste of time. How can I get her on board?
Q&A: Act like a boss, not a friend
After being promoted to practice manager, I've struggled to act like a boss toward my fellow team members. How can I strike a balance between friendship and professionalism?
Ask Shawn: An inappropriate imitation request
By Shawn McVey, MA, MSW
My well-meaning boss will frequently say to a team member who isn't performing up to par, "You should be more like (another employee)." I've seen the team member not only take offense to the boss's statement but also feel resentment toward the other employee for being the favorite. Does this management approach have any real positives?
Q&A: Adjust to life as a salesperson
By Karyn Gavzer, MBA, CVPM
I love my career as a veterinary technician, but I'm no good at reinforcing my veterinarian's recommendations to clients. I feel like a salesperson, and I have no confidence in that role. How can I improve?
Pearls of Practice
Use PVC to fill prescriptions ASAP
Now you can fill prescriptions on the fly.
Use a headlamp to eliminate shadows during dental procedures
Don't be blinded by the light.
Use spray peroxide to spiff up patients
Spray pets down to spiff them up.
Top tips for smoothing out your schedule
Learn how to distribute your employees evenly.
Communicate clearly in the exam room to encourage compliance
Send a clear message to your clients about the importance of parasite prevention.
Patient care
Aggressive pets: Take away the fear factor
By Katie Costello, RVT, CPDT-KA
There are no bad patients—just fearful and stressed ones. By remembering that, watching for warning signs, and taking a less-is-more approach, you can help patients and keep yourself safe.
Clue in on canine anxiety cues
By Valarie V. Tynes, DVM, DACVB
Canine body language isn't necessarily easy to read.
Receptionists: Calming patients starts with you
By Katie Costello, RVT, CPDT-KA
Keeping animals in your clinic or hospital as calm and comfortable as possible should be the goal of the entire staff.
Client Communication
Open wide: Getting clients to "yes" with dental compliance
When it comes to informing clients about pets' oral health, it's as much how you and other veterinary team members say it as what you say.
Oral health: It's about more than bad breath
Helping clients understand the link between oral health and overall pet health should get more pet owners interested in veterinary dental care.
Helping clients care for pets' chompers
No matter what your role in the veterinary team, you play an integral part in pets' dental care.
Do veterinary dental cleanings save money?
According to this data, they do.
My View
The gift of joy: Lessons from a puppy
A veterinarian writes an apology letter to a former pet owner who couldn't afford to care for his dog.
Disaster Planning
I survived a kennel fire
By Liz Marsh, Senior Editor
This is the true story of how one veterinary boarding kennel team learned the importance of fire-safety training.

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