FIRSTLINE, Aug 1, 2005 - Firstline
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FIRSTLINE, Aug 1, 2005
Cover story
27 steps to make an ow visit wow!
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
Don't settle for just-OK visits anymore. Use these service strategies to take your team's performance up a notch
Team Building
Co-workers from hell
By Heather Kirkwood
When you're faced with a co-worker who's acting like a demon, these strategies will help.
Survey Results
Who are you?
By Portia Stewart
Here's a quick snapshot of what we've learned about your career, pay, responsibilities, and feelings about veterinary practice.
Making It Meaningful
Boomer's big break
By Kristi W. Busby, DVM
A stray dog in a small Alabama town found a home and a calling visiting nursing homes with a young veterinarian.
Communication Strategies
It's worth calling the veterinarian "doctor"
By Kimberly Lane, BS, LVT
When you use the title your boss earned, you build respect for your team, increase your authority with clients, and lay the groundwork for a more professional workplace. And that's just for starters
Skill Builder
Hone your phone skills
By Lori Roke Stine
Whether you answer the phone twice a day or twice a minute, these tips will help you handle a range of calls with finesse and keep conflict with clients to a minimum.
Efficiency Rules
10 strategies that minimize workday woes
Use these quick strategies to make your days go more smoothly.
Inventory: Get a grasp on the goods
By Portia Stewart
Anyone who's managed inventory knows it's tough to find the right balance of products without storing too much—or too little. These tips take the ache out of tracking, ordering, and stocking.
Front Desk
Extending a warm welcome
By Marnette Denell Falley
This new publication is brought to you from the editors of Veterinary Economics, the magazine that veterinarians turn to for the information and inspiration they need to create successful practices and coach successful teams. But Firstline is designed just for you.
Ask the Experts
But it's not my job...
By Lisa Diffell, CVT
The doctor uses me as a receptionist, although I'm a registered veterinary technician. What should I do?
Little hands make mischief
By Sally Hickey
Clients often ditch their kids in the reception area. What should we do?
Confronting sexism
By Charlotte Lacroix
The owner of my practice makes rude remarks about women's work abilities. Should I confront the doctor about his sexist comments?
Encouraging an open mind
By W. Bradford Swift, DVM
My doctor doesn't like to change. How can I make him more open to new ideas and approaches?
Clients who refuse care
By Sheila Grosdidier, BS, RVT
Last week a client brought in a very sick pet and refused to treat it because of the cost. This makes me furious. What can I do?
When the doc's just not buying it
By W. Bradford Swift, DVM
The practice owner won't invest in a piece of new equipment that I think we really need. How can I convince her to buy?
Warring bosses
By Karen E. Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM
Whose directions should I follow when the doctors disagree?
Handling Mr. Nasty
By Karen Sabatini
Do I have to be nice if a client is really rude?
Pearls of Practice
Tips to untangle your spine
Feel that pinch in your back? Or maybe your wrists ache. Perhaps you've got a chronic case of phone neck—that permanent crick from bracing the phone with your neck while you scribble a message about Fifi's chronic diarrhea for the doctor. Use these tips to ease the strain:
Cell phone inconvenience
By Sharon DeNayer
Picture this: You're explaining why Baxter needs heartworm preventives when the tinny sound of Beethoven's 5th erupts from inside your client's purse.
Stop: Important meeting ahead
By Caitlin Rivers
Freeze! I mean everyone. Now meet. Sound impossible? The team at Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pa., manages it twice a day. Here's how it works: Everyone meets at 8:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. in front of the dry erase board.
On the job
By Pam Weakley
On the Job: Pam Weakly, practice manager at Dickman Road Veterinary Clinic in Battle Creek, Mich.
Score points with the right pass
By Gina Toman, RVT
Gina Toman, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and a veterinary assistant at Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, N.C., says that when you do a good job passing the client off to the receptionist after the appointment, you help prevent missed charges and improve the client's experience.
One wicked book
By Rickee Miller
If dental compliance is a concern at your practice, you're not alone. The team at Lockwillow Avenue Animal Hospital in Harrisburg, Pa., worried that clients didn't always follow their dental recommendations.
Technicians, spread the word about your skills
Running lab tests, educating clients, assisting with surgery—it's all in a day's work for veterinary technicians. But do pet owners know this?
By the Numbers
10 strategies that minimize workday woes
Tips to turn around a lousy day working at the veterinary hospital.

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