Look. Clinic life is INSANE. Here are 4 Tips we Use to Help RUN THE DAY (and not vice versa)!
Both Ashley and I can attest that if you're not ready for the day.. the day will take you over in vet med and we can't have that! What we like to focus our minds on is approaching the day and our cases in a systematic fashion. There have been times when we did not do this and followed more of a 'chicken with it's head cut off' theme to our day! NOT fun.
Even now on really chaotic days we have to really be intentional about how we approach the cases and tasks that get thrown on our shoulders! In this blog we'll break down 4 Simple Tips to Help Run the Day!
Now both of us feel we have amazing management and support staff that helped create systems in our hospitals to take the weight off of the doctors shoulders and share the burden with support staff. This includes things like trained techs who can handle heartworm prevention and flea/tick prevention conversations with owners, puppy management and potty training conversations, etc. It includes nurses going over estimates with owners or calling owners back for us and getting more information so we can focus on appointments in hospital. We will share more of the things our teams do to help us but we want to share 4 things we do to help ourselves reduce chaos.
1- Write it down. When you're juggling 10 things in your mind, it's easy to forget the phone call you promised Mrs. Smith at the end of the day or the thought to ask the front desk to check on yesterday's patient.. or the cerenia you wanted to add on to that one patients treatment. Grab a pen and brain dump your thoughts friend. I have a piece of scrap paper at my desk that I brain dump my little odds and ends on and check them off as I go.
2- Come up with a system. For me with appointments my system is this,
a. Talk with my Tech about Diagnostics we may want ahead of time so they can get started and mention it to owners.
b. See the appointment.
c. Write down my PE notes (or have my nurse scribe notes for me as I do PE) and plan I recommend.
d. While on the phone with client, write my client communication notes down.
e. In between every appointment, try to get one phone call or diagnostic call back completed (if time allows) and move on to the next appointment.
3- Ask for What You Need and Finish What is in front of you. I can't tell you the number of times I finally get a chance to sit down and focus on putting out 4 fires when I hear a 5th one about to be thrown onto my shoulders... " Hey Dr. Tarantino, do you want to see...". Often our staff are completely unaware of the 4 tasks you are currently juggling and are trying to help you move along! When this happens, politely ask them if it's an emergency and if not, let them know you're busy and circle back in five or take a message and see if someone else can help. Something like, "Hey, Thanks! I'm in the middle of a few things right now, is it an emergency or can it wait a few minutes for me to finish this up? Great- check back in with me in 5 or get info and take a message for me!"
Then, take a deep breath. And finish what you need too. We need to be intentional and give our full attention to one thing at a time. So do that. Then, write down what you need to get back too. And continue saving the world fellow vet.
4-Lean into those Around you. Ask for help. It's ok. You can't do this job without help and if your hospital is not set up so that you have people happy to help around you there is likely a work culture problem (or a problem in how you're asking!). Your team around you is there to share the load so ask your nurse if they can get back to Mrs. Smith and find out what questions they had for you because you are busy in exam rooms and may be able to help her quicker this way. Ask your reception team to call and find out how the sick pet from yesterday is (and find out details like are they getting meds in, how is appetite etc.). Ask them to relay that info to you! Just ask.
We hope that helps you vets. Much love!!