Top tips for team working in practice
We have put together your fab top tips posted on our facebook page about working as a team in veterinary practice. We are very grateful for your feedback and we love the tips that you continue to share, we feel that they are a real benefit to the veterinary community regardless of your job role.
Regular Clinical Governance (done properly, not as a tick-box process) is a great way to celebrate successes from everyone in the team; geek out on interesting cases; ensure everyone in the practice is treating things in the same way; disseminate useful info from CPD; and deal with mistakes in a positive blame-free way ensuring systems/SOPs change where necessary.
It’s a great equal platform where experienced vets can learn tips and tricks from new grads and nurses; and stops niggles/grudges/worries from building up over time without being said.
We have a client card called Quality Improvement (more positive connotations than Clinical Governance). When something occurs or an idea crops up, we make a history entry, then I collate just before a meeting.
We keep an “animal” for near misses and one each for small animal, equine, farm and post op complications.
At the meeting we work through and whoever made the entry talks about it (only sometimes do we completely forget why the entry was made!!). I make notes, then after the meeting write up and make action lists which are disseminated to head nurse, practice manager and all the vets. It seems to work well (I hope), and gives a chance to talk about all sorts.
Across the vet team it means we can decide on the best approach to e.g. ear disease, then we all treat in a similar way, tho not in a draconian, prescriptive fashion, which leads to uniformity in patient management, and based on evidence from CPD or our own literature based research.
Clear communication with all team members and inclusivity of all. And humour, fun and practical jokes! Who hasn’t left the cat demat fur in a cage for someone to find!?
To me, finding out my personality type with the DISC analysis was a real eye opener, it made me realise that different personality types have a different work ethic and varying ways of defining and attaining a successful outcome, which do not always align with mine. And there’s nothing wrong with that, we just need to know and respect each other’s differences.
Our day is scheduled so we all come into the office for an hour in the mornings, which allows time for paperwork and general catching up, but means as a small 4 vet equine team we are often all in the office at the same time, and we try to make sure any interesting/difficult/complicated cases get discussed and aired around the team. This ensures we are all up to date with ongoing cases, ideas can be aired and discussed, new ideas from cpd can be disseminated and we try to all be singing from the same hymn sheet. It isn’t formal, but seems to work well for our small friendly team.
We also have a regular informal meeting at a local pub (paid for by the practice) where we all take turns to present any relevant info gleamed from recent CPD. We also each have our own areas of interest and gear our cpd in this direction, and then any more complicated cases will get discussed with/passed on to whoever’s interests best fit them even though we are all GP generalists.
Please feel free to send any other ideas that you have that may benefit someone working in practice whether its Leadership, Work-life balance, Wellbeing or about juggling family and work life we would love to hear from you.