Pulse - September 2021 - 13

" There are so many things practice managers can do that will
save money and make businesses more profitable - if owners let
them do their jobs and provide them with the tools to know
how to do those things. All managers won't know how to do all
of this right off the bat. They might need some training, too. "
The VHMA describes three different
managerial levels.
The office manager is focused on the front end of the business:
overseeing reception and customer service, including
bookkeeping, scheduling and dealing with client complaints,
with little financial or human resources responsibility.
The practice manager likely would be in charge of hospital
business activities, including all duties prescribed for the office
manager. Typically, this person would be in charge of staffing,
scheduling, training, personnel problems, accounts payable
and receivable and purchasing supplies.
The hospital administrator would have authority over the
business and practice in conjunction with the owner or board
of directors, including all duties attributed to the practice
manager. Other duties might include recruiting and hiring,
budgets, fee structuring and asset management, establishing
policy and reaching goals.
These job descriptions are from the VHMA website,
which emphasizes that duties will vary from practice to practice,
depending on ownership and culture. For the complete
VHMA jobs description, go online to VHMA Job Framework
& Job Description for Veterinary Managers - Veterinary Hospital
Managers Association.
A practice manager generally would have more authority
and a broader mandate than an office manager. Likewise, a
hospital administrator's authority and mandate would increase
over that of a practice manager.
What practice management can look like on
the ground.
Elaine Myers, administrator at Orange County Emergency
Pet Clinics, which has two locations, is on call after hours.
" This job is 24-7, " she said. You're never completely off. There
are very few times when I'm on vacation and I'm off the grid
and somebody else is in my place when I'm out of call service
because I'm hiking in the mountains.
" But in general, this job is 24-7. I'm physically in the office
six to 10 hours a day but it doesn't stop there. It's constant.
I'm getting texts and phone calls and emails all the time.
" I have adjusted my schedule so I can be there for the different
shifts. (The emergency clinic is open at night and on
weekends.) I have to be available when banks and businesses
are open and I can't do that at 10 o'clock at night. Sometimes
I'll come in later and stay later so I can see the swing shift.
And sometimes I'll come in early and leave early so I can see
the graveyard shift. I recently shifted my schedule so I work
Sunday through Thursday. Sunday is the day when most of
our people are working.
" If something goes really wrong, " Elaine said, " I need to be
involved and I need to be involved immediately. " She must
return to the office two or three times a year to deal with crises
of some sort. There are days when she doesn't get many
PULSE
SEPTEMBER 2021
Of state regulations that must
be enforced in veterinary
hospitals, Elaine said, " I'm sure
a lot of employees think that
managers make all these rules
for no reason.
requests for help or guidance, she said, but she always needs
to be available. " There are lots of little things that I can handle
with text messages - a daily occurrence after work, " she said.
Of state regulations that must be enforced in veterinary hospitals,
she said, " I'm sure a lot of employees think that managers
make all these rules for no reason. We're just doing what the
state says we have to do. " But, she said, the rules often prevent
problems - like getting sued or getting fined.
Her's is a high responsibility job, she said. " Everything is
on your shoulders. You have to prevent all problems and you
have to solve everybody's problems. Sometimes it becomes
very stressful and I don't know how long that is sustainable.
That's what we [managers] talk about: How long can we sustain
this level of responsibility? I don't know the answer to
that. I don't have any plans to go anywhere.
" I love this place immensely. I love its purpose. I love what
we do here. Do I love it when I have to solve problems or
this person is mad or that piece of equipment is broken? No.
But I believe in what we're doing and I feel like every day
when I get up l'm contributing.
" There's definitely a satisfaction level in solving a problem
or fixing something. I get a lot of job satisfaction that way. "
Leslie Boudreau, practice manager and administrator at the
Animal Hospital of Huntington Beach, said that her schedule
was " pretty set " before the covid pandemic changed
everything.
" I worked 10:30 to 7:30, Monday through Friday and I
rarely worked on weekends. But that's all out the door.
We've been incredibly understaffed and I've had to help out
in other departments and then do my own work after the
hospital closes. After covid restrictions were eased, the situation
was better, she said, but the practice has still been busy.
The situation was made worse by a remodeling project and a
computer server upgrade.
During the pandemic's worst times, " we were incredibly busy
and I was working long hours. We were under stress, under pressure
from clients who were at curbside and were calling us on
their cellphones. Our phone volume was 10 times what it had
been and we put in a phone tree to manage our initial response.
We still had people waiting 30 minutes to get through.
" They were not happy and they took it out on the people who
answered their calls. A lot of staff left because of the pressure or
because other hospitals needed help and offered more money.
Some clients were just so mean. I had staff at the front desk crying.
con gtinued
13

Pulse - September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - September 2021

Pulse - September 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
President’s Perspective
Pulsepoints
SCVMA Profile
How Veterinary Managers’ Jobs Differ
Practical Pathology
Medical Leeway
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Angel Fund
Dear Tabby
The RVT
Industry Insights
Quick Reference
AVMA Diplomates
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Resources
Disease Table
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - September 2021 - Pulse - September 2021
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - September 2021 - 1
Pulse - September 2021 - 2
Pulse - September 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - September 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - September 2021 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - September 2021 - 6
Pulse - September 2021 - 7
Pulse - September 2021 - 8
Pulse - September 2021 - 9
Pulse - September 2021 - 10
Pulse - September 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - September 2021 - How Veterinary Managers’ Jobs Differ
Pulse - September 2021 - 13
Pulse - September 2021 - 14
Pulse - September 2021 - 15
Pulse - September 2021 - 16
Pulse - September 2021 - 17
Pulse - September 2021 - 18
Pulse - September 2021 - 19
Pulse - September 2021 - 20
Pulse - September 2021 - 21
Pulse - September 2021 - 22
Pulse - September 2021 - 23
Pulse - September 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - September 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - September 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - September 2021 - Tools for Success
Pulse - September 2021 - 28
Pulse - September 2021 - Angel Fund
Pulse - September 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - September 2021 - The RVT
Pulse - September 2021 - Industry Insights
Pulse - September 2021 - Quick Reference
Pulse - September 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - September 2021 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Pulse - September 2021 - 36
Pulse - September 2021 - 37
Pulse - September 2021 - 38
Pulse - September 2021 - Resources
Pulse - September 2021 - 40
Pulse - September 2021 - Disease Table
Pulse - September 2021 - 42
Pulse - September 2021 - 43
Pulse - September 2021 - 44
Pulse - September 2021 - 45
Pulse - September 2021 - 46
Pulse - September 2021 - 47
Pulse - September 2021 - 48
Pulse - September 2021 - 49
Pulse - September 2021 - 50
Pulse - September 2021 - 51
Pulse - September 2021 - 52
Pulse - September 2021 - 53
Pulse - September 2021 - 54
Pulse - September 2021 - 55
Pulse - September 2021 - 56
Pulse - September 2021 - 57
Pulse - September 2021 - 58
Pulse - September 2021 - 59
Pulse - September 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover3
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover4
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