Small changes can make a big difference in your practice. Try this collection of tiny tips to smooth your workday.
Catify your feline exam rooms
We've recently completed construction on a new cat-only exam room. It's separate from the other exam rooms and built with cats in mind. There are perches built for cats on each of the exam room walls. They can climb, scratch, play and leap from one to the next, all within easy reach of pet owners and team members. We have a pheromone diffuser and music playing designed for calming cats. Of course, there are plenty of soft surfaces, treats and toys as well. Our house cat was the first to try it out, and he sure seems to be enjoying himself! (Still skeptical? Check out the video here.)
Social Media Manager
Cary Street Veterinary Hospital
Use doorbells to offer peaceful goodbyes during euthanasia
We have all dealt with the uncomfortable problem of not knowing how long to wait before going into the room when an owner is saying their last goodbye to their pet. They often say they just need a minute, but then you poke your head in and they are not ready. Instead of repeatedly interrupting their last minutes together, our clinic has found a way around this.
I purchased an inexpensive wireless doorbell for less than $20. The chime is plugged into an outlet in the treatment area. And when the patient is brought into the exam room for the owner—after having its IV catheter placed—we hand the owners the doorbell ringer and tell them to take as much time as they need and to press the button when they are ready for the doctor to come in.
This not only allows uninterrupted private time for the owner and patient but frees up team members and doctors to do other things while the owners and patient say their goodbyes.
Pamela A. Kwiatkowski, DVM, MS
Flagler Animal Hospital
Flagler Beach, Florida
Get crafty to organize blood pressure cuffs
We made a cuff holder out of clothespins and some craft materials from Michael’s. We use it to keep our blood pressure cuffs in good shape and from getting holes.
VCA North Coast Animal Hospital
Keep the slip slidin' away
Sometimes stools can be quite slippery, so we use nonskid shelf liner to prevent us from slipping off our stools as we roll around our veterinary clinic. The shelf liner is reusable and easy to clean, and we cut it to fit each stool. This quick trick has saved us from many near mishaps during procedures.
Haylee Huston, hospital manager
Boise Cat Clinic in Boise, Idaho
Outline your X-ray pedal with glow-in-the-dark tape
It’s always a struggle finding the X-ray pedal in the dark, especially when you’re in a hurry while the animal is holding still. I recently bought glow-in-the-dark tape and outlined the pedal. It works amazingly well and we no longer struggle taking radiographs in the dark.
Marissa Hofstetter, DVM
Orrville Veterinary Clinic