Q. No one follows our time schedules—I regularly work at least 30 minutes after my shift was supposed to end. Is this fair?
"Rather than asking, 'Is this fair?' I recommend tracking the reason your shift isn't ending on time for 30 days," says Pamela
Stevenson, CVPM, a practice management consultant who owns Veterinary Results Management in Durham, N.C. Here are some common
problems and solutions:
One or more co-workers is tardy. "In this case, you may need a well-defined and enforced system for tracking and addressing tardiness," Stevenson says. "If
several team members consistently arrive late, discuss the problem with your supervisor." If one person consistently lags
behind, talk to your co-worker one-on-one about the problem.
Your case load is too heavy. "When it seems that there's not enough staff to cover the appointments, in-house patients, surgical and dental procedures,
and drop offs, everyone can feel abused," Stevenson says. "So the practice may need to adjust its systems, explore ways to
work more efficiently, improve patient and client flow, and schedule accordingly."
Your practice doesn't schedule appropriately. If you're running behind because you're still offering treatment or conducting staff rounds, it may be time to revisit your
schedule, Stevenson says. "For example, I recommend scheduling shifts to overlap 30 minutes for general practices and up to
two hours for 24-hour specialty and emergency practices so you can finish all treatments before the next crew takes over."