Light a fire under their butts

One clinic takes the break out of smoke break.
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Feb 01, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

Team members at Animal Medical Center in Virginia Beach, Va., are allowed to smoke outside the clinic, but Debbie Winter, surgery technician, wouldn't exactly qualify it as a break. "No smoking while on the clock is allowed unless the employee is working," she says. "If team members need nicotine time, we incorporate outdoor, work-related activities. You'd be amazed by how many weeds are pulled, dogs are walked, and poop that's scooped from our clinic's yard while employees have a smoke." And don't forget the trash that's picked up—including clients' cigarette butts. "Our smoke breaks aren't wasted time," Winter says. "They actually benefit the clinic."