Q&A: Handling criticism from a co-worker at your veterinary practice

Q&A: Handling criticism from a co-worker at your veterinary practice

Q: Some of my co-workers have decided they don't like me, and they criticize my work constantly. What should I do?
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Nov 08, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

A: It seems that anytime you have a large group of people in one place doing work they're passionate about, there's always room for conflict, says Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member Mandy Stevenson, RVT, a technician at Rolling Meadows Animal Hospital in Adrian, Mo. "Over the years, particularly in veterinary medicine, I've found that you end up working with people who have a variety of different personalities. Couple that with work stress and sometimes very high volume, and it can get intense. When you become the center of a difficult situation like this though, it becomes overwhelming."

The key, Stevenson says, is to put yourself in others' shoes. In some cases your co-workers might be frustrated about something else at work or in their personal lives. Or they might not understand the way you do certain tasks.

"Try to discuss the issue with co-workers individually. Ask them if there is something specific that concerns them and how they would do it differently," she says. "If I have learned anything in veterinary medicine, it's that there are 10 ways to do one thing. Sometimes just sharing ideas of how you were taught to perform a task can help."

When groups become a problem, Stevenson says, you may need to get you practice manager involved. "Unfortunately, there isn't always a way to get around this if you're new to a clinic with an existing, unaddressed problem. You could be doing a wonderful job and still have people that want to cause issues," she says. "The most important thing to remember is why you're at your practice—to do your job and contribute. We won't always get along with everyone we meet, but you can always try to make your workplace the best it can be."

Proceedings papers for techs

The very best behavior advice for new puppy owners (Proceedings)

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The entire hospital staff should play a role in the counseling of new puppy owners.

The technician's role creating a behavior centered veterinary practice (Proceedings)

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A focus on pet behavior in the veterinary clinic is an excellent practice builder.

Trying times--dealing with canine adolescent dog (Proceedings)

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A behavior wellness exam is an opportunity to check up on a pet’s behavioral health and answer any related questions a client may have.

Enriching geriatric patients' lives (Proceedings)

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An important time for practices to include a behavioral exam is when a pet becomes a senior.

Tubes and tracheas--all about endotracheal tubes and lesions in difficult intubations (Proceedings)

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Endotracheal tubes are usually made from silicone, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic or red rubber.