Career Story: Manager Of A Veterinary Clinic

Manager Of A Veterinary Clinic

Job Title: Clinic Manager Of An Animal Hospital

Type of Company: An animal hospital with one full-time veterinarian and one part-time veterinarian. We take care of only dogs and cats.

Education: BS, Nursing •• Computer and Accounting Credits from Newbury College (Brookline, MA)

Previous Experience: I worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse for 20 years before my husband bought some property and converted it into an animal hospital. Our CPA suggested that I take some business courses and become involved in the animal clinic. I worked at both jobs for a while, but found it very difficult. I started working full-time at the animal clinic in 1990 and I'm very happy with my decision.

Job Tasks: As the clinic manager of a small animal hospital, I have many responsibilities. I am in charge of scheduling personnel. Since the clinic has different hours each day, I have to make sure that there are enough veterinary techs to assist the doctor with regular office hours as well as surgery which is scheduled on three mornings a week.

I am in charge of inventory control and making sure that everything is entered into the computer. Since our inventory software tracks our usage, I can make a list of needed supplies before we run out of something.

Because we are a small independent clinic I also do the payroll and pay the bills. I think larger clinic have separate personnel to take care of these tasks.

I am also in charge of hiring veterinary techs and although it hasn't happened very often I am also in charge of firing people who don't pan out. Our clients and their pets are very important to us and the people who work for us must show compassion not only for the dogs and cats we see but their owners as well. Our business depends on how we treat people. I go out of my way to make sure that each client is treated professionally and is satisfied with the treatment plan of their animal. In this struggling economy we also try to keep our charges reasonable.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with people. We have been in business for 23 years. Many of our clients have been coming to us throughout the years and we have developed a wonderful client base. Both of our veterinarians are wonderful doctors. People trust them and recommend us to their family and friends.

The worst part of my job is when one of our clients has to euthanize one of their beloved pets. It's very sad and although death is a natural part of life it makes me very sad to witness a person's sorrow.

Job Tips: I think getting a degree in business administration and management is a prerequisite for becoming an animal clinic manager. My nursing degree and my experience as charge nurse helped me with many aspects of my job even though I didn't have a business degree. Having a medical background has helped me to triage medical cases and decide if an animal needs to be seen immediately or if the appointment can wait for the next day.

Additional Thoughts: If I had known that I was going to be a clinic manager I would have taken more business management courses. It took me a while to feel comfortable in my new position since it is very different from working as a nurse in Labor and Delivery. I am surprised how much I love my job. I think that treating people like I would like to be treated has helped me keep a positive attitude. I also love dogs and cats.

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