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The roles in a veterinary practice

Explore an overview of the management of a veterinary service.

The role of a Veterinary Practice Manager is exciting and rewarding, usually combining business knowledge and working with and around animals. Often it includes overseeing tasks completed by staff, such as the preparation of animals for surgery, or even grooming, as in the video above.

Please note the video above contains no audio.

A lot of Veterinary Practice Managers enjoy the variety provided by their career and the fact that this role involves making a difference in the lives of animals. An interest in and unique skills to deal with customer service are also highly desirable.

Practice Managers (PMs) will usually ensure that all business affairs are well looked after and maintained. They will manage many aspects of the whole business, including but not limited to:

  • Administration: Communicating and establishing relationships with suppliers, ensuring that the stock, medical supplies, stationery, and consumables levels are always appropriate.
  • Bookkeeping: Organising invoice payment, managing budgets, and general expenses of the service.
  • Financial Record: Keeping all taxes and financial duties up-to-date, creating financial reports and balances and controlling profit and financial losses.
  • Staffing: Recruiting, training, rostering, payroll, leave entitlements, and complying with all existing Human Resource processes and procedures.
  • Record Keeping: Managing all patient records, compliance (including all filing, written communication, and relevant documents).
  • Technology: Managing computer issues, choosing equipment, and training on different information systems.
  • Work health and safety (WH&S): Reinforcing the staff to follow correct procedures throughout the practice and maintaining best-practice within the clinic on all safety issues.

A Veterinary Service is an environment where teamwork is expected and necessary. Every staff member should be able to provide mutual support and respect to one another. A Practice Manager MUST make sure that this is also reinforced and praised at work. Most veterinary practices are very complex and diverse, and this requires that Practice Managers have advanced skills in multi-tasking. PMs, needless to say, must have great time management skills.

In a day, they will have to deal with many situations and fix minor to major issues involving business partners, veterinarians, vet nurses, support staff, stakeholders, suppliers, and also clients.

Practice Management is a senior role in most veterinary practices. PMs also need a good understanding and qualifications in all business financial aspects and possess great accounting and math skills.

Leadership skills are necessary in dealing with customer complaints and staff interactions which can be fairly challenging.

Veterinary Practice Managers may work in many different veterinary environments, from general practices, emergency clinics, animal hospitals, specialty clinics, university teaching clinics, pounds and rescues, to veterinary laboratories and veterinary manufacturers. Practice Managers can work in either rural or urban settings.

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Veterinary Administration: Managing a Veterinary Practice

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