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How would you run a clinic?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by Golden10, Feb 20, 2012.

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  1. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    So how would you determine this competitive wage? We're talking an entry level job that requires a high school diploma. So I don't think a low starting wage is unreasonable. And as for raises... when you start out with a low hourly wage, even a modest yearly raise won't take you that far. If you start out at $10/hr and you get a 4% raise, it'll take like 10 years to get to $14/hr and 19 year to get to $20/hr. Heck, I worked for the largest private employer in MA, and I only got a 2% raise.... which I was told was standard for hourlies. On a $14.50/hr wage... that amounted to like $600 on my GROSS income :(. So I wouldn't say that this kind of close-to-nothing raise is abnormally wrong and greedy per se.

    And if what techs aren't being paid now isn't competitive, where is that money coming form? Sure, if you have a profitable clinic with money to spare, then there's a way to pay the hourlies more. But even then, I don't think it's fair to say that a practice owner should share all the profits with the "hired help." The practice owner carries all the risks and invests into the practice, techs don't. The techs get to go home everyday with a promised amount of cash in hand, not to have to worry about work until the next day (and if they do, they are legally bound to be paid for it). The owner on the other hand is not guaranteed any pay, AND if the practice isn't flourishing, it's up to them to worry and do something about it 24/7. The few vets I've worked with have all had incentive programs for their staff and gave bonuses when practice goals have been met. I think it's great to reward staff for helping to invest in the business, but I don't think it's wrong at all for a practice owner to take home a disproportionately bigger slice of the pie. And this is coming from someone who is probably going to be an associate and never an owner.

    Anyhoos, that's a conversation to be had ONLY IF the clinic is booming and has extra income to spare after everyone's been paid AND any updates/new equipment are brought in to improve the practice. There are plenty of clinics out there where the owner goes for months to years without taking home any pay because there's none left after all the techs and staff and bills get paid.

    And finally there's that pesky supply and demand thing. People become techs because they want to work with animals. As long as that work is attractive enough to bring in enough resumes of potential hires at a low wage (whether it's by choice or because they really can't afford to pay anymore), then nothing is going to change. If you want more pay, you can always go and become a truck driver or something. That being said, I doubt a majority of clinic owners purposely underpay their techs just because they mother-effing can.
  2. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    The thing is, the vet is going to recommend preventatives for basically every client. Why have the doctor spend 5 minutes of their time with each client discussing prevention?
    1) If the doctor has 15 minutes with the client (average at places I've worked), they have just spent 1/3 of their time discussing something that is easy for a tech to explain. The doctor's education and expertise have been applied to something simple when they could be discussing more complex subjects like management of a chronic disease.
    2) It is bad business to be paying a doctor $40/hour (or whatever it is) to do something that you could pay a tech $14/hour to do.
    3) If the tech has already given an explanation and the client is unsure, it is a much easier conversation to come in and address their concerns when they have a background from their conversation with the tech.
    4) The tech is likely going to be in the exam room first getting the weight and temperature. Since they aren't as qualified to discuss a detailed history or treatment plan (usually), they may as well use that time to get an important but repetitive conversation out of the way. Then while the doctor is in the room, the tech can get the preventatives and refills ready so the client isn't kept waiting later on.

    As a client, I would prefer to have the doctor communicate the big things to me: diagnosis and treatment plan for actual problems. For example, if my pet needs fracture repair surgery, I want to discuss the risks and benefits with the doctor and keep the middle man out of it.

    So basically I think that for routine and preventative care that is pretty much the same for every animal, it's smarter to have techs handle it with input from the doctor if necessary. But for major medical decisions, prognosis, and treatments, it is more appropriate to hear it straight from the doctor, not have the doctor recommend something and the tech relay the message.
  3. August West

    August West solar powered

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    I have no problem with tech discussing preventatives and general welfare issues (i.e. body condition, diet, behavioral issues, etc.) with clients, so long as they in line with the doctor's own guidelines (i.e. vaccination schedules, age requirements for medications, etc.). I just don't understand the concept of techs getting paid commissions for selling such services or products or persuading clients in one direction of the other. That is not conducive to the kind of environment I would want to foster in my practice.
  4. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    There seems to be a pretty pervasive view in here that tech work is somehow equivalent to menial labor, which is a distinction I think many actual, working nurses would dispute.

    I'm curious how many here have actually done the job, outside of interning or as a stepping stone to vet school?

    There are plenty of practices that do treat their techs like low level grunts. I'd suggest that those clinics are likely the places with the wild turnover and the intense drama that's been mentioned previously. And if you've worked in one of these practices, as I have, then my condolences for that.

    In keeping with the theme of the thread, if I were running a clinic I'd make damn sure that the nursing staff (as well as the reception folks) were treated as the professionals they're expected to behave like, given their experience and capabilities.

    The range of utility that an experienced technician can provide to a practice is pretty far above and beyond simply parroting what a doctor says, or reciting the frontline speech ad infinitum. And hopefully you guys will get a better understanding of that capacity before you're actually out in the workforce supervising them.
  5. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    I've worked as a tech before and during vet school. Not sure if you got that tone from me or not though.
  6. Trematode

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    I am wondering how many of the people claiming to be "vet techs" actually did the schooling?

    Where I come from, we were advised not to do the vet tech course before becoming a vet (none of the courses are transferable).

    You can take the cost of 2 year of education if you started off as kennel attendant promoted to vet assistant promoted to unofficial "vet tech".

    I cannot comment because I have never been employed in a clinic. All I know is that the techs make ~$14/hour and are happy with their jobs and working environments at the clinics I have been in. I do not know all of the logistics of how they are running their clinics, but it seems to be working.
  7. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    Less so, but it's still there.

    "The tech is likely going to be in the exam room first getting the weight and temperature. Since they aren't as qualified to discuss a detailed history or treatment plan (usually), they may as well use that time to get an important but repetitive conversation out of the way."

    A good tech isn't just there to work a scale and thermometer. If you're being properly utilized, you're taking a real history, discussing preventative care and vaccines, taking samples and preemptively beginning lab work, focusing the attention of the doc on the pc and making sure they're not missing anything outside of the big picture, etc.

    When this system runs smoothly, the techs are anticipating the decisions the doc will be making before they even see the patient. Some of the worst doctors I've met are the ones who are under the mistaken impression that the nursing staff is not essential to the success of their work.
  8. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    um... when I referred to techs as "hourlies" and "hired help," that had nothing to do with my respect for the work they do. I was speaking only about their role in the business. I would consider associate vets on straight salary and relief vets the same. Just because it's not "menial labor" does not mean they should be paid a higher wage. Yes, having a well trained/leveraged staff will result in more revenue to a point. And in order to achieve that, it makes sense to keep them happy so that you can retain said talented/motivated staff. That being said, it's not as simple as telling that "greedy owner" to give up more of his/her profits to the staff.
  9. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    Fair enough. A few of the techs I've worked with had degrees and certifications and had been in the field for decades. They did have a role similar to what you are describing and I think they were paid pretty well. You can run into issues with too much anticipating though - for example if you draw the heartworm test that's due before the patient sees the doctor, and then the doctor decides they need a CBC - now you have to stick the animal twice, which the owner is not going to appreciate.

    I have learned almost all the technical skills I have from techs and am very grateful for that. I don't want to come off as though I don't think they are important! I do have to say though that the more I learn in school, the more I am aware that the doctor's thought process is not something that can be learned on the job or with practice alone. When I look at what I knew before school versus what I know almost halfway though school - it can't even compare. It's the difference between understanding that on a heartworm test blue dot --> positive and understanding exactly how the test works, what are the limitations of the test, what we are testing for (antibody versus antigen), how is the test different in dogs and cats, what is actually happening inside the animal's body, what is the next step, why we do the follow up tests that we do, why and how we make antibodies, what antibodies mean, the exact life cycle of the parasite, the grade of the disease, the prognosis... you get the idea.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  10. August West

    August West solar powered

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    I think I was pretty clear in what I see as the role of vet techs. I still don't think techs should be commissioned to sell particular products or services. Not sure where you distilled any condescension from what I have said on the matter. I stand by my opinion.
  11. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    I have become aware of your opinion, as you posted it verbatim, four times. ;)

    Care to address anything else that's been said since then?
  12. August West

    August West solar powered

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    :claps:

    That will be all for now. Please feel free to carry on with your crusade.
  13. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    [​IMG]
  14. August West

    August West solar powered

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    You, my friend, have committed an anachronism. (My GRE prep finally pays off). My sarcasm came after your initial accusation. Nice try. :laugh:
  15. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    Anyhow...

    I'm curious how folks would theoretically treat the issue of certification of techs.

    There are some pretty vocal advocates for clinics only hiring licensed techs to perform technician duties.

    How would you folks treat that situation if you were hiring for your hypothetical practice?
  16. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    In Canada a vet tech is someone who went to school for 2-3 years for the veterinary technician program, and then they have to write a licensing exam which gives them the "R" in front of their vet tech (i.e. RVT!).

    We also have vet assistants which is a more grey area. VA's *can* go to a 1 year program at "Canadian college" (I don't know what you 'Merican's call it in 'Mericuh) but this isn't necessary or mandatory. VAs can do anything from reception to surgery prep to injection (of sub Q).

    The line is drawn at IM injections and they CANNOT do blood draws and basically anything beyond that. (Of course there are ways to get around that say by working at a 1 doctor clinic for ages, for example).

    Kennel attendents are generally cage/hospital cleaners, dog walker/feeders, animal restrainers, etc.

    IMO, to be called a Vet Technician you should have HAD to gone to a vet tech program at school and thus have that big R in front of your name that lets you do stuff like blood drawing, anesthesia, etc. If you don't have that R, then you shouldn't be allowed to do that and thus should equate to a VA.

    *however*... this also depends on the clinic (of course!). As a general rule I think the above applies, but in certain circumstances I think its up to the DVM to decide. In this particular instance, my RVT friend left the country for a few months and thus wasn't practicing and some how missed her registration date. As a result, the RVT governing body wanted to charge her something of $9000 to become re-licensed. In this case, I think it would be up to the DVM's discretion. She has proved herself to be a competent RVT, but fell through the cracks and lost the R. In this case, I think its fine to let her continue doing RVT duties even though she technically doesn't have the R.

    So to answer your question about my hypothetical practice, I would ONLY hire RVT's to do RVT duties. If you don't have that R, and I don't know you, I will NOT allow anything above and beyond a VA's duties.
  17. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    It's a little stickier here, at least in some of the 'Merican states.

    In PA, we have both, with no restrictions on the non-certified employees.

    For instance, we have CVTs and regular folks, doing the exact same job at many clinics. The only real difference is a dollar or two more in pay.

    It's a strange situation that I'm not entirely sure how I'd address.
  18. Golden10

    Golden10 CVM 2016!!!

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    Sorry if I confused anyone but this whole time I was considering veterinary technician as someone who got there certification through a veterinary technician school. Anyone else who works as a tech but does not have a degree I would more consider them veterinary assistants. I have many more quesions to ask you folks but it will have to be later tonight!
  19. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    Yeah in Canada its alot clearer and easier for people to understand their duties. RVTs are their own class so, as minions, we know our position as VAs lol.

    In Australia, I think its a bit more clear then Mericuh as well. They have veterinary nurses, but there are different levels of nurse certification, and I think that also determines what you can and can't do. So if I were to open a clinic in Mericuh, I'm sure alot of your vet techs would be offended. :)
  20. Golden10

    Golden10 CVM 2016!!!

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    Ok I have read everything and just to clarify, with the second point from the original post, I was not promoting over working your vets to the point where they provide poor service. What I mean is that when you lower the cost you will get more clients then you can schedule them a time to come in and give them a block of time. Depending on what they are coming in for the time you block out will vary. In turn you don't have your entire vet clinic sitting open with no clients which happens a lot. If you have too many clients to handle the work load that's when you hire another vet and thus expand your clinic.

    And what I mean about lowering prices, just for an example, vet clinic A charges 500 dollars for a dental. Vet clinic B charges 250. They are in the same town. Which vet clinic does more dentals? It's obvious clinic B!! And it's not really taking a lot of vet time, since vets do most of the dental work. Btw these prices are an actual example! I didn't make it up.

    Ok for the second point. Certified techs do sell a lot. And it's not a bad thing for the client to give there pet the best medicine. In fact it's better to let your techs educate the owners. It's what they became techs for and they love it. They are more likely to suggest and promote better medicine if there are insentives such as commission.

    And honestly these are just two points I brought up. Staff overall well being is more complicated then money but there are things you can do to make the working conditions better and more rewarding for them. And I do think that happy people at your clinc correlates with a larger gross profit. So it's win win.
  21. Tco87

    Tco87 Illinois 2016

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    I worked someplace where I had the title of "vet tech" even though I was hired with literally NO prior vet experience. This practice frequently hired people who they thought would be highly motivated to learn and perform well and train them on the job. There were several pros and cons - obviously training someone on the job ensures they do things the way YOU want them to and it's cheaper than hiring CVTs. On the other hand, there is an investment on the clinic's part. What if they hired me, trained me, and I left to go work someplace else a few months later? Also, there is a significant knowledge gap that is hard to make up with just on the job training.

    Based on my experiences there and with CVTs since, I would ideally have a few techs who had gone to school doing the majority of the tech work with vet assistants helping as needed. I'm all for letting someone who hasn't isn't licensed/certified/registered do tech work AFTER they have proven they can handle basic responsibilities and worked their way up to that point.
  22. August West

    August West solar powered

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    Sell a lot of what exactly? This is new to me. Thanks.
  23. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    I think we've already covered that.

    But props for finding a new way to act like a dick in this thread. :sleep:

    The student has become the master.
  24. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    That's why I'm divided on the issue. I think requiring CVT's for these jobs would benefit care in the long run, but I'm also stuck thinking that there should always be a backdoor for folks who don't have the time or money for school. There are always 2 or 3 nurses at any practice down here who never went to school, due to kids, financial concerns etc, and they're an invaluable part of the business. It seems silly to jump in and say a person who has been doing blood draws for 10 years isn't allowed to touch a needle anymore without two years of classes. But equally silly to value that person equally with someone who has graduated from a nursing program.

    Bah. Twisty issue.
  25. Golden10

    Golden10 CVM 2016!!!

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    No problem. So for example, take a basic puppy visit. The tech goes into the room collects the info about the dog and waits for the vet. The vet comes In and gives shots. The vet notices the puppy has mange, so the vet treats it. That is what the vet is selling, shots and mange meds. Vet leaves then the tech gives the famous puppy talk. Potty training, feeding, training, etc. So what should you feed this dog? Well we have puppy food here at the clinic! Bam sale. Then the tech educates on heartwom/ flea stuff, and how you have options A, B, C all which are sold here at the clinic. Another sale for the tech. And say that this owner did not want to neuter the dog. But because of the techs superior education skills, bam she just sold a neuter procedure.

    While she is educating the vet is onto the next dog who needs a dental. Tech comes in and spends 20 minutes talking about teeth. Another sale for the tech. She notices the dog needs a nail trim. Another sale for the tech. Vet sold that same dog shots and a physical exam.

    So basically vets are paid for what we are educated in. surgery, advanced medicine treatment and disgnostics. And the tech is paid for what they are educated for, basic animal care and client education.
  26. August West

    August West solar powered

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    I wasn't talking to you. Mind your manners. :smuggrin:
  27. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    [​IMG]
  28. August West

    August West solar powered

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    Interesting. I can see such a narrative taking place. I just don't think the compensation for these responsibilities should be commission-based. But that is my personal preference. Another good debate is whether veterinarians should be paid by commissions as well. Good stuff.
  29. Golden10

    Golden10 CVM 2016!!!

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    I think that most people are not in this business for the money. But I just know some clinics are compensated.

    Putting myself in a techs shoes, i would be much more excited to educate someone on a dental if I was compensated. If I was not I would still educate but not be so motivated to talk details on teeth, especially if it's around my lunch hour and I would rather go eat then talk to a difficult client for no reward on my part.
  30. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    All the more reason I wouldn't want a tech like this at my hospital. This is unfair to the client and the pet who might not know anything about dentals or its importance. All clients and patients deserve the same basic educating in an appointment, unless of course they really couldn't be bothered and basically walk out the door whilst explaining they have no money. Bottom line, I'm excited to talk about things I like regardless of commission or not (Dsmoody knows I could talk about pole dancing all day long), and I'd want my team to have that mind set and not constantly thinking dollar signs.
  31. dyachei

    dyachei vet pirate zombie Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Regardless of whether or not you want someone to talk about it without a commission, any person will do a better job if there is something in it for them. I'm not saying that they won't talk about it. They just may be more persuasive.

    Also, I work at a Banfield and I know that the only thing we "push" are the wellness plans. But we also don't push them if the client is not a good candidate.
  32. Golden10

    Golden10 CVM 2016!!!

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    I understand your excited about vet med now, your a student! But what if you just talked teeth with 7 other clients that day and your tired of explaining the SAME thing over and over to people who won't listen. Burn out is common in the profession.

    And honestly, you probably would never know if your tech didn't give a 5 star education service to a client for whatever reason. Maybe it's end of the day or they are tired. Incentive to put a smile on and give the teeth talk to a bored client who just wants to leave is much easier. Maybe there a great tech most of the time, especially when the vets around.

    In the meantime your not in the room with the tech. Your doing other work. You would never really know.
  33. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    Now THIS makes sense. Dentals are not a required part of animal care. Well, nothing really is, but dentals are not lifespan-determining like HW prevention is.

    I still feel however, that all techs, no matter if they are being compensated for it, should be educating/pushing HW and flea prevention. I don't think that really deserves extra compensation, the same way I don't think that clothing store employees should be paid extra to continuously refold the clothes people take out. That's the essence of their job.
  34. Reader19

    Reader19 CSU c/o 2016

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    That's what I meant...$14/hr would be wonderful.
  35. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    Sorry, but I think you're just being a bit too black and white with all this. How do you know that clinic B makes more revenue- have you asked for the end of day sheets and a summary of the annual income? Have you had dentals done at both hospitals and do they offer the same packages?

    The last clinic I worked at charged, say $300, for a spay and my previous employer (along with most other surrounding clinics) around $200. We had mandatory overnight stays and regular pain treatment throughout the night. My clinic offered the same spay, but more after care treatment. The cheaper clinics sent the cats home at the end of the day still high from anesthesia. Do the cheaper clinics make more revenue then my clinic? I have no idea, but my clinic was a heck of alot nicer then my old employer's clinic.

    There are alot of things to consider like location as well- not simply guaranteeing lower prices will automatically give you more money. There were two 24h emergency clinics in my area and though we were the higher priced one, people tended to refer more to us because of our quality of services, and we also tended to the surrounding area in the next province over. It was probably about another 20 minute drive to the next clinic, but these out-of-provincers couldn't be f*cked to drive the extra 20min or since it was an emergency, they'd come to us because we are closer. So in that case, no. Lower Wal-Mart prices don't guarantee you higher revenue.
  36. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    Well that's interesting. How do you determine if a client is a good candidate. When I worked there, we had to throw it out there for anyone and everyone who came through that had never been there before, for whatever reason they came in for. It was really annoying and kind of off putting to the clients (from what I could gather usually) because some people seriously had no intention of the plan and even had a regular vet that just happened to not be available at that time. I wonder what system there is to determine who gets a schpill or not.
  37. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    I think a mix of the two would be ideal. Motivated employees are key, but...

    Even the most motivated tech can become detached from the reality that their education of, and 'sales' to the client makes a substantial contribution to the financial health of the business.

    Tacking on a minimal commission for preventatives, optional vaccines, supplements and the other non-essential products can help keep that contribution relevant to the employee. And would also help avoid the previous posters nonchalance about client education, especially around lunch time.



  38. Golden10

    Golden10 CVM 2016!!!

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    True, they should be educating. But like she said above everyone does a better job if they themselves benefit from it. And folding clothes is skillless. Talking to clients requires skill and education. You should compare it more to a salesmen for example. They are all commission based. Maybe there selling something cool like medical equiptmet. They will still do a better job if they are compensated. Even if there product they are selling is great for people who would benefit from it.

    And loosely speaking, techs are selling products and services.
  39. dyachei

    dyachei vet pirate zombie Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    If it is a sick pet (with terminal illness), not usually brought up. If a client says to us that they absolutely only want a Rabies vax, not brought up. I at least allow my techs the opportunity to read the client. I will mention it but I don't have a spiel about it - I usually talk to people who need one of the services. Before, there were bonuses for techs to sell plans. Those are not currently in place.
  40. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    Acutally, I'm not a student- I've already graduated.

    I can't speak from experience of being a tech, but as a receptionist part of our protocol was to explain heartworm treatment, the benefits etc. Also discussing vaccines (puppies, kittens, optional vx, etc). I did this day in and day out, but I still really enjoyed educating others, and I wasn't compensated for any of it.

    As a vet assistant, part of my job was answering the emergency phone calls, and those are great examples of people who won't listen. But I still loved answering the phone and discussing emergency situations. Bottom line, I guess I just really like helping and educating people. My only compensation (besides my actual pay) was when people actually did come in when I recommended they do, or one example when I convinced a lady to get blood work done before a spay and it turned out her dog had some liver condition.

    Burn out is common in *any* profession.

    And no, I wouldn't know if my techs are giving '5 star talks' in the end; everyone has bad days or may be still hung over from the night before, but commission doesn't necessarily override this all of the time.
  41. Golden10

    Golden10 CVM 2016!!!

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    Good points lostbunny. It's not black and white you are correct. You have to still be good at what you do. But I do know that the 250 dollar clinc does more dentals because I work there and my best friends dad owns clinic A. Yeah... They rarely do dentals. We do them a lot. But were not speaking details here just general stuff. And the lower prices don't mean it's cheap. I'm more talking about reasonable prices. I know I would not pay 500 dollars for a dental when I can get the same one across the street for 250.
  42. Golden10

    Golden10 CVM 2016!!!

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    But still you would be hard pressed to find people with as much passion as you for the job. If everyone was that excited everyone would be vets! But truth is your not going to hire people just like you. You have to consider working with all types of people with all different motivations for there career choice.
  43. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    If a tech educated you about the benefits of increased monitoring while under anesthesia, a lengthier, supervised recovery period and the importance of post-anesthesia observation, would you be more willing to pay for those services?

    Most folks are, unless financial concerns are a dealbreaker.

    If I were running a clinic, I'd definitely reward that tech with a small percentage of that added revenue, equally for the retention of business not lost to the cheaper clinic.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  44. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    Fair enough. My dog never had a dental (was blessed with beautiful teeth), but in an example I can think of about willingly paying a higher price for surgery is with the TPLO's. I'd first seen them at a clinic where I was a VA, and then my most recent employer had a specialty sx ward where they did TPLOs and specialty stuff regularly. A previous employer (el-cheapo) also did TPLOs but did not have certified board registered specialty surgeons, and the clinic was basically set up to be a GP practice.

    A new client came in and had the TPLO sx done (obv had come in prior for a regular assessment/appt) because it was cheaper then the specialty clinic. The sx went went fine needless to say, I have no idea how the dog is going on now, but through my own personal experience, I'd pay the $2500 at the specialty hospital as opposed to the cheaper clinic.
  45. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    Yeah I'd totally have to consider all different types of people, but I definately do not have to hire people whom I feel are in it for the wrong reasons, or are not representing my clinic as I want it to be. Amen to the 3 month probation.

    I think there are many passionate people out there, about various aspects of vet medicine. I guess since I've never worked on commission, I don't feel like its a necessary part of the job.

    I agree with Dsmoody in that a small contribution is a nice reward, but I certainly wouldn't want that to be the major part of my employee's incentive. If they decided talking to a client about bordatella was less important then stuffing their face with lunch, then their future employment with me would be closely monitored.
  46. libster06

    libster06 Crank a wank!

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    Of course everyone does a better job if they're getting money out of it. But incentives and obligations are two different things. Selling a dental would be an incentive. Selling (I hate even using that word, because it's basically a no-brianer) heartworm pervention is an obligation.

    You can't make everything an obligation. You CAN make everything an incentive, but I feel like if you made some things an incentive and others an actual part of the paying job, a) you wouldn't have to pay everyone as much for stuff they should already be doing and b) people would still be motivated to both sell the incentives but also honor their job of informing clients about the obligations. Now I know you might think that there would be no way to tell if employees are doing one or the other, but at places I've worked (who didn't provide any extra commission for this) definitely kept on me and made sure that I was at least informing clients of all of the above (heartworm, dentals, flea, types of diets for X, Y, or Z).

    I don't think using employee incentives where appropriate is that bad. Should people work without having to be paid extra? Umm, duh. But that's not the world we live in. And ultimately, if you're compensating your employees extra for them to facilitate business for things that are ultimately going to benefit the animals, there's not really anything wrong with that.
  47. Golden10

    Golden10 CVM 2016!!!

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    From my experience TPLO surgery is not a routine procedure. In my original post I was just indicating that you should have lower then average for your area for routine stuff. Things that people would call around vet clinics for when deciding where to go. Like annuals, dentals, spay, neuter type things.

    But for something that requires a high level skill, I would charge a price that is comparative with a specialist price. After all, you are paying a vet for there knowledge of medicine.
  48. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    righto, my bad.
  49. Golden10

    Golden10 CVM 2016!!!

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    It depends on the situation. Is my dog fairly young and healthy? No I would not pay more because my dog is low risk. But if my dog is on the brink of death and needed surgery then maybe.

    You say most folks are willing to pay higher for that service but I disagree. The majority of clients that come in have money as an important factor in deciding what procedures to do. With this type of economy everyone is thinking about money. Unless your client is super rich, I feel they would care about price.

    And as for the real world situation of clinic A and B.... they do dentals the same way. I have no idea why there prices are so high. They don't have better equipment then us in terms of dentals, but they have nicer/newer equipment in other sectors of there vet hospital. Like there 200,000 x ray machine.
  50. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    Fair enough, if the level of care is the same, there's no reason to go with the pricier option.

    But if there's an additional benefit that goes with the additional cost, a lot of owners are receptive to that, if it's explained properly.

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