Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Practice survival guide: VetPrac's essential tips

VetPrac and B. Braun's Aesculap Academy teamed up to produce this poster. Download the PDF here or visit (I love the way the pug on the left is looking a bit unsure about the whole group photo thing).
No matter how much you know, how good your intentions are and how much effort you put in, veterinary practice has a way of throwing curve balls. When we learn at university we tend to practice our skills in a controlled, protected environment. This can give a sense of great confidence - hey, I can work up an acute abdomen and manage it really well.

Enter the reality of practice. Multiple cases. Comorbidities. Phone calls. Distraught clients. HR dramas and interpersonal competition and conflict. Unexpected complications. The inherent unpredictability of biological systems. Multiple complex demands on our time. And there are some complications that are just so unexpected that you don't even think they can happen until they actually do (a cat that jumped from a colleagues arms INTO the ceiling springs to mind).

Learning is one thing - but applying that knowledge in the world of practice is wholly another.

Dr Ilana Mendels, founder of continuing education provider VetPrac, knows this too well. Ilana takes a "bigger picture" approach to practice and is always distilling life's lessons from clinical I love the fact that she pulled together a lot of these pearls, including tips for mantaining good client and colleague relationships, tips for successful surgical outcomes and five-minute crisis management, and made them into a poster that you can stick on your clinic wall. I can just hear Ilana's calm voice saying "stay calm, gentle tissue handling, extend the incision..."

You can read an interview with Dr Mendels here and download the PDF of the poster by clicking here.