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Owner’s Report Vol 6 – Safety

Owner’s Report Vol 6 – Safety

A business plan is important, but it’s meaningless without the right people to implement it.

People make ideas reality. The best way to affect real, sustainable change to any organization is to hire great people, train them in thoroughly, and treat them well.

Sir Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to”. In Volume 4 of myVETgroup’s Owner’s Report, we examine pathways to finding great staff and the strategies to retain them.


Bio-medical Waste Professionals:

Expired drugs and used needles are obvious hazards, and as a professional, you also know that the remains of euthanized pets are dangerous as well. When a pet is euthanized with a high-potency narcotic, its remains are contaminated with that narcotic and become a bio-hazard to all who may come into contact with it.

Bodies (and body parts) are just one of the many biomedical hazards that exist in the world of veterinary care. A comprehensive safety program demands an effective solution for bio-medical waste.

To ensure the safety of your staff and clients, engage the services of a professional biomedical waste disposal company. Not only will they remove hazardous materials, they’ll also help to ensure you’re meeting regulatory standards. Many biomedical waste partners will even provide all of the tools you need to stay in compliance.

Fear Free Certified:

An animal in pain is an animal in fear. Animals who are afraid can bite – as veterinarians, we’ve all seen perfectly loyal pets lash out at their owners, and us, when in pain.

Developed by animal experts, including veterinary behaviourists, the Fear Free program’s mission is to “prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them”. In doing so, Fear Free increases the emotional well-being (and ultimately the level of care) of pets in distress while creating safer conditions for the staff who care for them.

Fear Free certification will enhance the quality of medicine in your practice. There are programs for individuals and entire practices, online courses are available, and the process can be completed within a few weeks. What’s more, completion of the modules counts toward continuing education credits for professional registration.

Keeping Clients Safe:

Veterinary clinics have an ethical and legal responsibility to offer a safe workplace for staff, animals, and clients alike. However, in our eagerness to alleviate immediate suffering, we can hyper-focus on the safety of the animals we treat and overlook the safety of their owners.

One way to ensure client safety is to assign “animal stewards”, vet assistants or techs tasked with handling pets (instead of clients doing the handling) to ensure a consistent, safe approach. Having your stewards Fear Free certified is even better.

Physical hazards like falls, trips, and slips need to be controlled. Keep client areas clean and free from spills, ensure outdoor areas are free of ice, and all animals are under control in a calm environment. Proper dispensing and labelling of drugs and medications are critical as well to everyone’s safety, and detailed and consistent record-keeping play an essential role in keep drug dispensing safe and compliant.

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