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Why Team Communication Skills Are Key To Veterinary Success

Everyone always discusses the importance of client communication, neglecting the importance of good communication within the team.

There is so much more to a veterinary clinic than just vets – vet nurses, receptionists, and management staff are so SO important to the running of a clinic- everything would fall apart without them!

This is why the whole team must have good communicative practices.

Overall, I think there are two broad ‘categories’ of communication – when something needs to get done (e.g. a patient needs to get medication at a certain time) or when you have an issue with something that you think could improve or change.

The latter can be a bit scarier, especially as a new graduate in a new place, where the last thing you want to do is make waves!

Ultimately, the most important thing in these scenarios is how you get your point across- something which I’ll talk more about later.

Either way, veterinary team communication skills are CENTRAL to a happy, successful practice.

Why? I’ll explain below.

Why Good Team Communication Is Central To Veterinary Success

It Helps Provide Patients With Gold-Standard Care

Having a good, strong communication system with your team during the day means that medications will be given at the right times, owners will be updated ASAP and things will generally run as best as possible for our furry friends!

It Helps Build Rapport Between The Team

Speaking with each other and being open about things that are happening in and out of the hospital means that you get to know your coworkers much better! After all, teams that get along get things done.

It Helps In Stressful Situations

This job can be very tough, so effective communication between team members can really help.

High-intensity situations, such as giving CPR, can be made more stressful if the team isn’t communicating properly. Ensuring that everyone is working together during these scenarios can make the difference between a good and a bad outcome.

It Aids In Self-Improvement

Being able to give and take constructive criticism means that you can improve in your role and as a person.

For example, after a tough case, it is good to sit down and discuss what you did well, what you could’ve done better, and what you will do next time. Not only is this beneficial for everyone involved, but also great for our patients. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, as long as you are prepared to learn from them!

It Improves And Allows Growth Within The Clinic

As mentioned earlier, this can be terrifying, especially as a new graduate, to give constructive criticism!

The way you handle this is important. If you have an issue with something, do not be afraid to bring it up. Saying this though, do try to be helpful and courteous. Avoid criticism, and offer solutions.

No workplace is 100% perfect, and that is okay! It is also okay to have opinions on how things could improve. As long as you communicate your thoughts in an honest and polite way, this can be beneficial for everyone.

In summary, constructive, open communication not only enhances your team- but also enhances how clients perceive their experience and the care that your patients receive during their stays.

If you want to learn how to communicate with your co-workers and clients more effectively, check out our webinar How to Run a Successful Veterinary Practice Without all the Drama.

About the author:

Dr. Melody Winterhalter began her vet school journey in 2014 at the Royal Veterinary College, London. After graduating she moved to Australia and started working as a small animal vet. She has a passion for teaching and helps coach professionals in vet med. Check out her Instagram here.


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