How to approach hospital management with your frustrations.
Everyone gets agitated at work from time to time, but if you are constantly walking into the hospital with frustrations, it is time to talk to the hospital management. Your success as a veterinary team member often depends on your practice’s environment. Although it may seem like you have no say in altering that environment, you have more power than you realize. Don’t walk around the hospital with your tail between your legs. Remember that your management team wants its veterinarians to succeed, so speaking up about your issues is a good thing as long as you handle yourself appropriately and professionally.
Here are some tips for approaching your hospital’s management with your frustrations.
Evaluate Your Situation
Before you speak to your veterinary management team, understand why you are frustrated. Be honest. Many people become frustrated when they don’t want to accept the realities of their job. Are you having a problem because you’re just burned out? Is there a fundamental company flaw that you need to address? Can you fix your issue on your own? Being honest about why you’re frustrated will help you create a plan of action.
Take some time to write down your frustrations and specific instances that highlighted those feelings. For example, if management is piling up extra patients on your schedule and you don’t have the time or stamina for them, write it down. Be specific so that you can reference it in your meeting and provide clear evidence. Then, come up with some possible solutions to the problem. Having a strong plan will give management more incentive to correct the issue.
Schedule a Time to Meet
Always discuss your frustrations in person. Approach the hospital manager or medical director and ask him or her to sit down with you and discuss some concerns you have. You want them to have a general idea of what to expect. Even if he or she can only give you 10 minutes, it is worthwhile to do it in person. People will notice that you care enough to do more than just send an email that could easily be deleted or forgotten.
Never let your emotions get the best of you during the meeting. Bring those notes you made prior to the meeting, refer to them and remain calm. You simply want to describe your situation without sounding like you are trying to attack someone or demand things he or she can’t provide. Be an active listener, try your best to take his or her thoughts into account and emphasize that you’d like to work together to find a solution. If you feel like you’re becoming emotional, take a break from talking and breathe! You should also watch your body language. Try to avoid crossing your arms or tensing up. This can be perceived as defensive, and you want to appear inviting.
Remember that you’re not alone. Frustrations are normal, and they can lead to a positive experience with your veterinary management team if they are handled appropriately. Open and respectful communication is vital for making your day at the hospital more pleasant!
Laura W. Anderson is the founder and president of Veterinary Career Services.
After significant research in the veterinary job market, Laura saw the need for recruitment services specializing in the veterinary industry and founded VCS in January 1998, with the primary goal of assisting veterinary practice owners in their hiring needs.
Laura holds a Masters of Business Administration from Boston College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! I look forward to hearing from you.