Teamwork makes the dream work
By Ashley VanMeter, RVT
Teamwork is an essential part of workplace success. Everything tends to run smoother if everyone works together as a team. Effort from every team member has to be taken for every team to be successful and to reach the end goal. In veterinary medicine the end goal may be saving a patient’s life. A few good habits of a successful and functional team may include good communication skills, positive support, and a highly respectful team.
Communication plays a huge role with teamwork. The way an order for a patient is delivered to another staff member can have an impact on how the appointment may go. Communication needs to be delivered in a respectful manner and with a mutual understanding of what the common goal maybe. If a team cannot communication well with each other than the whole clinic or practice may struggle including a patients care. Tone, body language, and delivery of a message play a big part in how communication works. It falls back to the common phrase of “treat others as you wish to be treated.”
Positive reinforcement when a team member does well can go a long way. If you have one team member who always reflects on the negative this can have a large impact on the rest of the team. When positive reinforcement is used, you focus less on what team members are doing wrong and more on what team members are doing right. By rewarding and praising your team every time they do a good job, they will be able to better understand what is expected of them in a positive way.
One way the technicians at Kansas State University VHC keep their team building skills a success is by having technician family outings. These outings are a time to be used for technicians to build a bond and relationship outside of the workplace. The last KSU VHC technicians outing was held at Tuttle Creek Park on June 3, 2017. The outing included technicians and their family members both two and four legged enjoying an old fashioned bbq and playground for all the kids.
Remembering to communicate well with others especially within your clinic can have a lot of positive effects. It’s no secret that working well together as a team can be hard work but the end result will be well worth it.
Ashley is the Large Animal Nursing Supervisor at the KSU College of Veterinary Medicine. She oversees three technicians for the Equine and Food Animal sections of the Veterinary Health Center. Ashley received her R.V.T. in 2008 from Stanford Brown and a Business Management degree from Jefferson College in 2011. She resides in Randolph Kansas, with her husband and daughter, where they enjoy horseback riding, fishing and outdoor activities. The family has four horses, one goat, three cats and one dog. They moved to Kansas from St.Louis in 2015 and she has worked at VMTH since 2016.