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At the 92nd annual Western Veterinary Conference, a record number of veterinary professionals met in Las Vegas, Nevada to focus on growth and knowledge. Over the course of the conference, one thing became clear - many practices are struggling with the same issues: a crowded market and difficulty attracting new talent and clients. For practice managers, who are often held directly responsible for the success or failure of a clinic, finding a solution to improve retention rates, while also increasing practice revenue is a must. The key? Effective marketing.
vets with dog.
Training veterinary technicians should be a top priority for your veterinary clinic or hospital. With the right training, they can improve efficiency, elevate patient care, and help create strong relationships between clients and the practice. Dr. Jim Hurrell, Penn Foster’s Veterinary Technician Program Director Emeritus, suggests five best practices for training your staff.
Veterinary technician Melissa H.
Melissa Holstein is the employee every veterinary clinic and hospital hopes to hire. She's completely devoted to the work and always ready to learn something new. 
Recruiting and retaining dedicated employees who are a good match for your company, and are passionate, reliable, and talented is a struggle for hiring managers in any industry. In a high-stress field such as animal medicine, it can be especially laborious for practice hiring managers to source, train, and retain skilled talent. It becomes even more so when your candidates need to meet certain prerequisites, such as experience in the field, basic knowledge of how animal medicine works, and - depending on the position - national credentials. Adding to the often arduous and expensive process, hiring managers or veterinarians also must balance the workload for current staff and attempt to ameliorate potential problems in order to avoid the higher than average turnover veterinary practices face.
As a veterinary practice owner, manager, or executive, you want to provide the best care possible for your clients and patients. But you can't do it alone. Providing quality care in the modern veterinary health care market requires a whole team of qualified staff. The American Veterinary Medical Association has been promoting the concept of a veterinary health care team for years, and with good reason. 
Veterinary medicine is a booming industry. With an estimated 67% of US households claiming at least one pet in the American Pet Products Association (APPA) biennial survey, there's no question that veterinary practices, both private and corporate, should be booming. However, with an influx of new pet owners, it's difficult for practices, small and large, to keep up with appointments and quality patient care without credentialed veterinary technicians on board. 
Those drawn to the veterinary medical field are often motivated primarily by their passion and dedication to animals and their well-being. From a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) to a veterinary technician or veterinary assistant, working with animals is more than a way to earn a paycheck - it's also about doing work that can make a positive impact on patients and their humans. Veterinary practices, whether corporate or private, that employ trained and credentialed veterinary technicians can build a team that is not only devoted to their work, but confident in their ability to effectively do that work. Even better, that confidence and passion for what they do can have a positive impact on the practice's gross revenue. While these profits may not be the most important motivator to veterinarians and veterinary technicians, it does ensure that the practice can grow, develop, and maintain a high standard of quality patient care.
The quality of your staff goes a long way toward determining the quality of your veterinary practice. A great veterinary health care team can make your veterinary practice a success. Building such a team takes smart hiring practices and a desire to see every employee thrive.
The best veterinary practices are built on strong veterinary health care teams. To build an exceptional team, you start with a college-educated, credentialed veterinary technician or a driven and enthusiastic person who is willing to pursue education and credentialing. Without a credentialed veterinary technician, veterinary practices are unlikely to achieve their full potential. Veterinary technicians elevate the standard of patient care, build client satisfaction, and improve their bottom line.
Veterinary medicine has long been a thriving industry. Every pet owner wants to ensure their animal companion is at peak health. Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians study long and hard to learn how to properly diagnose and treat our furry friends. They're very obviously vital to a thriving veterinary practice. But just as necessary is the Veterinary Practice Manager, the person who can confidently and efficiently run a practice. We spoke with Dr. James Hurrell (more commonly known as Dr. Jim to the students and staff at Penn Foster), an expert in veterinary medicine, to learn more about why veterinary practices need managers who aren't the practice owner and how Penn Foster's new Veterinary Practice Management Undergraduate Certificate can help grow a strong practice.

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