Dvm360 Leadership Challenge: Toxic Teams

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Admin, Jan 24, 2017.

By Admin on Jan 24, 2017 at 4:09 AM
  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    In a world torn apart by employee in-fighting ... one cat ... a brave veterinary patient ... fights ... to live another day. (Shutterstock)You know when a veterinary practice is toxic. You can almost smell it, that tang of adrenaline from spiking anger. You can feel it when your stomach sinks when you walk in the door and realize all the same tensions with your coworkers are still there, hanging in the air.

    Worse yet? You’re fully aware that the toxicity can lead to bad medical decisions resulting from spite or exhaustion or vindictiveness. The fantasies run through your head when you think about quitting—or finally getting up the courage to fire the bad apple ruining the bunch. It all feels like a sickly gas floating through every client interaction, every treatment area procedure and every break room conversation.

    You're not alone. And you're not crazy for facing it, living with it or struggling to fix it. Even the most high-level practices full of skilled doctors and team members can fall into bad habits, with interpersonal and management issues spilling over to negatively impact patient outcomes and customer service.

    The human healthcare and veterinary healthcare worlds are increasingly dominated by team-based care. In the best situations, a solid team can result in improved outcomes and reduced costs. But toxic communication, toxic practices and, yes, toxic team members can make things go bad quickly, leading to medical errors and even patient harm.

    The emotional ups and downs of veterinary practice, coupled with an unrelenting sense of urgency, can cause the seeds of toxicity to germinate quickly.

    In veterinary medicine, practice teams handle anything from a new litter of kittens to a dog hit by a car in a single shift with no lunch break, says Bash Halow, CVPM, LVT, partner at Halow Tassava Consulting. The emotional ups and downs, coupled with an unrelenting sense of urgency, can cause the seeds of toxicity to germinate quickly.


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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017

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Discussion in 'Articles' started by Admin, Jan 24, 2017.

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