Veterinary Team Job Descriptions; Living, growing documents

June 6, 2016

Veterinary Team members are liaisons to education and relationship building.

Job descriptions morph with your growing team. Embrace their passions!

I am of the opinion veterinary team job descriptions are “living documents,” growing and changing as the employee grows in their career and development. One size job descriptions do not fit all! A newbie veterinary technician’s duties are different than that of a seasoned veterinary technician. Same goes for receptionist and veterinarians. Once the newbie has a couple of years under their belt, their passions and professional goals will be defined; reflected in their performance reviews and upgraded job description. This document is updated to accurately reflect their passion, education, advanced skill set and dedication to client service.

You may be asking, “What about the new hire that is brought on as a general hire?” If you truly are hiring someone for entry level skills, then yes, a generic, entry level job description will suffice. However, if you are looking to hire a credentialed veterinary technician with years of experience and an interest in dentisty, then your job description will reflect those skills, level of achievement, and varied responsibilities. The compensation would also reflect that.

The point is, job descriptions are valuable tools for hiring, performance reviews, establishing expectations of the job and documentation. If a job description is no longer relevant, reinvent it! Another concept, have levels of competency.

Years back, I was hired as a practice manager. There was no job description, at the beginning. The veterinarians had an idea of what my role would be, however I was in a position to create the outline. I could have, easily, written up the complete job description, however I took another approach and asked the team to create it! Yes, this approach took far longer, included conversations with everyone on the team and was time consuming, however when the final job description was completed, everyone on the team knew exactly what my duties were, what the work load looked like and there was great buy-in for the new title. I was known, originally for my technical skills, however this team exercise clearly stated my duties were management in nature (payroll, scheduling, insurance, hospital maintenance, meetings, oversight of hiring/firing, etc) and everyone knew it.

Along those same lines, pull out your team’s job descriptions and ask each of them to recreate it, relevant to the duties they actually perform. Chances are you will find gaps and overlay in tasks and duties. From there, possibly add responsibilities to fill in the gaps and distribute duties for less duplication. Sounds efficient to me. Download a team exercise to help create job descriptions: A Day in the Life Exercise

Some of you may be thinking, “We don’t even have job descriptions, now what?” Know WHEELS are already created! Following are links to a few books/sites/articles that can help you in creating job descriptions. Again, I suggest your team member’s (including veterinarians) write out their job duties and create job descriptions that are a true reflection of where their time is spent, what they are passionate about and reflective of the education they have (either formally, through CE, credentialing or certification-CVPM as an example).

Feel free to contact me when you have questions about job descriptions, goal setting, performance reviews and updates. Happy to offer suggestions!

AAHA’s Job Descriptions & Training Manuals 

DVM360 Sample Job Descriptions

Join Veterinary Support Personnel Network for FREE. There you will find LOADS of job descriptions in their library! VSPN 

Yours in Team Development,

Rebecca Rose, CVT

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