Hand off tasks with confidence, trust staff abilities, experts say
Social skills, management abilities help ease way; lean on experienced technicians for support; abandon do-it-yourself attitudes in the workplace
Montclair, N.J. -As a new graduate, Dr. Nancy Katz remembers feeling unsure of herself with clients. New to the team and her surroundings, she often questioned her own judgment and expertise.
Self-doubt made it tough to delegate duties, she says, especially because as a student, she became accustomed to relying on herself. Nowadays, Katz, a New Jersey practice owner, recognizes the impact her good social skills played in learning to manage and interact with people, which not only makes it easier to hand off tasks, but to ask for suggestions and expertise.
Her advice: Have confidence not only in yourself but the experienced technicians who can ease the transition from student to practitioner.
"You have to realize you can't do everything yourself, even if you want to," she says. "If you're at a baseline veterinary ability, you'll be fine to delegate tasks, but social skills matter, too."
Play on the team
Reluctance to delegate tasks while lacking confidence not only plagues new graduates but also long-time veterinarians, says Joe McManus, Tufts University College of Veterinary Medicine's associate dean for administration and finance. When joining a new hospital, he says, think of it as a team. Trust co-workers and colleagues, he says. Have confidence in their abilities to do necessary tasks.
"How early you realize this makes a big difference on how successful you'll be," McManus says. "Understand and respect the skills of other team members, even if they don't have a DVM degree. That's the first step toward learning how not to do everything yourself."