As a vet or veterinary nurse, you will have no doubt noticed the technological sea change in the industry. Veterinary technology waits for no vet, and without keeping a finger on the pulse of technical innovation, being left behind can be a real worry. Before you get too disheartened, read the below to see how technical innovations could help you grow your practice and move up the veterinary career ladder.
When approaching something as nebulous as industry technology, discipline is required. As a result, we’ve broken veterinary technology into three chunks. Tools are the practical uses of technology in a surgical environment. Client communication covers ways to optimise all inbound and outbound correspondence. Personal Development straddles everything from career guidance to communities. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll feel enthused about the real-life benefits of veterinary technology.
Veterinary technology has a place at the forefront of any surgical environment. From simple illumination solutions to advanced imaging and visualisation, there are practical benefits to tech in any theatre situation. Digital radiography is increasingly featuring in a new surge of technological advance providing surgeries with cost-effective in-house imaging solutions.
The practical benefit of veterinary technology isn’t limited to the operating theatre.
As a surgery grows, organising patient records becomes a priority, a robust database containing medical and vaccination histories becomes essential. As does the need to use this database to strategically communicate with your clients.
It is an excellent practice to build a CRM solution into your patient database. A customer relationship database is a practical use of veterinary technology to make your practice run smoothly. Scheduling visits, confirming appointments and reminding clients of their pets outstanding vaccinations by email are all clear benefits of a CRM solution.
Develop a simple and effective web presence. Starting with a website, show your potential clients where to find you and outline the services you offer. Present a brand which clients will buy into as their one-stop shop for pet care. Managed correctly, your website can be a source of new business.
Dovetail your website with a presence on social media. Facebook and Twitter (for example) are easy to use and frequented by most potential clients. Everybody loves pictures of cute animals (obtain the client’s permission) and animal memes. Its an easy win for any veterinary practice. Social media also obviously has the benefit of being ‘social’. Find new clients and build relationships with local businesses and individuals to drum up conversation and business.
Developing these skills in communication will benefit you and your business.
Perhaps the greatest personal benefit of veterinary technology is continuing personal development. Similar to the business benefits of the online community mentioned above, there are substantial educational benefits. Social media provides an informal space for discussions to take place. Facebook Groups are one such example of an informal, free-form place to garner wisdom.
Further to these informal spaces, are some purpose built, dedicated communities. Spaces such as Pet Professionals, VN Online and VetNurse.co.uk provide a professional online forum to discuss all things veterinary.
Another way to use veterinary technology for your personal development is to read blogs – much like this one! There is an abundance of industry journalism on the web. From the blogging exploits of an RVN to the formalised and technical reporting of Vet Times.
More overtly still, are the opportunities to study online. There are plenty of online courses available, though one must exercise caution to ensure their credibility. A good place to start for veterinary nurses is The College of Animal Welfare, which offers online learning alongside its more traditional offerings.
For those career minded veterinary professionals, there’s also a glut of career advice available. This RCVS guide is particularly generous in its advice.
There is a magnitude of ways to use veterinary technology to develop your business, career and skill. From the practical use of technology at ‘the coal face’, using tech as business support to developing your own abilities, tech has a place in your professional life. It’s not just something to think about for the future, technology is with us now. Ignore it at your peril.