Tag Archives: Vet’s wife and good practice manager

Vet’s Wife and a Good Practice Manager…?

So what makes a good practice manager……….according to someone on twitter, not a vet’s wife!! 

To say that made my blood boil is a slight under statement, but when I calmed down enough to process the comment and his reasons behind it I can understand why some people may feel that way.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve heard some pretty scary stories about vets’ wives but I have also heard equally bad stories about practice managers (PM) who aren’t married to one of the vets. Thankfully these guys are in the minority and there are many awesome PMs out there, both married and not married, to vets. 

All of this got me thinking about what is it that actually makes a great practice manager. Defining what we do is difficult, as the structure of the individual practice will largely define how much responsibility a PM has. Some partners or directors enjoy the business management and will take an active role on the development of the business whilst others will be quite happy to leave this to their PM.   

It goes without saying that having good administrative and organisational skills are a necessity as well as a good understanding of financial management. The ability to project manage and problem solve are also vital. However it’s the people skills that make up the biggest part of my own job and I suspect that’s where some of us vets’ wives have got our bad reputation! 

I can’t speak for other PMs but for me, my team’s happiness and personal development at work is the most important part of my job. I passionately believe that our team are fundamental to the development and growth of the business and that if we invest time, emotion and resources in them, they will repay us ten fold. I look forward to coming to work each day because of our team and I want them to actively enjoy their time with us. Their support in helping us meet our business goals and their ability to keep smiling through the tougher times is testament to the team culture we have all managed to build over the years. 

So does my relationship with my husband impact on my team? If anything I believe it’s actually the other way around. Our desire to support our team can actually impact on our relationship. It took me a while to work out why. You know when you have had a particularly tough day at work and you walk in the door and your other half asks how your day went. You launch into a rant about how nothing went the way you wanted it to, and someone was completely unreasonable and made your life difficult….? All you really want is for your other half to sympathise, pour you a drink and give you a hug. The problem with working with your other half is that they can always see the other side, they know the individual or the situation and instead of dishing out sympathy start asking whether you could have handled it differently or suggest that there is always another perspective……Yes that’s us!! 

On the plus side we have been together for 18 years now, 13 of those married and running a business together and we are still standing and stronger together. I would be lying if I said we never had a cross word at work but in all honesty it happens no more often than anyone else when people are tired and under pressure. 

So I guess my plea is not to judge a book by it’s cover, some of us vets’ wives work tirelessly for our teams even if that means having to have a difficult conversation with our other half when we get home at the end of the day.  

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