PCWN – 042 – Jocelyn Birch Baker – Smooth Operating Vets – part 1
[00:00:00] Julie South: Hi, I’m Julie south, and you’re listening to paws, claws and wet noses. The veterinary sector podcast, celebrating all creatures great and small, and they’re fantabulous professionals who look after them all welcome to episode 42. This is episode one of two with Dr. Jocelyn Bert baker, veterinarian clinic, owner of High Street Veterinary Surgery in Rockhampton Queensland mother, and the founder of Smooth Operating Vets and I talk about changes. Veterinary clinics can make to embrace working mums into their practices to create a smooth operating veterinary clinic.
[00:00:53] Jocelyn’s vision at Smooth Operating Vets is to ensure all veterinary women [00:01:00] have the opportunity to work in a team where everyone knows their talents and calmly does their very best.
[00:01:08] And an encouraging and supporting place that women can return to veterinary practice. After the birth of the babies, with the skills, knowledge, and confidence, they need to work in clinics that are supportive and flexible, where everyone works together like a community to achieve everyone’s goals. Now, over the course of her career, Justin’s experienced many areas of the veterinary profession from the cattle industry through to mixed and small animals.
[00:01:41] She’s held positions on Australian’s national and state boards and committees, and has taken time out of her own career to raise her children today. As the owner of High Street Veterinary Surgery in Rockhampton Queensland, she’s had [00:02:00] hands on day to day experience of what it’s like to be a practice owner in today’s veterinary market place. Jocelyn understands the complexities of running a profitable practice while having an excellent lifestyle for herself and enabling everyone on her team to have excellent lifestyles. As the founder of smooth operating vets, Jocelyn is working to create mother friendly veterinary practices. She believes that creating by the friendly vet clinics is essential to help reduce the number of highly skilled veterinarians who leave the profession because they can’t find positions that support nurture and respect them as veterinarian.
[00:02:46] And mothers. And this episode, Jocelyn talks about buying her practice and then not long after she bought it, two vets and a few nurses resigned her first foray into recruitment to [00:03:00] replace her departing staff was to do what everyone else does, because that’s what she thought she had to do. But then she realized she didn’t need to do it that way at all, because that way it doesn’t always work the way Jocelyn now recruits together with the systems and procedures that she’s put in place is non-traditional and it works.
[00:03:23] Boy does it work? And this is what smooth operating vets is all about. And this episode, I want you to listen out for when Jocelyn talks about how she manages Encore and after hours rosters, because they work, it wasn’t a system that she inherited. It was something that she implemented herself. And I want you also to listen out for when she shares, how her Encore system works.
[00:03:51] Her team earned really good money when they work on core as, and they earn really good money when they’re called out in the [00:04:00] middle of the night. And it sounds like they don’t mind doing it either. Listen out for how she primed. Clients with her on-call after hours message, which means that there’s no quibbling when it comes to clients, paying their bills.
[00:04:15] Jocelyn does a lot of things different. So stay tuned to the end of the episode, because I’ll summarize these for you because there are a lot of very powerful nuggets coming up,
[00:04:30] Bryan Gregor: an old vet, or my father when he was a student in Glasgow, he said, if you want to be a success in veterinary practice, Just to keep the bubbles open and just arrested.
[00:04:39] God, nutrition is not an opinion. It’s a science. They called me that weird herbal needle. That, and I, I just remember thinking, well, I’m still gonna do it cause I know it works and I’ve got the research to back it. Okay. From reminiscences of the real James Harriet son to Pete, you Tricia. To acupuncture, the VR podcast [00:05:00] discusses current animal health issues from around the world.
[00:05:03] I’m veterinarian, Brian Gregor from New Zealand, just search for the vet podcast, wherever you get your podcasts,
[00:05:13] Julie South: paws, claws and wet noses is sponsored by Vetstar. If you’ve never heard of it, staff it’s new, Zealand’s only full service recruitment agency. 100% dedicated to the veterinary sector. Fitz staff has been around since 2015 and works nationwide from Kate, rehang it to the bluff and everywhere in between as well as helping Kiwis fits.
[00:05:37] Also helps overseas qualified veterinarians find work and art and New Zealand fit staff.co dot. Indeed. I start by asking her why she became a veterinarian.
[00:05:52] Jocelyn Birch Baker: , long story way back. I was actually born in Zambia and, um, yeah, my parents brought me out and my brother and I over [00:06:00] here, because there was so much more of a future here and stuff.
[00:06:02] As there definitely is. And, um, we had a bit of, we lived out of town and we had a bit of a farm. I just loved animals work with animals. And, um, this was back in, I finished high school in 78, 77. So it’s a long time ago and yeah, I decided I’d like to become a vet and it was really hard because people just, oh yeah, whatever.
[00:06:26] Um, it was a small town. We had a one teacher school. And then we went off to high school, which was the biggest school and then yeah. Kept with the program and just so I cane, um, and really wanted to have a career and do something. Fairly interesting and fun with my life. My dad always said to me that your eight hours a day working enjoy it.
[00:06:47] And, um, I really thought I would enjoy being a vet. So packed up finally got into vet school, um, to Brisbane for five years, which is pretty scary for a little go from quarrel anyway, got through that. And, um, [00:07:00] And then it was 83. I graduated and it was really very hard to get a job, which you wouldn’t believe that now, but there were way too many graduates.
[00:07:08] And, um, I did, uh, uh, a locum for two weeks in my hometown and I thought, yeah, hopefully I’ll get this job because those jobs going and I didn’t get the job. And I was so disappointed because I really wanted that job. And one of my peers from uni got it. And I was a boy and I was a girl and I had honors and he didn’t and that’s the way it was and that’s okay.
[00:07:33] And I went down to Brisbane. I did some part-time work, but when the lad left the clinic after, right. Six or seven months they asked me to come back. So I worked there, so did mix practice for a while. And then as girl does fell in love, got married, moved out west, worked on a cattle station. There did some locum works and property work got involved with the beef industry.
[00:07:54] And so I worked on national and state boards and committees through that had done my [00:08:00] children and then the children I packed up and came back to Rocky. So I had two children, single mum . I needed a job. I needed some work that I feel that phoned me up and asked me if I’d like to work with them. And I said, yeah, I haven’t done a spy for 10 years, you know?
[00:08:15] And I said, that’s okay. That’s okay. I did get positions. I moved a little bit now. And then as the, as the kids grew up, I understand I am. I had to have flexibility. So I guess this is where I’m seeing moms. Now I had to have flexibility. I had to be able to pick up my children. I had to have time off to spend with my children.
[00:08:36] Holidays was so important to us because the girls did competing with their horses and, and that was my life, my children and my work. So I was very blessed and yeah. And that’s how I see moms now. They, they need to work. They want to work. They’re highly educated professionals and they should have this opportunity.
[00:08:54] So we went through that, my children grow up and then I had an opportunity to buy a [00:09:00] practice. Um, a lady I had worked for for a number of years, she was going to sell a practice and I said, yep, I’d love to do that. I always wanted to do again. I had to wait until the children were of an age that I could do that properly.
[00:09:12] So, and my partner and I had a partner, then we bought the practice and we’ve had it nine years now when I bought it, two of the vets and a few of the nurses left, there wasn’t much left. I was very distant concerting. So the first thing I had to do was find staff. And that was a huge lesson. It was very hard even though.
[00:09:35] To find vets , particularly rural regional areas, but we found some, and I learned a lot from that group of girls learn a lot more about managing and looking after people and understanding and listening, all that sort of thing. They had gone through the years. And now I have just this really good bunch of bunch of ladies working there.
[00:09:53] Julie South: When you first started work, when you actually started as a veterinarian and a [00:10:00] full-time position, how many other women. Were there at the time with you?
[00:10:06] Jocelyn Birch Baker: None. There was none in Rocky. Okay.
[00:10:09] Julie South: Can you, can you just describe for international listeners? Whereabouts is Rocky and yeah. Just describe it. Uh,
[00:10:18] Jocelyn Birch Baker: Rockhampton is in central Queensland.
[00:10:20] And so Brisbane stand on the close to the border Cairns right up Australia. Yep. That’s about it. Yep. And we’re kind of in the middle there. So we have the beautiful Keppra, Keppel, Keppel islands, just off the Capricorn coast yet the Capricorn line goes through us. Yeah. And
[00:10:37] Julie South: what’s the, what’s the lifestyle like there?
[00:10:40] What sort of animals do you treat?
[00:10:43] Jocelyn Birch Baker: We do all small animal clinic. Funny there’s I worked in mixed quite a lot. Most of the clinics were mixed in Rockhampton and new Poon, except when Hendra came, a lot of the vets just went, no, no vaccine. I’m not working on your horse. So there are a few equine vets [00:11:00] around, but most of the clinic, it’s a small animal now.
[00:11:02] Julie South: Okay. And can you just explain Hendra please?
[00:11:05] Jocelyn Birch Baker: Uh, Hendra is, um, I think it’s a virus that comes from the bat. Right to the horses. And then two people, the horses die within 48 hours. They did. And they had this huge hemorrhagic discharge, um, from their lungs and that’s or anyone treating them, managing the handle, them getting contact with that can die.
[00:11:28] Right. One of our local vets here has died that I worked for. Yeah. It’s, it’s terrible. So they develop the vaccine, but a lot of horse people are very hesitant to use. There’s all this vaccine concerns they had then, and obviously still have now is a good vaccine. Okay. And the population of Rockhampton that’s 60,000.
[00:11:52] And then we have Yeppoon not far from us. Yeah. That’s our closest other little town in Gladstone’s about an hour and a half away in [00:12:00] what your clinic, where that’s, where you are now. Yes, yes, yes. And, and people live. I know, it’s worry. Isn’t it? What happened? How did you get from there to here? Because I had worked there.
[00:12:21] I kind of knew the girls. I did not realize. That they weren’t happy. They didn’t talk to me about it. Yeah. They weren’t happy. And they actually had an argument between themselves and two of them left. So that was my beds, the owner of the practice advertised. And we did get another girl who was six months out.
[00:12:44] So she was, she was grand and the nurses one was retiring and other one was studying, doing something else. And you know, they weren’t that interested in it. So it wasn’t, it wasn’t a problem that they went and I think that’s a really, that’s the big lesson I learned. There is [00:13:00] really fun. People who want to be there, want to work with, you want to say the animals, they really, uh, that’s what they want to do.
[00:13:08] They don’t want to just kind of work and shrug their shoulders and go home. It’s just not what we want.
[00:13:13] When you first started hiring, did you use the. Yeah, this is the way we’ve always done it. So this is the way we’re going to continue hiring or did you and things didn’t work out or did you intentionally realize that you had a clean slate and you could do things your way?
[00:13:38] No, I stayed. Well, this, I guess this is what we’re supposed to do because I didn’t know any better. The lady who did stay with me, the vet, she is just amazing. And she fell pregnant. So I learned about how to work that, um, but she and a partner have Borden practice now. So she’s like a neighboring practice, which is really lovely.[00:14:00]
[00:14:00] No. I thought, yeah, we’re supposed to put them on full-time. So I put them on full-time I had young ladies, then another lady came and she said, well, I only want to work part-time and I went, okay, that’s that’s fine. And then they sort of moved on and new graduates, you know, they move on. I was pretty stuck.
[00:14:16] Then I got a lady who. A new grad, but her family was in Rocky. So she came home to Rocky and she was really happy to stay here. She stayed with us three years and it was just amazing, but I could see that she would get quite tired and stressed. And I thought, well, and I was too, because I was working full-time as a bed and also trying to manage the practice, do the rosters, do the, fixing, everything, all that stuff.
[00:14:41] So Sam, I mean, she said, I’m going to go overseas. Good on you. That is so exciting. That is wonderful for you and my girls had just gone. So. It’s great. It’s such a huge opportunity. I think they should do it if they want. Absolutely. So then I thought, well, I’m going to put on two [00:15:00] visits because I can’t keep doing this and we’re growing anyway.
[00:15:02] So they weren’t so traditional. I, um, one of them had done prac work with us before and I sort of stayed in touch and I phoned her up and said, Hey, are you doing how’s work? And she said, it’s awful. Okay, well, we’re looking for someone and she said, all right. And yeah, she eventually, okay. Um, the other one I advertised for Facebook and she phoned and her husband came up and we interviewed him first because he was being interviewed for another job, but he was just lovely.
[00:15:32] And then Kirsty came up and she spent, she interviewed with a lot of the practices in the area and lucky for us, she chose us. So that was really wonderful. Since I’ve had those two girls, I’ve been a lot more flexible. And then, you know, they say, I would like to have a baby and we go, okay, well, how are we going to fit this in the process?
[00:15:47] Because I want you to come back Kirsty, you are just amazing bed. Um, I really want you to come back. And I guess that made me really think because. We got those two. And then I was talking to another lady [00:16:00] who had two babies, wanted to come back to work, but wasn’t sure how she was going to do it. So I thought, how could I make this happen?
[00:16:06] And then she spoke to another friend who said, gee, I’d like to come to work day too, because I’ve got the three kids. I just want to do some part-time work and get back into it or not. Otherwise I won’t do it. Um, I need somebody that I’m happy at. And then we had a lady from Western Australia that phoned up and she.
[00:16:25] So moving to Rocky, looking for a position, a simple come and visit us. And so she’s with us as well. So then yeah, by then I was absolutely non-traditional um, we’ve got really good information on our website, on our Facebook so that people can look at our clinic. That is, or isn’t a type of place that I would like to be.
[00:16:44] And these all ladies knew each other. So it’s a community as well. These ladies know each other and they come and talk to each other and come and see how we work. And I’ve got another lady just find me out the other day and said, I’d like a few days work. So [00:17:00] she’s going to start in a few in a week or so too, or part time except the permanent.
[00:17:05] Julie South: What would be the average number of hours that your part-timers would work?
[00:17:10] Jocelyn Birch Baker: Probably between 20 and 30. Okay. So that’s, that’s significant. It’s reasonably, yeah. It’s more than just a couple of hours here and there. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
[00:17:20] Julie South: How do you make it easy for them to be working mums?
[00:17:27] Jocelyn Birch Baker: I first asked them what times would suit them? What days would suit them? What times? What are they looking for? And then I try and fit that into our system. And you really find gems when you do that, because the lady Kirsty that’s coming back, she said, I can do Thursdays, but she’ll finish early. And she said, I can also do every second week.
[00:17:50] So that frees up all the other bits from every second weekend, because that’s when her partner looks after the baby. So baby’s happy. She’s happy. Her husband’s happy. I’m happy. [00:18:00] So if you actually ask them what they’re looking for most, I’m pretty flexible. Uh, and well, what they will tell you is I can’t do Thursdays because that’s the day this, and this happens.
[00:18:09] I mean, I don’t mind what happens, but I can’t do Thursdays or I can’t do, um, we cans or I can’t do on call. Just let me know. And I’ll, I’ll see what we can do to work around it. And I think that works well. And is your clinic part of an on-call roster? Yes, we have. We’re on call and we share it with another clinic, which reduces our uncle time to half.
[00:18:36] It does increase the number of co-ops we do, and I pay the girls really well. I know what it’s like to be on call. It’s even harder. Probably. If you’ve got kids at home, partners are generally very good, like pay them really well. And they often make quite a bit of money over those times that they do it.
[00:18:55] But, um, and then they will share a weekend. Sometimes you’ll have [00:19:00] one of them on Friday, not said day morning, and then another one will start Saturday night and do the Sunday and another one that’s on it. I know. They’re just incredible. I just got, oh, I’ve got to go to such and such. Can you do this? Sure.
[00:19:13] That’s fine. Yeah, I’ll be there. Yeah. They chat and organize it and it doesn’t matter how it’s done as long as it’s. That’s right. They talked to each other. This is the case. This is all the history is down there. I mean, it has to be there anyway. So they write really well. They set up their plan that we use the plan a lot.
[00:19:32] So that the next bit that goes in and goes, okay, that’s such and such was heading towards this and this and this for this dog, but now it’s. Yeah. So I bled in this year on, I need to add that in to the system and work with that. And if they have any real concerns, I’ll find each other, but hopefully it all just flows from the work that they put on the practice management software own and paying them really well.
[00:19:57] Julie South: How did that come about? [00:20:00] And if you’re okay to answer it, what does that look like? And you can absolutely say no, if it’s commercially sensitive..
[00:20:06] Yeah, I
[00:20:07] Jocelyn Birch Baker: think we should all talk about these sort of things. The lady I worked with, who, who I bought the clinic off, she paid well. So I think her after hours call-out was 140 and she paid 120 of that call-out fee plus half the professional phase, where now at, I think 200, the owner pays 200 and I pay the girls a hundred now.
[00:20:34] Yeah. And we tell people that on the phone and when the answering machine, when they call and that helps them make a decision as to whether they’re going to call that bit and kick her out of bed or not, because I won’t have people phoning up, kicking the vet out of bed and then saying, well, I’m not paying them.
[00:20:49] No, make a decision. And then, and that filters a lot out. Um, I did talk, one of our vet said this doesn’t happen at the previous clinics. And they had a lot of, had to have that [00:21:00] discussion when they half asleep and the owner’s so upset. So it just steadies everything down right on the after hours message.
[00:21:12] The, the client knows before a vet is woken up. Well, they’re up for, yes. They’re told the call-out fee will be $200 and then extras depending on what the problem is. Right. And please find a bit for an emergency only. And yeah. Okay. So, so you do pay well extremely well. Okay. The girls can make a thousand dollars a weekend and that makes them happy.
[00:21:39] They feel like they’ve achieved something. They’ve done something good. They’ve said an animal it’s um, Yeah, it’s, they’ve got the backup. Um, we have a nurse on call and as well for the knots that were on. Cool. So that they can just pick up the phone. I’ve got to seize it. Could you please come in and not try to find someone they know who to call and how a noose is remunerated.
[00:21:59] They [00:22:00] get a call out fee as well, and, um, paid per hour. When do you, I know, well, here in New Zealand, there are some. Tweets who don’t like going to middle of the night, call out as a solo sole operator. They want to go with a nurse in some clinics, don’t have a two person policy, some do. What is your policy with them?
[00:22:28] Because we’re a small animal. Only they go to the clinic like we’re doing outside calls. So it is a lot safer, but the girls, no, they do not answer the phone while they’re driving. They do not come in. If they’re uncomfortable with the person that they’re talking on the phone, they just don’t come in. They call me any time.
[00:22:46] And there’s Jamie now available. She’s a practice manager. She’s more than happy to any of them will talk to any of them anytime. Yeah, you just don’t go in if you don’t want to, and you can call in a nurse if anytime you want to, [00:23:00] when you implement it.
[00:23:01] Julie South: So, so did your, did you implement this after hours remuneration right from the get go or did you, did, was it something that you changed and if you changed it, what changes did you notice?
[00:23:18] Jocelyn Birch Baker: I didn’t have it from the get-go. We do open on Sunday. So very often animals are coming on a Saturday night. I would have a nurse on Sunday to help me do whatever do x-rays, whatever I needed to do, but I still could call in a nurse and I would pay the extra. We’ve just probably made it more official now because we got so many bits.
[00:23:41] They need to know who to call. It’s not just, um, Sam and I, the clients always pay because. They’ve been told and new ones pay a deposit and the animal stays in. Otherwise they pay the full amount. The workups done with these animals is great because [00:24:00] they have someone they can call because they’re there, they get paid.
[00:24:03] They will sit with that animal and do whatever they need to do to get that animal feeling good and going well. When they leave. So that again gives you great satisfaction because you’ve looked at that after that animal’s best you can. And that animal is great because it’s been looked after and honestly, the clients are grateful because you’ve done everything you could.
[00:24:23] If you can, if you can call in a nurse, get some x-rays done, um, vantage it up, do whatever it is, if it really needs ditching up and you can get in a nurse and get it stitched up that night and it’s going to be better for it. The next day, we can do that. And then. Bonus as well because the girls are working part time.
[00:24:44] And so they’re on call and I do a not call and it’s late. They don’t, they’re not expected to come in. And the next morning nor the nurses, because we’ve got the practice management software, it’s easy that it’s on the cloud. We can say [00:25:00] that I’ve been working online in the morning when we have a look and go, oh, I better call them and tell them not to come until then.
[00:25:08] And I learned that from my daughter who is a radiographer and used to be on call and with the government, they, they have to have eight ass break. People said that, oh, that’s too hard, but it’s not too hard. It’s necessary. We need to give them breaks. They need to sleep. They need to re-energize. And, um, want to come back in.
[00:25:26] Julie South: My husband is an airline pilot. It’s mandated that they have to have a minimum of 10 hours at their place of risk. From because often, you know, pilots, well region I’m domestic pilots in New Zealand. There’ll be the, the last flight N at night and in the first one out the next morning. And the pilots are there long after the passengers have left.
[00:25:53] And they’re there, I think 45 or 45 minutes or an hour before the passengers have to arrive, [00:26:00] it has to be 10 hours minimum at their place of work. Fatigue is cumulative.
[00:26:06] Jocelyn Birch Baker: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I mean, they’re doing it at the mines. Now you’ve got to have your rest. You you’re not, not even allowed to drive home. I don’t think until you’ve had some rest because you know, the drive in drive out, it’s being shown everywhere, all the data’s out there.
[00:26:20] So. Listen to it and respond to it and look after our people. Okay. What, what others are you, you, you offer very, very flexible hours and days, and you empower your team to be able to, to work their own rosters. If you like to, to swap and change around you remunerate very, very well.
[00:26:46] Julie South: What else do you do?
[00:26:47] That’s different. Or against the norm, perhaps wait,
[00:26:54] Jocelyn Birch Baker: well, just at the beginning of the day, we have a lovely meeting. Everyone catches up with everyone. Have I [00:27:00] been, and then just talk about the flow of the day what’s going to happen. If something’s broken, who’s gonna fix it. When’s it gonna be fixed by? Um, if we have any clients that we need to follow up or, um, Specialists to follow up and then we do have a moment of gratitude and that’s always lovely.
[00:27:17] Julie South: Tell me about that please..
[00:27:19] Ah, well,
[00:27:20] Jocelyn Birch Baker: I was just say the other day, how did it start? How did it start? The gratitude. One of my vets said something to me about it. Cause she’s talking about mindfulness and yoga and ah, I don’t know if we can do yoga. Like I used to do yoga is hard, but then she talked about this gratitude and I thought, well, yeah, let’s give it a spin.
[00:27:40] Sometimes I used to, you know, you can get little cards that say. Happy beautiful day. You’re worth it, or just lovely little inspirational cards. And when I was a bit lost about what to talk about or anything, I just give them all cottage and they’d read it and, oh, that’s nice. Yeah, it was, it was really good.
[00:27:59] It just [00:28:00] gets them all to relax. But I was in there cause I had to go early yesterday morning. And so I was there for the morning meeting and oh my goodness. These girls were just laughing so much. It w it was just lovely to see. And then when we had the gratitude, that’s what they said. Oh, we’re so glad we just laughed this morning.
[00:28:18] And it was really good. And then another little girl said, I’m so glad I didn’t have to call you last night because my dog got a bone stuck in a story. But I didn’t have to call you so it could be anything. It’s a way to get to know each other as well. I think what’s important to each other. Yeah.
[00:28:33] Julie South: A VetStaff there are three of us and we were all in different parts of New Zealand. We, we have a zoom meeting every morning. And before we start the meeting, we go around the virtual room and we. State how on an, on from one to 10, how we are there day, no explanation is necessary, but we’ve got, you know, we have this level of [00:29:00] trust with each other that the explanations come and 10 is, and it started to be, I’m a 10 in my head, but my body feels like a five.
[00:29:11] Or, you know, I am a 10 out of 10 and a 10 out of 10 and it’s we just start the meeting off like that so that we can appreciate that. Not everybody is a 10 out of 10 every day and we can cut the other some slack or support that person more that day, because they’re where they are. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s, it’s, it’s a good way to start.
[00:29:40] Okay. So, so you’ve got this, this model working and high street veterinary surgery, which is your clinic in downtown Rockhampton. Now tell me a little bit more about how smooth operating vets came about and what it is.
[00:29:59] Jocelyn Birch Baker: [00:30:00] Yes. I think I just started saying that. We had this vet shortage. Now we had a vet shortage 20 years ago, rural and regionally.
[00:30:10] And that’s why I had no trouble getting a position. It wasn’t a most amazing bed. I just got on with everybody and fit it in. And it was great. So there’s been a shortage for a long time, but it’s it’s, it is getting more and more. And I would be hearing stories from people where they’d worked and it was very disappointing at the weather were treated.
[00:30:32] I probably didn’t stay with clinic work, even when I graduated, because I was on call every day, they can die. And honestly, we had no mobile phones and no computers, and I was doing largies and small ways. And it was, I’d probably like a lot of graduates when I have to do I want to do this. So now that the vet shortage is getting bigger and bigger and I can see.
[00:30:57] The grads , the vets that I [00:31:00] get to work into my practice are not full-time experienced going to do this amazing, all the things that they advertise for. They, they just want to come to work and say, And chat with adult people and have a really nice time and have another group of friends and people that respect them and like them and want to work with them and clients who just got thank you so much.
[00:31:26] Um, I’m just so happy, you know, fulfill fulfilling lives and, but not run ragged. So that’s where Smith operating beds. Cause I could see there’s women out there. You can see these moms, they, they really would like to, to get back to work and do these things. They’ve studied five years. Why would you not your calling your passion, your life, what you really want to do.
[00:31:48] And children are wonderful too, but women tend to have that primary care of children like physically, they need to do it, but then culturally. It goes on and on and [00:32:00] on, and that’s great. We love it. We, you know, our children are probably everything to us, but they’re not actually everything we do like to have.
[00:32:08] Um, we’ve got really amazing minds and abilities. We, we like to share them as well and become a full person. Yeah. And I, I just sort of was, it would be flicking through the ads and. I used to look at them and go, well, if I was a mom at home with one child, I would not apply for that ad or that one or that one or that one.
[00:32:27] They want someone different, even if they put full-time or part-time you look at that and you get, well, they don’t really want a part time. They want a full time. So yeah. I just think things need to change up a bit. So talk about what, what is smooth operating beats, smooth operating. This is where we.
[00:32:48] Create mother friendly. Practices that work and high street bet surgery is one of those. And I just think we could do so much more in other practices. So I’ve set [00:33:00] up a couple of programs. One of them is a bit recruiting you vet, and the other one is retaining. So the recruiting is a. How you would advertise where you would advertise books, what sort of systems do you have to have in place?
[00:33:12] Like we were talking before that it’s going to make a mom or a mom of a baby or a mother of a 5, 6, 7 year old, happy to work in your practice. And women tell me these things, and I know them for myself. You want to get out of work on time. You cannot leave your child at daycare. My child still reminds me of the one day.
[00:33:33] I left her forgot about or whatever it was and she’s 27. So it impacts on the little minds and it really worries the moms. I know that you can see them nearly shaking as they’re trying to get out the door. So just go, like it has to happen D daycare being paid for, like, if they work too many hours, They get less money for daycare.
[00:33:54] So they’ve got to balance that up as well. So yeah. Recruitment of [00:34:00] women back into the practice, you do have to have some systems and changes of systems, time to express, or maybe if they’ve got a baby baby welcoming them in when they’ve had the baby. I think even in the government says we should be giving them 10.
[00:34:17] Uh, keeping in touch days that they can come in and come to meetings, come to training, come to church, come to see something new, but a new equipment, whatever it is so that you get that connection with them, touch base with them. And then, so that’s the recruitment, getting them back in and working out some sort of a protocol and also getting the rest of the staff, happy about it because some of them will say, oh, well, you’ve got a baby.
[00:34:40] You get to grad life. Not knowing that once they get home, their whole second job stops. But everyone should go. There’s respect and regard for everybody the way they work, because they all bring something to our practice. The retaining of the Vance is when your vet comes to you and says, I’m pregnant, you got to get, oh my God.
[00:34:59] That is [00:35:00] so exciting because they, this is the biggest thing has happened. Terminator life are so excited and they are terrified. So if you can be with them through the process, making sure they safe at work while they’re pregnant, chased them out. Cause I want to work when they’re heavy pregnant, and you got to put your foot down.
[00:35:17] There’s only so much you can do. Now you can stay on the phones or do tele meds, whatever needs to be done or can be done by them. And I’m sure you’ll find jobs for them to keep their mind busy. And then they go on their maternity leave. We had the keeping in touch days and a plan for when they come back, which is quite open-ended.
[00:35:33] Some vets will ride you in this month. I will do this in that month. I will do that. And this month I will do this, but once I had the baby things change up a little bit and that’s. That is great. Yeah. Yeah. So just have some systems in place that they can come back to you. Smooth operating debts helps clinics create this space.
[00:35:57] Yes. Yes. We can go through all the processes of women, [00:36:00] the things that they will need to do to change up if they want to have these women into the clinic, because I I’ve heard clinic owners go, oh, now they’ve got to go and pick up the kids. No, you cannot say that you cannot have that attitude. What you say is, wow, your hair.
[00:36:16] This is great. I’ve got three space to do you right? And the mum will go. Yep. Can do. Then the moms bring so much to the clinic, like flexible working hours is just brilliant for anybody because then they have that reserve to do other work. If it’s needed, like you’re on call or like your emergency or a fill in for somebody.
[00:36:37] Just there is some bear.
[00:36:44] Julie South: I really hope that you enjoyed listening to Jocelyn. As much as I enjoyed chatting with her, I promised you a summary of her nuggets. He is what she’s implemented and does that absolutely works. [00:37:00] She openly supports, encourages and embraces part-time workers. Her language supports that when most clinic owners grown inside, Jocelyn gets excited.
[00:37:12] When one of her team members announces that she’s pregnant. She has 10 keeping in touch days when she keeps in touch with women through the maternity leave, inviting them banked training sessions and other events. So they’re staying connected with the team. Getting adult contact and still being able to feel professionally valued training is done at a time where possible that works around daycare and school pickups, allowing her moms to pick up their kids from daycare on time as high priority.
[00:37:49] It’s a fundamental value at her clinic and everyone supports everyone else to make sure that this happens. The bits get the majority of the after hours [00:38:00] phase, as Jocelyn said, some of her can earn a thousand dollars a weekend. When they’re on call from a $200 on-call fee, the vet gets $180 of that. She also ensures that she has systems in place that ensure her on-call team is fully rested before they return back to work.
[00:38:21] Days start with a team meeting, which includes an attitude of gratitude share by everyone. I hope you found this helpful. I’m really interested to hear what you found was helpful here for you. What takeaways did you pick up and what would you like to explore implementing in your clinic? I’ll put links to Jocelyn.
[00:38:43] Do all of Justin’s contact details and how to get hold of her at paws claws, wet noses dot F M episode 42. And her email address is direct email@example.com. And on Facebook, you can get [00:39:00] her at smooth operating fit. The principles that Jocelyn implements in her clinic and has done for years work.
[00:39:09] And it’s no wonder when they work, if the very informal, small sample survey that she ran on Facebook, where she asked moms questions about returning to work, have anything to go by. Here’s what she found out. About 45% of professional women would like to return to work within six months and another 45% in 12 months.
[00:39:33] No one wants to return to work full time. 100% want flexibility of the hours that they work and most want to be paid per hour and have no after hours. 80% would like to do continuing education leaving on time as very important, 100% of them want to work collaboratively with others, have great communication skills [00:40:00] and have trust in others to care for the cases when they hand them over.
[00:40:05] 80% are experienced professionals. Jocelyn knows from experience that with good onboarding, these women will be a benefit to the practice. Within weeks, 80% are prepared to mentor others and 87% love their work and are dedicated and loyal. Jocelyn wants to see a culture, change that from being a full-time workaholic, pressured VIT into one where you enjoy your work and your life.
[00:40:36] She wants to have more smooth operating fits in the world. Now, if you think that being a smooth operating fit is what you want, then you can contact Jocelyn about that also to support mental health and work life balance, and how other VIPs have done this as well [00:41:00] and their clinic, then I’d like you to tune in or to go back to episode 30 of post-close wet noses.
[00:41:07] That’s where Meagan oldest son of the strand veterinarian. And panel and Oakland here in God’s zone, Arturo and New Zealand talked about what she does in her car. You can check in on episodes 28 and 29. And that’s where Dr. Francesca brown, she had her research about how it’s possible to have, have high staff engagement and a profitable.
[00:41:33] Clinic in New Zealand and then episode 23, Dr. Ellie RB Montoya talked about the research, the PhD research that she did around moral conflict and conflict and conscientious consci insur. Let’s start again. Julie conscientious objection and veterinary clinics. And. It’s how clinics [00:42:00] can perform better as well.
[00:42:02] So tune in next week. So that’s, what’s gone. This is what’s coming up tune in next week because this is the next week will be the second half of it. Two part series and Jocelyn will share the smooth operating vets model, which comprises an eight week program. The five rules of her clinic. Some of Jocelyn’s hard learnt lessons where she, when that happened, when she first took over high street bits.
[00:42:29] And one of the things that she does when a woman starts her maternity leave, which goes down gangbusters. I think you’ll really want to come back because she talks about how through lockdown last year, her clinic worked like most on sorry, before lockdown, her clinic worked like most on 15 minute consults, which cracked up to 30 minutes through lockdown.
[00:42:52] And then after lockdown, like most clinics, she returned to 15 minutes, but then one of her team asked her whether they could go [00:43:00] back to 30 minute consults, she share what she did and how she’s never looked back. We talk about negotiating remuneration packages and self-esteem about loyalty, perfect clients and paying her team well, how she has very few bill discussions with clients and how they’re all good payers to get in touch with Jocelyn.
[00:43:24] Again, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. . And please let her know that you heard about. What she’s doing through because you listened to Paws Claws Wet Noses .fm podcast. Now, if you haven’t already please click that follow button wherever you listen to your podcast, it’s free. And it means that you’re never miss out on upcoming episodes of any podcasts that you listen to because your podcast app will deliver them straight into your podcast.
[00:43:58] Feed. [00:44:00] This is Julie signing off. Thank you for spending the last almost hour with Jocelyn and me at paws claws. and wet noses. Ka kite ano Peace. Be with you. Take care. God bless paws, claws and wet noses is sponsored by vet staff. If you’ve never heard of it, staff it’s new, Zealand’s only full service recruitment agency.
[00:44:30] 100% dedicated to the veterinary sector andVetStaff has been around since 2015 and works nationwide from Kate re-enter to the bluff and everywhere in between as well as helping Kiwis fits. Also hubs overseas, qualified veterinarians find work and art hero and New Zealand fit. staff.co dot. Indeed.[00:45:00] .