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Critical Competencies: A Guide for Veterinary Practice Management Professionals

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The Critical Competencies: A Guide for Veterinary Practice Management Professionals is available for freeA link to download the file will be provided to you by email in your order confirmation notice.

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VHMA created this guide to provide an overview of the skills necessary to be an effective practice management professional. The job requirements and competencies in the guide were derived from a scientific job analysis for the position of veterinary hospital/practice management professional. The goal of a job analysis is to identify and detail the specific job duties and requirements of any given job and evaluate the importance of these duties. The critical requirements are then linked to knowledge, skills and abilities that contribute to success.

One Guide, Many Uses
If you an owner or senior veterinarian who is hiring staff to manage a practice, it is essential to understand the skills and qualities that promote effective management. If you are a practice management professional, then it is to your professional advantage to use the information in the guide to evaluate your skills and determine areas that may require attention.

The purpose of this guide is to define the major job domains and tasks that practice management professionals should be expected to undertake in their positions. Additionally, it identifies the competencies that are critical for fulfilling specific responsibilities. Competencies are defined as demonstrated behaviors, skills and abilities associated with the successful completion of job-related responsibilities. Often these personal attributes will differentiate effective employees from ineffective employees. Therefore, owners and supervisors would be wise to look for these attributes when making hiring decisions.

An Overview of the Guide
The job analysis study identified five core job domains for the typical hospital/practice. The five job domains are: human resources, law and ethics, marketing and client relations, organization of the practice, and financial management. A total of 13 competencies emerged. These competencies were then applied to the five job domains to offer a practical and comprehensive template. The competencies address decision making, integrity, critical and strategic thinking, planning and prioritizing, oral communication and comprehension, writing and verbal skills, analytical skills, compliance, resourcefulness, continuing learning, resilience, adaptability and leadership.

Each of the competencies offer a detailed explanation of how the competency contributes to the success of the professional and the practice. To illustrate how the competencies are handled, a few examples appear below:

Integrity. Upholding high standards of ethical conduct by ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, and standard is at the heart of being an effective professional. Being trustworthy with financial accounts and banking responsibilities and showing discretion when handling confidential and sensitive personnel issues, are just some examples of how a practice management is expected to demonstrate integrity while performing job requirements.

Critical and Strategic Thinking. Strategic thinking and planning are essential components of ensuring the long-term plans for growth of the practice. Managers must have the ability to identify questions, problems, and arguments relevant to planning for the future and to use logic and critical reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions or approaches to problems.

Resourcefulness. The multi-faceted nature of the job requires veterinary practice managers to be resourceful, to take initiative and figure out how to get a job done. They must be capable of applying knowledge, skills and expertise to perform tasks quickly and efficiently and make effective use of resources and technology when required.


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