It is easy to write about the successes and sweet cuddly warm and fuzzies, but much more difficult to write about the harsh and unflattering scrutiny of our failures. At this practice we strive for perfection and quality customer service but we are made up of individuals that are human just like you.
I do not find any mistake acceptable. Unfortunately, I admit that they are unavoidable….eventually. When mistakes occur, we learn from them and reinforce the weak areas. We buckle down and pledge to rise to the challenge.
As a veterinarian, I worry that my clients will lose faith in me. That my advice will not be heeded. As a business owner, I worry that my practice will see a drop in clientele. Neither view point is attractive. I have worked very hard to build a reputation for honesty, compassion and good medicine. The last thing I want is to tarnish that reputation. Failure is inevitable. How you deal with that is the critical point.
Admit your mistakes. Even at the risk of making someone angry. Take the hit and beg for forgiveness. Our profession is one rife with pain and emotional ups and downs. Those ups and downs can come right on top of one another. Take an animal into emergency surgery only to have them crash, brought back to life with steady vitals then not wake up from anesthesia. All in a matter of a couple hours. Rush a bloodied dog into treatment and clean her up only to have to euthanize her attacker-guess what they belong to the same family. Life and death. Sometimes there are no winners. Certainly not us. The hands that heal also kill. The counselor and the mediator are also the villain; the bearer of bad news.
Yes, we make mistakes and yes, sometimes we fail to deliver. In that aspect we are no different than anyone else. I hope that what sets us apart is how we handle those mistakes. You have my word that if we drop the ball, we will admit to it. We will do all in our power to make it right. While we cannot always “fix” the problem as if it never happened, we can attempt to repair the relationship between the practice and the client. That relationship is of utmost importance to me. Our policies and protocols are in place to promote and protect the health and well-being of our patients, our clients and the staff. I hold myself as accountable as I hold my staff.
There is a bible verse by which I try very hard to model my life: “..I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”. Ephesians 4:1 NIV.