"Coming to a place where I feel genuinely supported has been wonderful"

- Lisa Blaney, Practice Manager at Adams Vets
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Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your career path, and how you came to work at the practice?

I've been in the veterinary industry for a few years now. I started out as a receptionist, handling front desk duties, and then progressed to being a VCA, where I had more hands-on involvement with the animals. Initially, I wanted to pursue veterinary nursing, but I discovered that I actually enjoyed the administrative side of things more. So, I continued as a receptionist and eventually got the opportunity to become the customer care manager at a previous practice. I gained valuable experience there and was fortunate enough to secure my current position! I joined Adams Vets in April.

Can you tell us about the practices - what made you want to join the team?

We have two sites, one in Fazakerley and one in Wavertree. I already knew some people who had worked here before and were also joining the team. They had positive things to say about the practice, which piqued my interest.

When I came for the interview, I found the management team to be incredibly supportive, something I was really looking for. That was a major factor for me in wanting to join this practice—to feel supported. The team is also very friendly, and I appreciate the fact that even though we have two branches, we function as one team.

You mentioned you've been in the veterinary industry for a while. What motivates you to work in this industry?

For me, it's knowing that I'm making a difference. That's the main motivation. I believe we're not only helping animals but also people. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with people, so the rewarding aspect of making a positive impact on their lives is significant to me. It's very fulfilling.

And how has your experience been joining the IVC Evidensia network?

I've really enjoyed it. Coming to a place where I feel genuinely supported has been wonderful. Not long after I started, I was invited to the leadership forum in Birmingham, where I got to meet other members of the leadership team from different areas. We ended up creating chats and things to support each other and ask questions. It's great to know that we can reach out for help and offer support to others regardless of the practice area. We all help each other out across the network.

You mentioned the team at your practice. What makes them special, and how do they support each other?

The team is remarkable because of the respect and support everyone shows one another. From vets, nurses, receptionists and VCAs, everyone is willing to support each other. It's a collaborative environment where everyone supports each other. This is especially important in a field like veterinary medicine, which can be quite stressful at times. Having a supportive team makes a significant difference and makes the job much easier.

What are your favourite aspects of your role?

For me, it's knowing that I'm there to provide support to others and be someone to lean on. Based on my previous experiences, I've learned what kind of manager I want to be and how crucial it is to offer genuine support. Being able to make decisions and bring about positive change is important to me. I have the freedom to do things in my own way, and that's something I value in this role—supporting people, being there for them, and making a difference when needed.

What opportunities are available for your team's development, and what support is provided for their professional growth?

There are plenty of development opportunities available for the team. We offer certificate programs and continuous professional development. Additionally, we organize lunch and learn sessions. We always encourage our team members to express their desires for progression and let us know what support they need. It's something we want to actively promote and facilitate—encouraging and aiding the growth of our team members. I've experienced growth in my career, and I want the same for our team.

What kinds of cases do you handle at your practice? Is it mostly focused on preventative healthcare?

We do handle a lot of preventative healthcare cases, but we also see a variety of other cases. We have veterinarians with different levels of experience. We have new starters who receive a lot of support from our clinical director, and we also have a vet who has been with us for over 20 years and brings a wealth of experience. Our veterinarians are very supportive of each other. It's a lovely environment where everyone helps one another. We all strive to learn and develop, and we support each other to reach our full potential.

What kind of activities do you do together outside of work as a team?

We're actually in the process of planning a night out. We're thinking of going for a meal since there are plenty of bars and restaurants near our Wavertree practice. We're currently trying to find a time when everyone is available and doesn't have any plans! I want us to have regular social activities outside of work, even if it's something simple. It's important to maintain a good work-life balance and not always talk about work. It keeps everyone connected.

As a new member of the team, how did you feel when you joined? 

Coming in as a new team member and starting a brand-new role was initially daunting, but I felt incredibly welcome right from my interview. The clinical director even got me flowers and a new mug to make me feel comfortable. The team as a whole was so welcoming and managing them has been a breeze because they are all wonderful individuals. Even though the role was different from my previous experiences, the team showed support, and we all help each other. There was a lot to learn, but with the right support, I quickly adapted.

Outside of work how do you unwind?

I enjoy going out and socializing with my friends. Additionally, my dad is involved in a business that supplies detection dogs, and I'm qualified to handle them as well. So, I spend time at his site with the dogs. It's nice to have that animal interaction, especially since my role now is more office-based. Currently, I don't have any pets of my own because I live alone, but I would love to have a dog in the future. However, I want to ensure I have enough time to properly care for them. But being around my dad's dogs is also fulfilling.

I assist with their training. The dogs need certain qualities to be successful detection dogs, such as being toy-driven, confident, and friendly. We start by training them to search for tennis balls, and then we introduce bits of material, like broken material, hidden within the tennis balls. Eventually, we remove the balls and focus solely on the scents they need to detect. It's a fascinating process, and I'm really impressed with the dogs. They can differentiate between just a little sniff and indicating that they've found the material. Each dog has its own personality and preferences.

Do you have a favorite dog that you’ve worked with?

Well, I did have a favorite dog named Kisha. She was actually mine, and I loved her so much. But now she's with a friend of mine, so I still get to see her. Kisha and I have done a lot of work together, including in schools, festivals, and even football matches. We've also been on the TV show Hollyoaks, where I played a police officer with a dog, as part of a drug storyline. It was a couple of years ago, and it was an amazing experience!