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Do You Have a Guardian Angel?

By December 11, 2023Blog

When you have the advantage of looking back on a long career like mine you get to see how many times your guardian angel appeared.  I am not speaking of an actual guardian angel like you may read about in books, but instead about the “human” ones who are much more likely to appear when you need them most.   

My first job in a veterinary hospital was as a part time client service representative.  The practice was busy, did not take appointments and had limited formal training.  Fortunately, I had Sheryl.  I worked part time in the morning in a small satellite practice owned by my boss and Sheryl was the manager.  She is the person who took the time to teach me how to write up a patient intake (on a paper chart), answer the phone, check out clients and balance the drawer at the end of the day.  In the afternoon I would leave Sheryl and get thrown to the wolves in the “mother ship” practice but thanks to Sheryl I had enough training to survive.   She was my first vet med angel. 

Then after leaving that job, managing a retail shop and a jewelry department I returned to veterinary medicine as a Hospital Administrator for the same practice.  My job description was,” I don’t know what you are going to do but …here”.  Fortunately, my second angel arrived in the form of Elaine.  Elaine was the current bookkeeper for the practice who also worked at the front desk.  She was leaving the practice and I would be taking on her bookkeeping role.  She took a young woman with little accounting experience and taught me not only how to post bills and payroll to a chart of accounts but she also taught me how to best share an office with my boss.  Angel number two! 

Over the years the practice changed dramatically as we organized our workflows, added more doctors, expanded our services and even became instrumental in creating a walking trail in our community and raising money for the American Heart Association.   Our team was amazing.  They were so successful in promoting patient health with preventive care that my third guardian angel showed up – Rachel. 

Rachel was my sales representative for Novartis Animal Health and she had an idea.  She saw how our team was serving their patients, looked at the sales data and compliance rates for her heartworm and flea products, and asked me if I could come share how we got an 87% compliance rate with other practices.  So, she introduced me to Novartis as a key opinion leader and promoted me to her marketing team as a speaker.  Rachel is greatly responsible for my current position as a speaker and consultant because without her encouragement, I would have never considered it as a possibility.  She also connected me with my last employer by seating me beside him at a dinner meeting and giving me the opportunity to hand him my resume. 

In 2009, when I began my consulting business my next angel appeared.  Dr. Chuck Keiser.  Chuck and I hit it off one day on a random telephone call to my practice.  He was developing a practice management group similar to VMG or Well Managed Practice Group and wanted my boss to join.  As luck would have it my boss was out of town but Chuck and I connected and when I started my business he was instrumental in getting me on a national stage at my first AAHA conference, generously having me substitute for him as a speaker. To this day I have no idea what strings he pulled to make this happen.  Every time we would see each other at conferences he would encourage me to stretch myself a little higher and introduce me to folks who could help me expand my business.  

Just this past year at AVMA more angels appeared.  Thanks to a meeting for coffee with Brenda Andreson who listened when I shared my dream of writing a book on hospitality skills for medical teams, then pitched it to the Care Credit marketing team without me even knowing, my book was made possible.  

I am so grateful to all my guardian angels for helping me along the way.  My goal is to also BE a guardian angel for others by offering mentorship, guidance, connections and support as much as I can.  

Life lived well is a collaboration between people.  We all have the ability to be someone’s guardian angel if we just take the time, pay attention and step forward to help. 

Grab your wings and lift up those around you.  It blesses you both.  

During this season of gratitude my thanks and thoughts go out to all my guardian angels!


Debbie Boone’s New Book:

“Hospitality in Healthcare”

Today’s healthcare consumer demands more than just an appointment. They want healing and human connection. Providing an exceptional experience at every step of the patient journey requires active participation and collaboration from the entire medical office team.

Read More!