What Veterinary Health Companies Are Doing Right
Posted by Des Sinkevich on April 22, 2021
Creating a culture of care and wellness
In an industry where employee burnout is a concern – many veterinary technicians, for example, end up changing careers within 5-7 years – due to long hours and compassion fatigue, finding ways to ameliorate the stress and offer wellness solutions is vital to keeping a passionate workforce.
These opportunities not only help employees, they improve the quality of care veterinary assistants, technicians, and veterinarians can offer clients.
Investing in the veterinary workforce
Through investment in employees, current team members can grow their skills and knowledge, and that growth trickles down into how they work and interact with patients and clients each day. It also creates a supportive environment that makes employees happy and enthusiastic about coming into work each day to do the job they love – helping animals.
“We’ve invested significant time and resources into developing an industry-first learning and development platform powered by content partnerships with some of the best minds in veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Dan Markwalder, Vice President of Medical Operations at Mission Veterinary Partners. “We offer training on leadership, finance, crucial conversations, practice management, medical skills, and beyond. We’ve also recently launched our full-circle mentorship program to help our team members achieve their personal & professional goals. Whether you’re an aspiring veterinary technician, practice manager, leader, or surgeon, we’re here to help every MVP team member get there.”
Making an impact in the communities they serve
“As the charitable arm of Banfield Pet Hospital, we work with Banfield Associates, partners and the larger animal welfare community to ensure that the needs of vulnerable pets and pet owners are met by providing support through thought leadership, funding of community work and direct care programs. Banfield Pet Hospital invested in the creation of the foundation in 2016 because it is deeply committed to using its size and scale for good and finding unique and effective ways to bring to life its purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. In partnership with Banfield’s CSR efforts, the foundation is an extension of its commitment to enabling access to and affordability of care” said Kim Van Syoc, Executive Director of the foundation.
“At the core of the Banfield Foundation” she continued, “is the belief that all pets deserve access to veterinary care. Working with nonprofits and shelter partners daily, both within Banfield and the foundation, we see and understand the societal issues that create barriers to pet ownership, access to veterinary care and overall community wellbeing. And while disasters such as COVID-19 exacerbate challenges faced by shelters, it does not change their ongoing needs as they work tirelessly to serve local communities. Shelters are the center of response when it comes to pet food, care and resources, not only for shelter pets, but for owned pets whose owner is struggling financially to care for their pet and keep them in a loving home – we exist to support and expand shelter efforts.”
How privately-owned clinics can implement these practices at scale
For smaller practices, try these three things:
- Smaller practices can make a difference through local volunteering, offer low-cost clinics for low-income pet owners, or even just bringing attention to fundraisers for local animal shelters.
- You can still help your veterinary assistants and veterinary technicians navigate compassion fatigue and burnout. Whether this is offering your own experience as an example or just assuring your workers that you’re willing to work with them when things get tough, you can create a culture of care and compassion that allows your team to feel and be their best.
- Encourage further training and education and offer career advance opportunities for workers that meet the requirements. Through an affordable program from Penn Foster’s Veterinary Academy, you can offer viable solutions for training and upskilling, even encouraging employees to pursue training on their own, offering a space to practice what they learn, and giving them the time to study can make a difference. Further, offering these opportunities doesn’t help just your employees. Through internal career advancement and education, you’re creating a strong, knowledge, and loyal team of veterinary healthcare professionals that will be an asset to your business.