5 Ways Employee Training Benefits Vet Clinics (and Patient Care)
Posted by Lauren Ambrosio on October 26, 2023
The phone hasn’t stopped ringing since 7:00 a.m. Your veterinary assistants fill out the day’s charts while your licensed techs prep for appointments and surgeries. Everyone hits the ground running even before the first patient walks through the door (on a leash), and the pace isn’t likely to slow down until lunch. That is, if your techs are able to pop into the break room to heat and eat their leftovers in between charting, calling clients, and catching up on lab work.
Does this sound like your clinic? If your techs and support staff seem like they are all one cat scratch away from a breakdown, it’s time to reassess your clinic’s approach to employee satisfaction. One way you can positively impact your staff and the clinic at-large is with education initiatives.
Benefits of making education a priority in your veterinary practice
The AVMA published a report in 2022 by David C. Driscoll, DVM, that shows higher levels of job satisfaction are directly linked to better patient care. While this is true across all healthcare jobs, the industry that experiences one of the worst overall job satisfaction rates is veterinary medicine.
Does your staff have time during their shifts to work on CE or credit courses, and are you offering these opportunities in earnest? As a leader, it’s important to prioritize ensuring every single employee is as educated and credentialed as they want to be. But what are the benefits of placing education initiatives at the forefront of your practice?
1. Higher intrinsic rewards
As gleaned from a NAVTA 2016 survey, one of the biggest experiences veterinary technicians value is the "opportunity to maintain competence in medical/surgical/technology topics." By facilitating educational opportunities, veterinary practices enable techs to grow their knowledge and boost their job satisfaction.
2. Economic benefits to the practice
This study suggests that hiring more CVTs per veterinarian has economic advantages. For instance, a rise in average veterinarian gross revenue was observed with each additional CVT per veterinarian. Thus, a more educated and skilled technician can contribute more substantially to the practice's revenue.
3. Better outcomes and improved patient care
An educated veterinary technician is better equipped to deliver high-quality patient care. Their expertise and knowledge can directly influence the outcomes of the treatments. When a veterinary technician speaks confidently and knowledgeably, this can offer peace of mind to pet owners.
4. Reduced turnover
Unfortunately, there's a notable turnover rate among veterinary technicians, with some leaving due to a lack of career advancement opportunities. Veterinary technicians working towards a certification or degree need resources to be successful. As their employer, you should provide them with opportunities and real solutions to help them finish their programs.
5. Give your practice’s reputation a boost
A well-educated and competent team can enhance the reputation of a veterinary practice. Clients value and trust advice from knowledgeable professionals, and most prefer their pet’s technician to have some formal training or certification. Not only that, but the more innovative and premium services you offer, the more money your practice can make.
Investing in your employees’ continued education will differentiate you from the rest of the market. Education initiatives not only bolster the individual's professional journey but also provide tangible and intangible benefits to your veterinary practice. The intertwined relationship between personal job satisfaction and broader economic performance underscores the importance of such initiatives.