New research shows Vets cannot afford to care
With nearly a half of veterinary professionals feeling disenchanted in their expectations of working life, recent research by the VET Festival, in partnership with Headline Partner Centaur Services (9th & 10th June, Loseley Park in Surrey) has revealed that veterinary professionals cannot afford to care stating that a lack of time, budget and resource prevents them from implementing wellness for all employees, patients and clients in their practice despite 97% stating that wellness contributes to business success.
Time is the top aspect respondents, consisting of veterinary surgeons and interns, nurses, practice managers and rehabilitation professionals, would change in practice to deliver wellness. One-third said more time would allow for breaks, better communication with clients or for a balanced work and home life. These frustrations of veterinary professionals are familiar amongst respondents with one describing a domino effect in their practice:
Long hours with few breaks is leading to employee burnout and loss of staff which further increases workload of remaining staff.
Other aspects to change were highlighted as an employee shortage and the minimal communication between management, employees and their clients.
The survey results also indicate that employees were ranked last in the effective management of wellness in comparison to patients and clients, in spite of being ranked as the most important group to ensure wellness is optimal. 72% said that working with a great team was the most important area for a practice to observe for employee wellness respectively. For patients, 96% said quality treatment and care and for clients, 100% said effective communication with vets.
Whilst two-thirds of respondents do not have a dedicated programme or person responsible for wellness at their practice, two-thirds of these also said they hope to implement this in the future. Happy employees result in happy clients as well as also increasing productivity and motivation amongst the team.
Wellness to me means happy, healthy, engaged staff. These staff do a better job, listen more effectively to the clients and make fewer mistakes, have fewer days off sick than otherwise. All of this contributes towards business success which I define as gaining repeat custom from happy clients, offering a valued service and making a profit.
There are clear frustrations that must be faced in the industry with the majority believing that the greatest challenge over the next 5 years will be staying motivated and enthusiastic about their work. Other challenges were identified as achieving a healthy work-life balance, managing client expectations and profitability.
The desire to care for animals is undoubtedly still evident amongst veterinary professionals and have continued to pursue their career in spite of such challenges. This is a pivotal time for the entire industry to address these real issues facing veterinary professionals alike today and action to inspire the next generation of what is a disillusioned industry.
Comedian Russell Brand will join Professor Noel Fitzpatrick on stage for a discussion on ‘Wellness and what the means to us’ on Friday 9th June. This year VET Festival have a dedicated Wellness and Team Building stream on both days of the conference, in partnership with Headline Partner Centaur Services.
For a full breakdown of the survey results, please contact Sarah on SarahC@fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk.