The Magical Unicorn PracticeBen Sweeney
If you could make a veterinary practice the perfect place to work, what would it be like? Imagine a place that you would love to go to work at every day and know that you would leave feeling happy and that the day had gone according to plan.
Would the bosses shower you with doughnuts once a week? Perhaps a morning Starbucks run every day (other coffee outlets are available)? What about making sure that steps were taken to help you leave on time? Maybe a guaranteed lunch time? Longer consults? Heck why not have a hot tub in the yard to soothe away the aches and pains of the day with a nice beer fridge next to it.
Crazy right? Yes, these are farfetched ideas for some of us, and the reality of the situation is that within the veterinary profession we simply can’t predict how each and every day can go-sometimes we get screwed over, sometimes the day goes brilliantly.
However, as practices, measures can be taken to make life a little bit easier for staff and to make them feel like they are valued and can be included in the development of the business-be that corporate or independent.
There is no getting away from the fact that corporatisation has changed the face of the profession forever, and that implementing changes maybe a little more longwinded within those organisations, but as vets and nurses your insights are invaluable to helping drive those things.
It isn’t all doom and gloom either, I have worked in practises that have gone above and beyond to make things a bit easier for their staff, to make them feel more valued and to ensure they can enjoy work a bit more rather than going home wanted to down a bottle of wine through a straw at the end of every day.
So, it’s safe to say that veterinary practices do some things well and others poorly. It is also fair to assume that no practice can be perfect for everyone, but they can get it right for the right person. And if one place isn’t right for you, then there are plenty of other practise out there to try.
We have teamed up with the BVA to work out what makes up the good, the bad and the ugly of veterinary workplaces.
We need all of your opinions on your experiences-both good and bad.
It doesn't matter how small or big the thing is. If you had a magic wand, what things from your experiences would you include in a good veterinary workplace and what things should never happen? What gives you that warm feeling about where you are working and what makes you want to never return?
If you have any insight then please please please send them into us.
Perhaps your top 3 good and bad experiences in practice?
For me, I have had so many good and bad things that I have seen, all of which have shaped my opinions on those particular workplaces.
Good-bosses turning up with bottles of gin as a thank you for someone staying late, my old boss coming to help me at 2am when I was out of my depth with a surgical case and leading by example, workplaces with fixed lunchtimes for their staff and 20 minute consults.
Bad-bosses disappearing off to the golf course in the middle of the day and being uncontactable, nurses bullying young vets (and vice versa), no wiggle room in consult lists meaning peoples stress levels increase from reception right through to the consult vet.
I have many more for both aspects, but this isn’t about just my experiences and we would really appreciate your help and hope to put all of this info towards having a positive impact and pushing some places closer to Unicorn Status.
Please send your experiences to us here and rest assured they will remain 100% anonymous.