Vet Nurses at Peak Burnout Levels

When it comes to job retention, the vet industry appears to be in crisis. Is not for the absence of a love for animals.

Quite the opposite.

When it comes to attracting and retaining qualified veterinary nurses, there are 3 main concerns that are affecting long-term retention in the industry.

  1. Low salary and long hours
  2. High staff turnover
  3. Low staff morale

Not the top things you look for when entering a new profession or looking to change careers.

So how can we tackle this issue?

Veterinary nurses play a vital role in the success of any vet practice.

As front-facing staff, they bring a wealth of expertise and efficiency into the operations of any practice. If clients are comfortable with their vet nurse, they will likely follow similar suit with their vet and the practice as a whole.

Which in turn means an ongoing, repeat client. Which in turn, means profit for the practice.

How to Retain Your Vet Nurses

There are steps practice owners can take to ensure the job satisfaction of vet nurses is high and remains that way.

  1. Reward good work

    This is both intrinsic rewards, encouragement and staff recognition, as well as paying your vet nurses a wage that reflects their hard work.

  2. Limit long hours and overtime

    As a vet nurse, the hours can often be long and emotionally and physically draining. When you push your vet nurses to their limits, burnout will be reached far quicker than you may expect. Nurture your staff. Take care of both their mental, emotional and physical needs in such a demanding industry. That way, they’ll have more emotional reservoir for your clients.

  3. Define roles and expectations

    Define clear roles and responsibilities for each of your team members via clear position descriptions. This will help by defining specific roles, responsibilities and duties within the practice. Additionally, it helps when it comes to performance reviews and KPI targets. As a manager, it makes staff recognition and rewards a simpler and clearer process, which leads to our next point about fostering positive morale.

  4. Foster positive clinic morale

    We all want to love where we work. To be excited about heading into work each day. When vet nurses are happy in their work, they’ll bring their best to each and every client. Show them they are an important member of staff. Coordinate staff bonding days or implement reward systems for KPIs reached. All these elements work together to form positive staff morale where staff feel valued and respected.

  5. Empower your staff

    Allowing your staff to be a part of the process goes a long way. If you are thinking of introducing a new system or changing things up, bring in your vet nurses and technicians for their opinion. After all, they are the ones on the front line. People want to feel a sense of connection and that their contribution has an impact on where they work.

The issues of retaining vet nurses in the industry is one that needs continual monitoring and improvement to ensure the long-term future of the industry.