Even as Covid continues to limit how we conduct our daily lives, fortunately many of us have been able to enjoy a few bites of normalcy in recent months.
But for many businesses, like your veterinarian, this has not necessarily been the case. Despite the encouraging signs, you may have felt frustrated when your veterinary clinic runs behind on appointments, has limited availability, or seems to be stressed out in general. Here are a few helpful explanations for why that might be – and what to keep in mind for your pet’s next visit. Your veterinary practice is running differently than it used to. Since the start of the pandemic, veterinarians and their staff have been challenged by new ways of caring for your pets. These challenges are still prominent in their day-to-day care. Many are still operating with curbside check-ins, which places different demands on staff. And from the outside looking in, we can’t see all the safety protocols that the clinic staff are required to follow. These changes have affected not only how the clinic operates – staff members are impacted personally as they continue to adapt their own daily routines. There are more appointments – but fewer veterinary staff. Your veterinary practice, according to many reports, has been busier than ever. A national 4.5% increase in veterinary appointments in 2020 may not seem like a lot, but it’s happened as clinics everywhere face ongoing staffing shortages. Imagine how much busier an already busier-than-ever practice would be with a smaller team on board? As clinics work hard to catch up to the growing demand for their services, it inevitably weighs heavily on staff members. Pet owners are tired too. You’re feeling it too, and that’s understandable. The uncertainty around the pandemic has been a difficult road and caring for your pets and their well-being has become harder and more stressful than ever. Your veterinarian knows this, and on top of their ever-changing challenges, they also bear the weight of those frustrations. When we put it all together, we’re seeing busier veterinary practices with fewer staff and more challenges – working hard to provide excellent care for our pets. So, what can YOU do as a pet parent to help?
Simply knowing and understanding the challenges stated above is key.
It’s not always easy to be patient when your pet needs urgent attention, but try to remain courteous with your veterinary staff – they really are doing their best.
Try to schedule routine checkups and exams as far in advance as possible.
If your clinic offers tools like online appointment booking, an online pharmacy for home delivery, or telehealth, take advantage of them! These tools often give veterinary staff more time to dedicate to you and your pet.
Finally, remember to always thank your vet. That simple gesture of kindness really goes a long way.