What the nurse shortage could mean for the veterinary industry

What the nurse shortage could mean for the veterinary industry

Recent graduates are leaving the nursing field after being met with overwhelming challenges. Could your team members do the same?
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Sep 10, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

More than one-quarter of new nurse graduates leave their first job within two years, according to a new study published in the July/August issue of Nursing Outlook. What does this mean for veterinary practices? It might be time to offer team members more training and increased communication.

Researchers surveyed 612 new nurses in 34 states and found that nurses were often dissatisfied with their jobs because of pressure to perform their jobs faster—even when the skills needed weren’t ones they learned in nursing school. Survey respondents said that nursing schools could better prepare students by adding eight-hour workdays to clinical training, courses on communicating with physicians, and instruction on making proper chart notations.

Practice managers, listen up: If you’re concerned that some of your newer team members are becoming overwhelmed, make sure you’re meeting their professional needs. Here are a few resources to get you started:

> Video: How to announce changes to the team—Follow these tips from Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, CEO of Innovative Veterinary Management Solutions, to get the whole team on board and excited about implementing new ideas.

> Make team members stick—When a clinic loses a team member, it takes double his or her salary to recruit and train someone new. Mark Opperman, CVPM, shows you how to bond employees to your practice.

> Change is happening. Is your team ready?—Follow these tips from Shawn McVey to ease your own stress, help team members adapt, impress your boss, and keep clients happy during transitional periods.

> Video: Role-playing done right—Practicing responses to client questions ensures every veterinary team member knows how to give helpful information. Here are some tips from veterinary practice manager Gina Toman that team members can use to act the part in front of peers so they can perform them perfectly in front of pet owners.

> Sample case study: Constant turnover—Here are some common causes—and the accompanying solutions—to staff turnover.