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How to Prevent Burnout When Running a Veterinary Clinic

How to Prevent Burnout When Running a Veterinary Clinic

Burnout is common among veterinarians. One study found that 88 percent of veterinarians who experience stress also experience burnout. Burnout, of course, is a form of stress. It’s a mental state in which you feel overwhelmed and exhausted due to a large, prolonged workload. While you’ll inevitably experience some stressful days when running a veterinary clinic, there are ways to protect yourself from burnout. If you’re beginning to feel the effects of burnout, you should consider the following tips.

Hire Paraveterinary Workers

You don’t have to run your veterinary clinic alone; you can hire paraveterinary workers to give you a helping hand. Paraveterinary workers are employees who assist veterinarians. They aren’t licensed veterinarians themselves. Rather, paraveterinary workers work alongside licensed veterinarians.

Veterinary technicians and veterinary technologists are classified as paraveterinary workers. With veterinary technicians and veterinary technologists on your clinic’s payroll, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll have assistance. Paraveterinary workers can examine clients’ pets, collect blood and tissue samples, prepare pets for surgery and more. As a result, you’ll be less likely to experience burnout. Paraveterinary workers will take some of the burden of running a veterinary clinic off your shoulders so that you experience less stress.

Don’t Overbook Your Appointment Calendar

To prevent burnout, make sure that you don’t overbook your veterinary clinic’s appointment calendar. Even if your veterinary clinic accepts walk-ins, it probably allows clients to book an appointment. Appointments ensure that your veterinary clinic is always operating while moving clients in and out. But you should caution to ensure that you don’t overbook your clinic’s appointment calendar.

An overbooked appointment calendar can lead to burnout. If you book too many appointments for a given week, you may not be able to see all of those clients. Instead, you’ll have to reschedule the appointments for some of the clients — and you’ll probably experience high levels of stress either with or without burnout.

Improve Your Health

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), veterinarians can protect themselves from burnout by focusing on their health. If you spend most of your time running a veterinary clinic, you probably won’t have much time to eat nutritious foods and exercise. The end result is poorer health that can increase your risk of burnout.

Prioritizing your personal health, though, will have a positive impact on your ability to manage and run a veterinary clinic. You’ll feel more energized, experience less stress and have a lower risk of burnout. To improve your health, try to get into the habit of exercising regularly and eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet.

Invest in the Right Equipment

Don’t underestimate the importance of equipment when running a veterinary clinic. All clinics need equipment. From surgical instruments to syringes, scales, stethoscopes and more, you’ll need to secure a wide range of equipment to keep your clinic up and running.

The type of equipment your clinic has, as well as the quality of its equipment, can affect your stress levels. Low-quality equipment is oftentimes difficult to use. And even if you’re able to use it, low-quality equipment may suffer from defects or other performance issues. Investing in high-quality equipment, on the other hand, will make your job easier. It may cost more than low-quality equipment. Nonetheless, high-quality equipment will streamline your clinic’s day-to-day operations while reducing unnecessary stress in the process.

Take a Vacation

When was the last time that you took a vacation? Veterinarians who rarely or never take a vacation are far more likely to experience burnout than their counterparts. Working for long periods without taking a vacation is a risk factor for burnout. It may not occur immediately, but you’ll eventually experience stress that paves the way to burnout.

Taking a vacation just once a year can have a positive impact on your stress levels. It will give your body and mind a chance to reset. When you return to your veterinary clinic, you’ll feel rejuvenated. If you’re beginning to experience burnout, perhaps it’s time for a vacation.

Know When to Drop Bad Clients

Some veterinarians assume that they must keep all of their clients. After getting a new client to make his or her first appointment, they’ll do everything in their power to retain the client. The problem with this approach is that not all clients are the same. Some of them are more demanding than others. And if you’re adamant on keeping all of your clinic’s clients, you may end up with some bad apples that create a stressful environment for you and your employees.

Don’t be afraid to drop bad clients. While all clients are a source of revenue, they can also be a source of stress. Keeping bad clients will only increase your risk of burnout. By dropping them, you’ll create a more relaxing environment for you and your employees while lowering the risk of burnout.

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