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Veterinary Shortages Are One of the Biggest Drivers of Stress for Veterinary Teams, Says Study

A study from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Merk Animal Hospital has found that veterinary shortages are one of the primary drivers of stress for veterinary professionals. 

The study, which documents wellbeing concerns experienced by those in the US veterinary sector, found that worker shortages have been putting huge pressures on veterinary teams. It also found that a lack of access to mental health resources was also contributing to the problem. 

‘Veterinary medicine is a profession that comes with the great satisfaction of caring for animals, but it also includes risk for mental and physical burnout as well as compassion fatigue,’ said Joseph Hahn, DVM, the executive director of Merck Animal Health. 

‘Our third wellbeing study in partnership with the AVMA is key in defining the underlying turbulence that is increasing these stressors across the profession while helping us identify the most impactful solutions to energize and strengthen mental health for current and future veterinarians, technicians, and support staff.’

For more on this story, click here. 

A Sixth Vet Hospital Unionizes in the US

Another large veterinary hospital has joined the ranks of five others, after voting this week to unionize. Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services (VSES), in Rochester, New York, was recently acquired by Pathway Vet Alliance and is the largest hospital to unionize thus far. 

Staff members said that their decision was driven by their dissatisfaction with the consolidator. 

‘We just felt that the support wasn’t there anymore, and we didn’t have a voice and we didn’t know who was making the decisions,’ said Sam Estes, a licensed veterinary technician who has worked at VSES for nearly 14 years.

In response, Pathway (which is now called Thrive Pet Healthcare) told Vin News that:

‘We have been and continue to strive to be a leading employer in the veterinary profession. We believe that the pets who bring wellness and joy to all of us deserve exceptional care from people and professionals who are loved, respected, and thriving too. We also believe that our teams are better served without union representation but respect the election-related process. We remain committed to creating a supportive and thriving environment for our teams and serving our patients and pet families.’

For more on this story, click the link here

Vets Celebrate the One Health Initiative in Wales 

Vets across the UK have applauded the institution of a brand new ‘One Health’ initiative in Wales. 

The initiative will bring forward a number of plans which will improve the veterinary profession. Some of the main proposals include: 

  • The recognition of the veterinary role in improving animal health and welfare through the Animal Health Improvement Cycle.
  • The commitment to uphold animal welfare standards and protect and promote ‘Brand Wales’ in future trade deals.
  • A collaborative approach to veterinary surveillance across the UK.
  • Targeted plans to tackle priority animal diseases, such as BVD and sheep scab. 
  • A renewed commitment to introduce CCTV in slaughterhouses.
  • Plans to create a national model for animal welfare regulation.

BVA Welsh Branch President Collin Willson said:

‘There is a huge amount to be welcomed in this comprehensive plan and we’re delighted to see vets positioned at the center of delivering these key actions to improve animal health and welfare across Wales.’

‘We’re particularly pleased to see the plan framed under a One Health approach, which recognizes the interdependence of animals, humans, and the environment. As vets, we’re keen to work alongside our colleagues in other disciplines to tackle some of the greatest challenges we face as a society- from antimicrobial resistance to climate change.’

‘This is an ambitious plan, and it’s essential that there is a commitment to adequate funding and legislation to underpin the actions and make sure they are deliverable.’

To read more, click here. 

More Than Half of Vets Working Overtime Are Not Being Paid For their Work 

Results from a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) survey have found that a whopping 53% of vets asked to work overtime are not being compensated for it. 

The research, which was carried out by the Institute for Employment Studies, also found that 21% of veterinary nurses were not being rewarded for their extra effort. 

BVA president Justine Shotton said that the figures show how the industry still has work to do in moving away from a workplace culture that leaves staff feeling undervalued and overworked.

‘This report really hits home how hard veterinary professionals have worked over the past year while contending with multiple pressures.’

‘A theme throughout is one of teams stepping up, adapting and supporting each other in order to keep animal health and welfare front and center in the face of unprecedented challenges.’

For more on this story, click here. 

87% of Veterinary Practices in Australia Have Been Hit by Omicron-Related Staff Shortages

Omicron-related absences are causing mass disruption across Australia, with 87% of practices having to deal with shortages. 

The data, which was collected as part of an Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) study, found that almost a third of practices were having to limit their hours, with 25% having to close completely. 

As a result, the AVA has asked state and territory governments to allow veterinary teams to manage their close contacts to ensure veterinary services can continue to be delivered as usual. 

For more on this story, click here. 

How Working Night Shifts May be Impacting Your Brain 

Although many veterinary practices outsource emergency cases nowadays, it is not uncommon for professionals to have long, unpredictable schedules. 

But what impact can this have on your health?

Night shift work affects individuals at the biological level. Disruptions in the sleep cycle can cause insomnia, digestive issues, poorer mental function, irritability, and reduced efficiency. 

Those working night hours tend to experience more disruption when trying to sleep during the day, which, in turn, can be detrimental to physical and mental wellbeing. 

So next time you accept that late shift, make sure you’re looking after yourself!

For more on this subject, click here.

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