🌟 How to Make Your Practice the #1 Choice for Locum Relief Talent
In today’s fast-moving veterinary landscape, securing the right Locum Reelief talent is paramount. As a practice owner or manager, you’re not just looking for temporary relief; you’re seeking dedicated veterinarians, veterinary nurses, and veterinary technicians who can seamlessly integrate into your team and uphold your practice’s standards. Easily said, hard to achieve. So, here is your roadmap to not only finding but also engaging with and retaining top-tier locum relief veterinary professionals. Discover key insights and strategies to help you stand out in a competitive market, ensuring that every locum relief vet, nurse, or tech that you admire has you at the top of their list of preferred practices…
Locating your next Locum Relief Job or Team Member
Why enter the friendly fray for relief Veterinary Professionals? At first glance, it might seem odd that you have to compete for relief support. After all, relief work is gaining popularity, and the number of relief veterinarians in the United States rose by 30% from 2008 to 2018.
Regrettably, it isn’t always a breeze to find a relief veterinarian, nurse, or tech when you need one. According to veterinary staffing agencies, it may take weeks or many months to locate a relief vet. If you’re aiming to fill an immediate staffing void or bring in some relief help to get through a bustling season, a delay of months is probably not what you had in mind.
By taking an inventive, proactive approach and making your practice irresistible to relief vets, you can seriously boost your odds of attracting top-quality help in a reasonable timeframe.
Start by evaluating your practice and making necessary updates
Just like full-time colleagues, relief Veterinary Professionals usually want to work in a practice that aligns with their overall medical philosophy. If your practice serves up outdated medicine in a timeworn facility lacking modern equipment and supplies, you may find it challenging to discover a relief vet.
If you’ve been contemplating improvements but haven’t taken action, now’s the time to tackle those tasks. All else being equal, a sleek, state-of-the-art practice will likely find it easier to attract relief help than an outdated one.
Set aside some time for an honest, thoughtful look at your practice
Ponder these questions, being sincere in your responses:
- Does your practice have the medical equipment necessary to provide top-notch care, such as thermometers, otoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, functioning lab and radiology equipment, and other supplies?
- Does your practice carry a variety of commonly used medications?
- Are your exam rooms tidy and well-stocked? Is your treatment area clean, well-stocked, and well-organized?
- Do you have a sufficient number of trained support staff? Do you have appropriate anesthetic medications, anesthesia monitoring equipment, and pain medication?
Although you might have learned to work around your practice’s limitations, these constraints may hinder your ability to attract relief help. You don’t necessarily need to overhaul your facility or change your entire practice philosophy, but a few straightforward updates may help your practice appear more appealing.
Be imaginative and adaptable in your search
Sign up for a subscription to Veterinary Locumotion to get matched with locum relief staff in real time. There are, of course, other ways to find relief help. You might choose to run an advertisement, respond to ads placed by relief Veterinary Professionals, or ask other local practices for suggestions, or join veterinary jobs Social Media Groups. No matter how you find and connect with potential candidates, though, be prepared to “sell” your practice a little bit. You may need to compete with other practices to attract a relief vet.
Start by highlighting what makes your practice exceptional
Concentrate on medical quality, showcasing the level of care your practice offers and the tools a relief vet will have at their disposal. Emphasize other perks of your work environment, such as a high support staff-to-doctor ratio, credentialed veterinary technicians, 30-minute appointments, and so on. And finally, don’t be shy to mention other benefits that your practice or location offers. Is your practice situated in a trendy downtown area that allows your relief vet to explore fun shops or restaurants during their lunch break? If you’re seeking longer-term relief coverage (for a vacation or maternity leave), can you provide housing and make your area sound like an appealing spot for a family getaway? Do you offer a longer lunch break or earlier closing time than other practices? You never know what little factors might appeal to someone, so don’t hesitate to mention anything that could make your practice stand out.
When you find an interested relief Veterinary Professional, focus on negotiating an agreement that’s a win-win for both of you
Ideally, you might want someone who can work 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. with a one-hour lunch. However, some vets may need to leave by 4:30 p.m. to pick a child up from daycare, come in a bit later in the morning, or appreciate a longer lunch break. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Perfect is the enemy of good?” Don’t miss out on a fantastic relief veterinarian because you’re seeking perfection. Consider which factors are non-negotiable in your search and where you have room for flexibility.
Ensure your relief Veterinary Professional has the best first day possible to guarantee repeat visits
Working with a relief veterinarian, nurse, or technician, especially one you hope to have returned in the future, isn’t much different from welcoming a new employee. Sure, relief team members are expected to dive in and be productive immediately, but you still want to make sure they feel welcome in your practice and that everything runs smoothly.
One recommended way to set the scene for a great first day (and a longer-term relationship) is to set aside the first 30 to 45 minutes of the first shift for a briefing and practice walk-through with you or your shift leadership in a larger practice – think of it as an investment in future productivity. This helps to ensure that your new relief team member can become better acquainted with your team, can find things easily without always having to ask and enhances their confidence prior to meeting their first client and patient (hat tip to Dr Sheree S, DVM in California 🌞).
Speak positively about your relief veterinarian or tech to your employees and clients
Clients may be hesitant to see a relief team member, especially if they sense any uncertainty from your front desk staff. Additionally, surprising your clients with a relief veterinarian is never a good idea. Talk positively about the relief vet to your team, and encourage them to pass this positivity on to your clients. If clients are excited to see the new relief vet, instead of apprehensive, this will result in a better day for both your relief vet and your team.
Try to schedule your relief Veterinary Professionals’ first day on a day when you’ll be working, so you’re available to help them acclimate to your practice. If you won’t be working, select an experienced team member (such as your office manager) who can welcome them and help them get settled on their first day. This “host” can give them a brief clinic tour, introduce them to key team members, show them where to place their belongings, help get them set up on your practice’s computer system, and answer any questions that arise during the day.
Pair your relief veterinarian or technician with a friendly, experienced team member for appointments. They should not only possess appropriate technical skills but also be familiar with your practice’s protocols and standard operating procedures. Having a team member who can help “drive” appointments that first day (in a helpful, non-pushy way) can enable the relief vet to concentrate on medical tasks as they become familiar with the flow of your hospital.
Some people might tolerate an unpleasant work environment in exchange for a high rate of pay. However, if your relief Veterinary Professional has many practices to choose from, providing a warm, delightful work environment will likely go a long way towards increasing the chances that they return to your practice.
Follow up with your relief Veterinary Professional promptly
Make sure to follow up with the relief veterinarian or nurse after their first day. If you worked together, this might be as simple as a brief chat in the treatment area before they leave. If you were off work, connect via email. The relief vet or technician will likely reach out to you with information on cases that need follow-up care, but you can also follow up by providing constructive, positive feedback on how the day went. If the day was a success, this is a good time to discuss the possibility of additional work together.
Your relief Veterinary Professional’s relief agreement will likely spell out the terms for payment, telling you whether you must pay them within 7 days or some other time period. If you are eager to have them return, it’s best to pay as soon as you receive an invoice. Clients who pay promptly, and without the need for reminders, are typically regarded as good clients, whom the relief Veterinary Professional will be glad to work for again in the future.
Competition for relief veterinarians can be intense. Investing some extra effort before, during, and after your search can help ensure that you find and retain the best relief vet possible. Signing up for a subscription to Veterinary Locumotion to get matched with locum relief Veterinary Professionals in real time may be the perfect solution. So, gear up, make your practice shine, and get ready to welcome some fantastic relief team members with open arms and a warm, fun atmosphere!
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