Trust: A Barrier to Efficiency?

By VHMA Admin posted 01-24-2024 06:19


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The business of veterinary medicine is rapidly evolving with a concerted push for improved efficiency. The industry’s recent focus on efficiency has identified the practice’s most significant, yet underutilized resource, the credentialed veterinary technician (CVT). Widespread underutilization of CVTs is leading to interconnected problems that include financial losses, staff retention issues, and poor customer service. 

When we look at the root causes of the underutilization issue, we find that one significant factor appears to be a lack of trust between veterinarians and CVTs. While CVTs are trained to perform a broad range of tasks, many veterinarians are doing those tasks themselves. Why is this? Veterinarians should rely on their CVTs to perform tasks that don’t require a veterinarian’s higher level of knowledge and skills. The fear of legal repercussions from a technician error contributes to the lack of trust, but this fear is unfounded as statistics from veterinary boards show that veterinarians are rarely prosecuted for technician mistakes when proper protocols and training are in place.

The underutilization of CVTs is a multifaceted issue that has far-reaching implications for veterinary practices. Managers must take the time to evaluate how the work in their practice gets done. What is being done by who. They should consider if their systems and operations are leveraging their resources to the maximum extent and if they are not, they need to take a deeper dive to understand why their current systems exist. Only after identifying the “why” can practices design better solutions to problems with different outcomes.

Additionally, veterinary technicians must also take a proactive approach in advocating for themselves and their role within the practice. This can include having open and honest conversations with their employers about their training and capabilities and actively seeking out opportunities to further their professional development. By building trust and showcasing their knowledge and skills, CVTs can help break down the barriers to their own efficiency and increase their value within the practice.

In the end, trust is a crucial component in creating an efficient and successful practice. By acknowledging and addressing trust issues between veterinarians and CVTs, we can create a more collaborative and cohesive workforce that maximizes the talents and abilities of all team members. This, in turn, will lead to improved efficiency, increased job satisfaction, and ultimately better care for our patients. Let’s work together to break down the barriers to trust and utilize all of our resources to their fullest potential.

Posted on behalf of the Ethics Committee.