Flexible Scheduling Tips
Flexible Scheduling Tips
Flexible Scheduling Tips
- Utilize part-time veterinarians to fill your long-term need for extra help. Use relief veterinarians on a temporary basis to fill your need when you are away at CE or vacations. (See FlexVet book for tax tips on the differences.)
- Welcome your Flex-Vet as part of your team. Express enthusiasm to your entire team about the role of the part-time or relief veterinarian.
- Provide pro-rated benefits to every part-time veterinarian.
- Make an effort to educate clients about the time-availability of each veterinarian. The entire team must express positive support of every veterinarian so that clients feel confident about their pet’s care, no matter which veterinarian sees them.
- Create standards for service and medical approaches to ensure consistency. Medical record keeping must be outstanding!
- Create a time to talk with your Flex-Vet, both individually and with the team (team meetings must be coordinated).
- Help your employer with communicating about cases. Medical record keeping must be outstanding!
- Make an effort to attend team meetings.
- Help come up with ideas to ensure that everyone on the team knows what is going on, all the time. Ensure that you are working in a practice with standards and a culture that are congruent with your values.
- Clearly communicate with clients about your availability and hours; show positive support for team veterinarians.
- Use the book FlexVet to help you with more information.
Dr. Smith can help veterinarians who are considering a change in their career path. She suggests that you first peruse Chapters 1 and 2 of the book Career Choices for Veterinarians, since that offers a self-assessment approach that will help you prioritize and focus. That gives many people a great start to an action plan for looking closer at specific career paths as outlined in the book. Once you have done that, if you have further questions, feel free to contact Dr. Smith (see the contact us page). Depending on your needs, she may be able to help you specifically or refer you to an appropriate career coach.
Instead of first thinking of jobs, first look at your priorities. Dr. Smith suggests you do a self-assessment whereby you look at your ‘life priorities’ and ‘must-haves,’ starting with where you can live. If you have geographic limitations then you would have fewer or different options. If you do want to stay at or near where you currently live, then look at what is around you — community colleges, medical facilities, or business/companies that you might find interesting. There is a lot of overlap with veterinary and other health care fields, so consider positions in fields such as human medical research or medical writing. You may also be qualified to teach science courses at a local college, or at a veterinary technology school. Find out whether any human or animal pharmaceutical or pet food companies have offices near you.
When location is not a priority, then make a list of the daily activities you like best. Do you want a physically active job? Do you want to travel (daily, by car, or nationwide, or internationally? Do you like teaching? Are you interested in being self-employed? Answering these questions can lead you to the career path that will offer you the best fit.
A housecall vet usually uses an ordinary car or van, and carries minimal equipment. Services are confined to minor procedures, “wellness” care, behavior, nutrition, and hospice. A mobile veterinarian uses a “hospital on wheels,” which may contain equipment for surgery and radiology.
Yes, but it is loosely organized and the contact people continually change. If you attend any large national veterinary meeting, you may find a notice about an informal meeting of the American Association of Housecall Veterinarians. Another option is to look in your own local phone book under “veterinarians,” for “housecall.” Veterinarians who participate in the Veterinary Information Network may talk with other housecall doctors on that site. Also look for the House Call veterinarian’s group on Linked In.
No one keeps track of the number of housecall veterinarians. It appears that there are many veterinarians interested in this kind of work, and many pet owners who appreciate the service.
Housecall practice is good for anyone who has the initiative to run their own business. It allows one to control their own schedule. However, as with other “work from home” jobs, it is work, and thus child care is not necessarily easier. It does allow people to create a schedule that fits with their childrens’ schedules, though.
Relief doctors are self-employed individuals who provide temporary relief for situations such as vacations or holidays. Part-time doctors are employees who work regularly, even if it is only one day a week, at one or more hospitals. The details about the difference are elucidated in the book “FlexVet.”
Relief work involves working full-time on a temporary basis. Thus, it is not a “family-friendly” schedule. Relievers can decide whether to work any given week of the year, but in general, one must work full shifts each day. People who want regular, predictable time with their families are better off choosing part-time work.
Part-timers can be loyal, long-term team members, if they are treated as such. Ask them to participate in creating scheduling and structure that ensures all hours and work are covered, and there is clear communication across shifts. Details about how to do this are described in the book FlexVet.