We spoke with our program master, expert on all things VT, and friend, Beckie Mossor, about the ever-evolving veterinary industry. From her thoughts on COVID19's impact on the industry to the importance of diversity, Beckie has a great brain to pick.
How are you managing during these times? How has your day-to-day changed?
Overall, I feel like I'm managing really well and am lucky to have the "problems" I encounter in these times as opposed to many of my colleagues. My travel has been canceled, but it's sort of nice to stay at home for a long stretch and be present. Additionally, from this COVID-19 pandemic canceling everything, we have created Vet Team Global Stream, an online conference for veterinary teams. It has all the features of an in-person conference, with the compliance of social-distancing! It's been a great project I'm very proud of.
How do you think COVID-19 will change the veterinary industry moving forward?
This is an interesting thing to think about, isn't it? I think there will be an overall residual impact that affects the way we interact with others in social settings. I feel we will have fewer paper receipts and manual transactions of items, maybe fewer individuals in the clinic at a time. I don't know. That being said, I've heard from so many of my colleagues that their clinics have made no changes, are not protecting them, and are seeking wellness care appointments because they are fearful of the financial impacts. I think it's sort of scary to think about how little we know about what the future of the veterinary industry will look like after this.
What do you think are the most important topics in the field of veterinary medicine today? Why?
Right now, the veterinary industry is shifting focus in many ways, and there are a lot of very important topics that are beginning to surface and gain momentum. There are so many important ones, so in no very particular order:
The Veterinary Nurse Initiative (VNI). As a veterinary technician, I think one of the most important conversations happening right now is the VNI. The VNI is working on several areas, including a title change, utilization guidelines, local leadership guidance in discussions regarding appropriate title use of the term Veterinary Technician in states where it's protected, and awareness among public members regarding the title Veterinary Technician. Concurrently, there is a petition against this initiative by members of the veterinary technician community as opposed to one or more areas of the VNI. The most important part of all of this is the need for voices on both sides, whichever one supports, and involvement in decision-making. Additionally, regardless of sides, this is advancing the profession and creating more awareness of our profession.
Diversity in our profession is another issue that I feel is incredibly essential for focus in our profession. There are two reasons I find this to be very important; first: patient care. I believe clients are more likely to communicate openly and honestly with us when they relate to us, trust us. This leads to better compliance and better patient outcomes; second: everyone deserves a shot at their dream. Some kids may not get the exposure to even know that the veterinary profession is their dream, they may not have access to resources for an education they need to live out this dream, and the lack of diversity remains.
There are several other important topics: The Human-Animal Bond, Veterinary Ethics, depression & suicide, work-life balance, One Health Initiative, and so many more! It's such an exciting and evolving time for our profession. I can't wait to see what we have in store for the future. I'm so glad that all of these important topics will be presented and discussed at Vet Shows US.
What are some of the trends for practice management in 2020?
Practice management is another area we see rising as an area of expertise and professionalism being elevated all the time! It's so exciting to see so many people becoming certified, specialized, and devoted to creating great practice cultures and systems.
I think recruiting and retention are going to be some of the hottest areas in 2020 with the current shortage of veterinary positions to fill available roles and credentialed veterinary technicians to meet the needs of practices. People are scrambling to know the best practices in recruiting talent, hiring practices, and retaining talented staff.
Other areas that I think are growing and at the forefront for many managers given the situation with COVID-19, are the changing trends in telehealth, technology, and meeting client needs and expectations as our client base develops to be dominated by the younger generations.
What is the main tip you would give to a new vet tech starting out these days?
Seriously though, be kind to yourself. There is a lot to learn. Stay humble, keep learning, there is room for everyone. This is the best profession--and if it was easy--anyone could do it. You are not just anyone, you are a veterinary professional.
What are you most looking forward to in programming Vet Show US?
This one is easy, there are 2 things.
First, I think just elevating individuals to further develop themselves professionally. That may be through inviting them to speak or through providing the most relevant information we can, delivered by individuals who have worked extremely hard and have dedicated their lives to being knowledgeable leaders in their area of expertise. Vet Shows are affordable, convenient, and fun; therefore, they are attracting a great crowd of passionate individuals!
Second, I get to attend these shows and see the impact we make. I can't wait to ATTEND, meet everyone, and see how we can get bigger and better every year!
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