Project Listen: The insights
Vets, nurses, and teams from across the profession were all evenly represented throughout the responses, with over 97% of responses coming from small animal practice in the UK.
Wellbeing was a key theme, and the benefits of working with a strong team and good leadership were clearly demonstrated. Work/life balance was better where teams worked collaboratively to manage the workload, and many comments were also submitted about working hours and client engagement.
Strikingly there was a huge amount of feedback on the impact that negative clients behaviour can have on the wellbeing and stress levels of veterinary professionals, in particular the front of house teams.
Some nurses commented on being unable to do the work they were trained to do, instead covering other roles, and jumping between one task and another.
Veterinary surgeons from across the profession were united in their concerns about the relentless pressure and workload they must deal with every day. Breaks, never leaving on time and pay were also high on the agenda of respondents.
The verbatim comments also highlighted the huge passion felt across the profession. The dedication and energy veterinary teams have for caring for their clients’ pets shone through and they chose to use this survey as a chance to showcase what made their working environment great.
Health and wellbeing
We asked why people are finding the profession tough right now
High client demand, lack of resource and unreflective pay has resulted in practitioners feeling overworked and stressed.
We asked respondents to rate their current health and wellbeing
60% rated their wellbeing as good, excellent or neutral with 40% saying either not that good or poor. This split was even across the different roles.
We asked respondents what's most important for good health and wellbeing
When we asked respondents what is important for good health and wellbeing, the top three answers were split differently across the roles.
We asked if respondents knew where to find mental health support
60% said they did, yet still many do not know, suggesting more needs to be done to support practice colleagues.
We asked respondents why certain factors were important
We asked respondents why support with challenging clients, mental health support and flexibility were key. The top themes were similar to those rated for health and wellbeing.
We asked people to rate their current work/life balance
The majority rated their current work/life balance not that good or poor, a theme present across all roles, but particularly seen among vets.
We asked people what factors would improve their work/life balance
Leaving on time is seen as the #1 factor with 52% of respondents highlighting it. Better workload and more holidays were also identified.
We asked the respondents with a good work/life what their most important factors were
Protected admin time is seen as key among respondents who have a good work/life balance.
We asked respondents to rate their current work benefits
Overall 57% rated them as good, excellent and neutral with 43% rating their benefits as not that good or poor. In contrast, almost 50% of support colleagues rated benefits neutral and almost 50% of nurses rated them as poor or not that good.
We asked respondents how important a range of benefits were to them
Better pension contribution, income protection and sick pay came out as preferred benefits for all practitioners. The relative importance of each benefit was similar, but there were some differences between roles.