Rory the Vet has been a vet for over six years. He has over 40,000 followers on Instagram, he’s featured on CBBC, Pet Factor and Blue Peter and has his own book- The Secret Life of a Vet. He describes himself as workaholic but is learning how to balance that and wishes to put his experience to good use for other veterinary professionals.
In our inaugural podcast episode, we explore themes around mental health, the future of veterinary practices, useful technology and sustainability. It is all in aid of helping veterinary staff in their personal and professional lives. Tune in and find out more.
Split-second decision making – how to cope
The emergency room…getting your PPE act together in a split-second… but I need to save a dog’s life?!
As we dive into what Rory feels the biggest challenge has been, we explore how insane (even that word is an understatement) it has been for frontline professionals in times of social distancing– Rory reminds us that anyone who has worked in a clinic- knows it’s not possible at times.
The appropriate social distancing, the PPE requirements, small spaces – put a stressed cat or dog in there, and you’re trying to take blood, you’ve got two nurses holding it etc. It’s just not doable’! He says. You cannot social distance. The knock-on effects, and when teams have been stretched over the last 18 months, you need that human interaction. That’s one of the benefits, we’ve been able to see people, but it’s been in a non-human way, we couldn’t hug our colleagues, we couldn’t have a cup of coffee normally.’ he continues. “It just didn’t feel like the profession we all know and love and that for me was the biggest challenge.
But it’s understanding how to work as a group and a team. And the takeaway is that, when you’re potentially in life or death situations every day, you, the vet, the GP, the nurse, the frontline worker, are the hero. You sacrifice your life, your safety and take that risk to save another life. And that is an honor. That is something you should feel peace in. And we thank you every day for your contribution to society.
New adjustments – triage, prioritizing and claiming time back
What’s changed in behaviors, operations and processes?
Post-COVID-19 world – telehealth is the way forward
Rory feels telehealth is the way forward but cautions against over-reliance.
People just want advice and reassurance, a helping hand and peace of mind, a quick way to access this. Rory reminds us that time efficiencies can be won back with telehealth and teleconsults.
You can explore more about our Rapport, our communication tool here
Mental health and coping mechanisms
There’s a backlog of emergency appointments of routine stuff that we’re trying to fit in around our emergencies and even neutering’s vaccines which have been ignored in the last 12 months. There’s a huge strain on time and hard to see an end to it.
Personally I feel strongly about talking to someone. Most vets know someone personally who has taken their life. It’s a horrible statistic.
But that’s why – talking as a step one. Each person needs to identify what that coping mechanism is, because it’s each to their own. It could be baking, it could be dog walking, going to the pub with mates. Whatever it is – identify it and use that to your advantage.
Learn the power of saying no and offload to VetLife
To address that, Rory reminds us the power of learning to say no sometimes. That is critical too because it gives you the balance back and you simply cannot pour from an empty cup.
Consumption habits at your vet clinic – learn to adapt
Don’t view monetization as evil.
Being commercial and business-minded doesn’t take away your status as a passionate-animal-loving human being. And at the end of the day, you have a life to live, bills to pay and a desire to run a successful clinic.
Using technology to your advantage.
Again Rory tells it like it is.
He agrees that clinics need to be the trailblazers.
And yet we also know the advantages of technology from app-based access to clinical notes, appointment scheduling, client communication, telemedicine and more. Rory agrees, where he sees how it can offer much better efficiencies, admitting how the industry has to be more willing, and coming from the millennial generation, is tech saavy himself, so despite the traditional vs modern clash, sees the benefits.
Characters, traits and skills- how to be a successful veterinarian
Communication. Is. The. Key.
“…they will think you are god…” What is Rory talking about? Read on to find out more
Seems common sense right? Of course you have to be a good communicator, how else would you be able to do the job?
Rory dives into the secrets of being a good communicator and why we should invest more of our time in it. He sees it as the most useful trait and skill to work on.
Every single thing we do is about communication. Whether it be with a client, colleague, pet, management or a specialist. It is all communication based. Becoming an effective communicator is the biggest thing, both as a new grad or experienced clinician. You might not be the best GP in the world, but If you can communicate well with a client and explain a condition to an owner, they will think you are God. It’s crazy, because I’m a good vet, don’t get me wrong, but am I going to set the world alight clinically – no. I’m a bog-standard GP. But I really do believe in my communication skills, and that is what I believe, going back to millennial pet parents- that is what want- good communication.
It’s not just the veterinary industry – as a human being – we know about global warming, being concerned with plastics, waste, land-use, greenhouses, all of it – everyone should be concerned.
Vet Sustain is a fantastic resource to help clinics and professionals implement those behaviours. Assign advocates at your work, get champions. Rory and his clinic have formed a Green Team at work. You can also check out our Q&A with Gudun Ravetz at Vet Sustain who can help you take those steps and even a very practical Greener practice checklist which you can view and download.
No 2:digest your emotions, we can go from elated in seeing a new puppy to absolutely devastated, borderlines tears or even crying over a patient and the stress. If we don’t take the time to digest emotions, I think if we don’t take our time to think about how we felt, they can eat us up on the inside.
For resources mentioned in this podcast:
The Neighbourhood Vet