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Training Documentation Strategies for Unlicensed Vet Technicians

    a vet giving a dog a head rub, representing the importance of a good training documentation strategy

    Across the country, veterinary hospitals and clinics are struggling to keep up with the demand for pet care. With so many people forced out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, practices being understaffed, and a rapid increase in pet adoption. Pet owners are having a harder time getting a routine checkup for their furry family members. Now as businesses open back up, veterinarians may have to turn to unlicensed vet techs to counter the strenuous workload. However, before pursuing this course of action, vets make sure to have the right training documentation strategy to ensure new hires will help not hinder your veterinary hospital or clinic.

    Here are some training documentation strategies to help with the recent staffing shortages. 

    Scope of Training – An effective training documentation strategy starts with defining the needs of a veterinary practice. It should also establish what the training process should entail and how it will be enforced to employees that need to be trained. Many vet clinics often make the mistake of not implementing consistent training which can lead to harmful mistakes to both employees and animals. When it comes to any strategy, make sure to define and address all training objectives from animal health procedures, facility equipment, surgeries, compliance guidelines, safety equipment, technology, management, and more. 

    Audience – Understanding who your audience is will help you determine how to create the most useful training documentation strategy. Managers at a vet hospital should keep in mind the type of unlicensed vet tech they want to hire. For instance, some individuals may pursue a career solely as a veterinarian or and those who simply don’t mind working in this field. Taking a chance on individuals who simply have a love for animals or just want a job will require more training. For some practices, this may not be an issue because they will only hire vet techs who are licensed. However, since staffing shortages are an issue for many vet practices during this time of COVID-19, many establishments may have to accommodate those who may not be as knowledgeable as someone who is experienced and licensed.

    Learning Styles – Everyone learns differently, so identifying learning styles will ensure better development for training documentation. In a vet hospital, mentor matching is a learning style that may be suitable to improve the skills of unlicensed vet techs. With this style in place, managers will need to document all policies and procedures that come with shadowing a more experienced employee. Documents should detail who are the trainees, the duration of the training program, and other aspects depending on job position and objectives.

    Department & Services Tools – While an employee may be an unlicensed vet tech, they often do just as much work as someone who is licensed. However, for those whose skills and knowledge are limited, properly documenting how to use equipment or the rules and guidelines in the various departments will help both new and existing employees. Also, productivity will remain consistent. Veterinary departments may include intensive care units, ophthalmology, internal medicine, surgery, neurology, oncology, and more. Training documents should be created for each department. If a worker has never euthanized an animal, there should be appropriate documents to explain the process of how this procedure works.

    Health Protocols – As the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 virus, health protocols need to be in place to ensure the safety of both the staff and animals. Depending on where your practice is located, and its size will determine the rules and regulations you should enforce. All vet practices should document these health protocols to keep employees aware and safe.

    Finances – When it comes to labor shortage for many vet practices it all comes down to money. For some places, they can’t afford to train, and others simply do not want to do it. However, for the clinics that understand well-trained employees are essential to the success of their practice. They know investing time and money into them will be beneficial in the long run. While smaller vet practices may already be financially strained due to the pandemic. For establishments that have the money, creating a training budget document to outline all expenses will help you to determine what department and skills you want to improve upon for your unlicensed vet tech. 

    Conclusion

    During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, veterinarians may have to turn to change their hiring techniques to counter staffing shortages. While hiring unlicensed vet technicians may solve part of the problem. Providing them with the appropriate training documents will ensure success through any workplace issues.

    Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us

    Written by Kimberly Jones

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