But the Vets4Pets programme is not about animals, for it is frequently the human owners who pose the problems.
The practice, which is part of the Pets at Home group, has partnered with VetLed to launch civility training for all workers.
The bespoke programme is believed to be the first to be rolled out by a major veterinary employer and it follows the results of Vets4Pets’ inaugural Project Listen report.
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The report surveyed more than 700 vets, nurses and support teams across the industry to better understand the key challenges facing the profession.
Some 61% cited the need for more support in dealing with “challenging client behaviours” and identified it as one of the most important factors.
This echoed a poll conducted by VetLed, which revealed that 97% of respondents had been on the receiving end of incivility in practice. This can take the form of rudeness, aggression, disrespect, disregard or arrogance.
The training programme will give Vets4Pets workers the tools, knowledge and confidence to identify instances of incivility, to understand its impact in the workplace and to find ways of reducing it. It has been designed to guide them on how to manage incivility from clients and co-workers and how to establish a culture that is conducive for team wellbeing and patient safety.
Dr Samantha Butler-Davies BVSc MRCVS, Veterinary Clinical Services Manager at Vets4Pets, said: “Our objective for Project Listen was to gain a true understanding of the pressures veterinary teams are under so we could act and drive positive change. This training is just one part of that, but it is so important as being on the receiving end of challenging behaviours doesn’t just have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, but on team cohesion, team culture and job satisfaction too.
“Incivility takes many forms, from disrespectful and impolite behaviours to deliberately aggressive body language, and we don’t want anyone to be a victim of this, as everyone has the right to work in a safe and secure environment...We’re confident the programme developed by VetLed will equip our colleagues with practical tips that they can roll out in the workplace.”