Pandemic lockdowns in the early days brought about a wave of pet adoptions by people who wanted to feel less alone. Fast forward 18 months and the same surge is now affecting vets.
California’s Newport Mesa Animal Hospital has a staff that is so dedicated to caring for pets.
“I have never seen a surge like this. I’ve been in this industry since 2002,”Eric Irwin, Newport Mesa Animal Hospital administrator, shares.
“This morning, within 60 minutes of opening, I announced to my staff we are at 125 percent capacity. No more today.”
The hospital sees 60 pets per day and has seen 200% more client appointments. Around half a dozen come in for surgery. Some animals are not able to fit in. This is unusual.
“When that happens, we have to refer them out to a neighboring veterinary hospital which historically you wouldn’t have sent them to a competitor,” Irwin adds. “We’re sharing patient-load together.”
This is a problem for employees who work long and difficult hours. According to industry statistics, 81% of vet professionals are burnt out.
“We’ve increased staffing levels to the heaviest they’ve been in 38 years since we’ve been open,”Irwin notes. “We’ve had an open position for 18 months. I can’t find staff to meet the demand.”
Anyone who doesn’t wish to be in this position should plan for their pet’s next veterinarian appointment at least a month before.
You should also thank the health-care heroes who help furry family members.