On today’s show I am talking to Candice Pacholuk, Practice Manager at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital. She joins us today to discuss her journey with the hospital as it grew from a small mobile unit into a 10,000 square foot hospital. We also discuss the challenges that Covid brought to the industry, the pivots, the silver linings and balancing her personal life with the demands of such a large team.
As someone who had a passion for biology and animal sciences, when Candice saw a job posting at NIC to work as a receptionist in a small veterinary hospital, she decided to apply. Now, Candice juggles logistics, administration, marketing, recruitment and client care.
Most of her time is spent working with people, but sometimes she has to jump into the trenches and hold animals, clean kennels and support the reception team. Being able to do this when needed allows Candice to see the clinic from the perspective of her team. There’s also the little-known community and marketing aspect of managing a hospital that people don’t necessarily think of, which Candice really enjoys.
As a Type A personality, she sometimes finds it hard to let go of some aspects of her job but she is grateful to have been given a lot of freedom to grow over the years and tries to extend those growth opportunities to others. She has come to rely on and trust her capable and hardworking team to keep everything running smoothly.
With COVID, the industry faced a perfect storm of being told they had to cut back on services and on face-to-face interactions at the same time as demand for care was increasing. This made the communication between clinic and clients, an important tentpole of veterinary medicine, a lot more difficult. It’s impossible to physically distance in the industry and the PPE and sanitizers makes staff look and smell different to animals.
Some of the changes they implemented during COVID that will likely continue were the implementation of staff teams within the hospital and an answering service staffed by registered Veterinary Technicians. One of the things they are most excited about is being able to see owners and other staff members face to face again in the near future.
The veterinary industry currently has one of the highest rates of professional suicide. That’s why Candice along with her co-workers and other professionals have been bringing awareness to the mental health issues related to veterinary medicine through social media and we talk about the #NotOneMoreVet movement.
We also hear about how clients can advocate for their pets whilst showing compassion for clinic staff, and why its important to bring up concerns with hospitals and practitioners before taking them to social media. Additionally, we talk about both the long and short term implications of the global shortage of Veterinarians.
Connect with Candice or the Hospital at :