NI veterinary hospital urges clients to be considerate

NI veterinary hospital urges clients to be considerate

Cromlyn House Veterinary Hospital has urged animal owners to be kind to staff as they cope with mounting pressures.
A post on the Hillsborough facility’s Facebook page read: “Unfortunately we don’t want to have to write this but we are having to due to the pressures the veterinary world is under at the moment.
“All our staff try their hardest day in and day out to provide the best standard of care and customer service. They all strive to come in everyday and be the most compassionate, professional and friendly they can be to all our clients even under the daily stress and pressure they are all under.
“We ask all our clients please be considerate of our staff. If you order a prescription please understand it will take 48hours to be completed, if you are waiting for a phone call please understand the vets may be very busy and under a lot of stress and pressure and they haven’t forgotten about you. Please bear with us all.
“We will never forget about you and we will always get back and do our best for you. We will never tolerate our staff being abused. We understand your fur babies being sick can be very stressful for you but please understand and keep in mind we are all doing our best.
We thank all of our loyal clients and fur babies for understanding. ❤️
The plea comes in the wake of new research that found rudeness towards veterinary staff is linked to increased levels of anxiety and depression, alongside a greater risk of burnout and may prompt some to re-consider their future in the profession.

Led by psychologists at the University of Aberdeen the research looked at both client and co-worker incivility towards vets and veterinary nurses based across the UK and Ireland.

It  follows previous studies which have highlighted aggressive clients as a stressor for vets working alone, particularly when working on-call or at night.

Dr Amy Irwin from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Psychology led the research. She said: “Previous studies have looked at incidents of aggression but we wanted to establish the impact of low-level but more regular adverse behaviour towards veterinarians, how this is affecting their work and mental health and how they can be supported.

“The first study highlighted the importance of client behaviour, with veterinarians reporting that experiencing multiple instances of client rudeness could lead to them withdrawing from clients, either through reducing working hours or on-call commitments, or via a change in career focus.

“With reports showing that more than three million UK households have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic*, vets are under increased pressure.

“Clients themselves might also be struggling, with the financial aspect of veterinary care provision highlighted as a sensitive area, with several participants describing incidents that began when the client received the bill. Participants suggested this type of reaction could sometimes be based on client guilt, where the client chooses not to proceed, or refuses a treatment, because they cannot afford it.”