Question for you: do you get a regular lunch break every day? Did you just actually LOL? It’s more common than not to hear our veterinary colleagues say they do not get a chance to take a break for lunch (or even to use the bathroom) on a daily basis.
I was definitely one of those people. Too often lunchtime came and went while I was running around taking blood, monitoring a surgery running long, on the phone with a client, or running lab samples. For me, and now I realize for the majority of veterinary team members, this became “the norm”. Now that I am out of that environment and can look at the situation from the outside in, I can’t help but ask, why is taking an opportunity to find a small respite outside of the clinic craziness considered a privilege?
It might seem like a small issue, but when you consider the droves of technicians leaving the field, the inability to take a mid-day breather can majorly impact how one is able to cope with their responsibilities. In the long run, a 30-60 minute guaranteed daily lunch break can have a huge impact on your team’s overall happiness.
And no, in case you’re in denial and think that inhaling a sandwich while examining a blood smear in between appointments counts, it doesn’t. Prioritize a real break. Read a book. Play a game on your phone. Heck, take a nap if you want!
This might mean some shift coverage changes within your team. It might mean finding a way to improve communication so it’s easier for people to take a step away from the clinic without interruption (Was the fecal test run? Are the meds made up? What was Fluffy’s temp? When is she ready to go home?). But as someone who now gets a regular lunch break, I can assure you that it is a small change that will make a significant positive impact on your team.