As every strong veterinary team knows, it takes a village to run a practice smoothly. In the busy season and beyond, each person from veterinarian to volunteer plays a unique and integral part in providing exceptional pet care for patients and pet owners alike.
In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), we’ve rounded up some of the best ways through which animal care volunteers help build better veterinary clinics. Whether you’re celebrating your own volunteers or still on the fence about seeking unpaid help—here are some benefits to having an extra set of paws at your veterinary practice.
Make local connections
Think about it this way—hiring local volunteers is a surefire way to grow your veterinary clinic fast by forging valuable relationships within your community. How can you expect trust and engagement from local clients if you’re not making connections within your neighborhood? After all, accepting outside help isn’t just about what volunteers can contribute to your team, it’s also about giving back and staying transparent. Plus, it’s just good SEO!
Promote better pet care
When you become invested in your community, local clients are more likely to engage with your practice and comply with your advice—a major win for pets. As members of the neighborhood themselves, volunteers often tend to be untrained, animal-loving citizens who will gain valuable pet care insight from helping out at your clinic.
Consider the impact veterinary volunteer programs could have on youth in particular. By giving kids an opportunity to experience superior animal treatment firsthand, you can encourage responsible pet guardianship through to adulthood. Inviting volunteers of any age to collaborate with your practice is an awesome way to promote animal health and wellbeing both inside your clinic and out.
Streamline practice operations
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty—volunteers are a huge asset when it comes to streamlining some of the more tedious operational tasks. We’re not necessarily talking about assigning strictly scut work here, but when volunteers take on the administrative backlog, they help free up your veterinary staff for the essentials, like patient care.
Want to save even more time on veterinary operations at your practice? Eliminate the need for manual data entry and client communications by going digital with ALLYDVM!
Play to their strengths—if a volunteer has cleaning experience, get them started with some of the more janitorial aspects of the job. Have a volunteer who excels at social media? Have them try a social media takeover to offer clients a behind-the-scenes look at veterinary life from a layman’s perspective. The options are endless, so be creative and change things up from time to time.
Alleviate team workload
Certain aspects of veterinary life can feel a bit monotonous without a bit of creative license and the ability for on-the-job learning—both of which are made possible with volunteer support. With the start of flea and tick season, for example, your veterinary team can easily become rundown from the pressure of the busyness. Employing volunteers not only streamlines operations, it also alleviates the team workload to boost overall morale and ultimately improve patient care.
Expand your budget
With all this talk about how busy a veterinary practice can become, you might be wondering how you’ll find the time for volunteer training—no matter how helpful they may prove themselves. We hear you! Just remember, volunteers are as budget-friendly as you can possibly get. Plus, investing a small amount of time upfront can save heaps of time and effort down the road.
So here’s to all the hard-working volunteers dedicated to strengthening veterinary practices the world over—thank you for everything you do for animal health!
Looking for ways to find local volunteers? Find out how the LifeLearn Veterinary Practice ECOsystem can help you spread the word!