Help! We're short-staffed and I'm buried


This go-to team member is about to go to another veterinary practice if she doesn't get a little help. Firstline Board Member Marianne Mallonee, CVPM, counsels this overloaded employee.

I'm the go-to team member at my practice, and I love what I do. The problem: We're constantly running short staffed. I've picked up the slack for more than a year now-and through a few staffing mis-hires-and now I'm beginning to feel burned out. I don't want to leave my practice but I'm beginning to see no other choice. What should I do?-Burned out

You sound like a talented, motivated and loyal employee, and as an owner and manager of a practice I'd be heartbroken to lose you. I'm guessing that your practice feels the same way about you! But they may not know how you're feeling after all of your hard work this past year. 

First, ask to speak with your manager or practice owner and let them know how much the practice means to you and how burned out you're feeling. This is a great opportunity for some open communication to benefit both you and your practice. You're doing the right thing by recognizing your needs and addressing them proactively. 

The response you receive can help guide your decision about whether it's time to leave. If your managers don't validate your concerns or if they resist your overtures, your decision is easy-and I bet there are many other practices that would hire you in a flash. 

My guess is that your managers will appreciate that you've given them the opportunity to address your concerns. As a go-to team member who loves what you do you're the type of employee they want to keep on board.

-Marianne Mallonee, CVPM, is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and hospital administrator and part owner of Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. 

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