Hiring Virtual Vets and Vet Techs

The Covid pandemic launched veterinarians into the telehealth space. Now more than ever, consumers everywhere are searching for virtual options in their daily lives: grocery click lists and delivery, remote school platforms, work meetings, and veterinary care to name just a few! To match this consumer need for virtual veterinary care, hospitals need veterinarians and veterinary technicians to fill this role asap. Anipanion is here to help! Read on to learn more about finding the right employee for your hospital’s telehealth service.

The Telehealth Needs of the Practice
To find the right candidate, first the telehealth needs of your practice must be determined…”the who, what, when, where, and how’s” of the service. Are you offering telehealth only throughout the day or looking to offer 365/24/7 remote access? Are you servicing clientele that are established in the practice or helping new pet parents as well? Once telehealth has been customized to your practice, you can search for a candidate that will provide the best telehealth service for your hospital.

  • Who: VCPR and established clientele
    • Servicing established clients with VCPR
    • Servicing established clients with VCPR and new potential clients without VCPR
  • What: Telehealth services offered
    • Triage
    • Rechecks and follow-ups
    • Advice and education
    • Pre-op Consultations
    • Post-op Rechecks
    • Behavior Consultations
    • Diet and Feeding Advice
    • Palliative and Hospice Care
    • Quality of Life Discussion
    • Euthanasia Planning
    • Grief Counseling
    • Online Scheduling and Prescriptions
    • Chronic Medical Issue Monitoring
    • Labwork Results Discussions
    • Boarding and Grooming
  • When: Client accessibility
    • Telehealth during office hours
    • Telehealth during office and extended hours
    • Telehealth 24 hours daily
    • Telehealth only after hours
    • Telehealth over weekends and holidays
  • Where: Anipanion telehealth features offered
    • Asynchronous chat
    • Real-time video
  • How: with the right candidate!

What to Look for in a Virtual Vet or Vet Tech
The candidate you choose for telehealth work in your practice should align with company beliefs, mission, and strategies. The candidate must also meet legal standards as set forth by the AVMA and local state entities.

The candidate should be

  • Customer centered
  • An excellent communicator (written and verbal)
  • Experienced within the practice of veterinary medicine
  • A team player
  • Energetic
  • Adaptable to change
  • Self-motivated

How to Interview a Candidate for a Telehealth Position
The interview can be done in person or through an online conferencing platform like Zoom or Google Meet. It is important to discuss with candidates not only their veterinary experience and skillset, but their tech skills and ability to communicate. If the position is remote, work from home logistics must be discussed.

Potential Interview Questions:

  • Why are you interested in a telehealth position?
  • How do you think telehealth benefits pet parents and patients?
  • How do you think telehealth benefits veterinary staff?
  • What does remote work look like for you?
  • Provide an example of how you dealt with a difficult or angry client and had a positive outcome.
  • What actions do you take when coping with clients who are in distress?
  • What is your favorite part of veterinary practice?
  • What fears do you have about working in a telehealth position?
  • How do you stay motivated in your work?

Provide mock medical telehealth scenarios for the candidate to work through. Potential scenario categories:

  • Triage
  • QOL discussion
  • Behavior consult
  • Nutrition consult
  • Post-op follow-up
  • Chronic medical condition check-in

Telehealth veterinarians can be compensated multiple ways depending on the responsibilities of the position, the needs of the hospital, and the wants of the candidate.

  • Full time salaried
    • Receives a salary dependent upon experience and job duties
    • Receives company benefits
  • Part time salaried
    • Salary dependent on hours worked and experience
    • Receives company benefits.
  • Independent contractor
    • No company benefits
    • Paid hourly
    • Employee is responsible for his or her own taxes

Where to Look for a Telehealth Veterinary Employee
You’re in luck if your practice is searching for a telehealth vet or vet tech! There are many candidates out there looking for a job in this field. Depending on the needs of your practice, you can look externally to fill this role, or there may be the perfect person in house already.

  • In-house Shifting
    • Depending on the telehealth services your hospital is offering, how you plan to schedule your telehealth services, and the enthusiasm of your vet team for telehealth, you may be able to use your existing staff to support this service.
    • Alternatively, you may have an existing staff member that wants to transition into a telehealth role. A new hire can then fill the vacancy in clinic.
  • Online Employment Sites
    • There are many online employment sites where a telehealth veterinary role can be advertised.
      • Indeed
      • iHireVeterinary
      • Zip recruiter
  • Veterinary Groups
    • Remember your veterinary groups! These have active job postings.
      • AVMA
      • AAHA
      • State and local veterinary organizations
      • Veterinary Colleges and Universities
      • VVCA (Virtual Veterinary Care Association) has great resources as well!
  • Facebook DVM groups
    • Facebook has become a great resource for job posting and job searching. Here are some groups to join for job posting.
      • Veterinary Employment Opportunities
      • Veterinary Employment and Relief Network USA
      • Veterinary Telemedicine Community
      • Veterinary Technician Job Network of the USA

Don’t forget about veterinarians and technicians that have left the field, as many leave due to the physical demands of the job, illness, work life balance, kids, retirement, etc. They may not be able to lift a great dane onto the table, but they can certainly provide invaluable support to your clients.

Bring added value to your practice by starting a telehealth service or enhancing an existing one. Anipanion is here to help make this an easy and profitable transition. There are many vets and vet techs actively searching for telehealth work. Find someone that can make your telehealth service succeed.