Q&A: Promoting a healthy lifestyle among team members

Q&A: Promoting a healthy lifestyle among team members

My team members seem to get sick a lot. How can I promote a healthier lifestyle among our staff?
Feb 08, 2010

When a team member misses work due to illness, it creates tremendous stress on a veterinary practice, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Ernest Ward, owner of Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, N.C. If you’re seeing chronic sickness in your clinic team, the first step is to review your hygiene protocol. Make sure all employees routinely wash their hands and clean telephone handsets, keyboards, and other shared surfaces. Provide plenty of sanitizer in easily accessible areas. You may also want to have your HVAC system cleaned and disinfected, Dr. Ward says. “We have this performed every two to three years at our clinic, and I feel it helps maintain a healthier work environment,” he says.

Next, discuss the issue with team members. Maybe they need to improve their diet and exercise routines or learn to manage stress. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t realize how easy and quick it is to make nutritious meals. Have a recipe-sharing lunch to show off your best 15-minute dishes. Take your staff on a jog during lunch or simply spend 10 minutes stretching.

Finally, lead by example. When you live a healthier lifestyle, it influences those around you. Replace break room junk food with fruit. Substitute water for soda. Remember that the healthier our bodies are, the better our attitudes, problem-solving skills, and stamina. “Work doesn’t feel like a marathon when you’re strong and fit,” Dr. Ward says.

Hot topics on dvm360

Veterinarians: Your clients are going to Google with these cat questions

Search engine shares the top 10 questions people asked about dogs and cats in 2014.

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.