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Thomasville Animal Hospital Cuts Evening Hours Due to Staff Shortages

Insight into Why Your Pet Vet's Emergency Hours Are Changing
Posted at 12:44 AM, Jun 18, 2024
  • Thomasville Animal Hospital is adjusting its hours due to a shortage of veterinarians and technicians.
  • The hospital aims to ensure quality care amid nationwide staffing challenges in veterinary medicine.
  • Watch the video to see how these changes could affect your pet's access to care.

BROADCAST SCRIPT

Thomasville Animal Hospital is cutting back evening hours due to staff shortages. I'm taking a closer look at what is contributing to the shortage and how they are working to still provide your pet the care they need.

A lot of pets and not enough veterinarians. The hospital has been struggling with a shortage of veterinarians for around 3-4 months. To address this, they've cut back on evening hours to give employees time off and ensure they can still provide good care to their customers

I spoke with Dr Todd Cooley to understand what's causing the shortage, he tells me

"Today's environment in veterinary medicine has changed a lot since Covid," Cooley said.

"There's been a lot of corporate buyouts of veterinary clinics and the hiring of veterinary staff has become more difficult"

I asked Dr Cooley how this has affected their work at the hospital

"The staff shortages certainly has changed the way we do business. We have started limiting our number of appointments and cutting back on them some so that we can provide the quality and care that we want to give," Cooley said

Dr. Cooley tells me the shortages in veterinary technicians is becoming a common issue here in Georgia but also even nationwide.

"We communicate with our colleagues across town here and they are facing the same challenge as we are" "In the state of Georgia it is required to be licensed to be a veterinary technician, where as in Florida you do not need to be licensed to to be a veterinary technician," Cooley said.

According to Mars Veterinary Health, there's a national shortage of companion-animal veterinarians. Even with the new veterinary graduates expected over the next 10 years, a shortage of up to 24,000 companion-animal veterinarians will likely still exist by 2030.

The extended evening hours were initially introduced to make it more convenient for customers to access the hospital services for emergencies and for some it made it easier to schedule appointments that better fit their work schedule.

I talked to Lakisha Peeks, a dog owner, about this change and she tells me the late hours gives her reassurance that her dog has access to help

"Things happen and you need to be able to reach someone," Lakisha said.

"But I do think that's a disadvantage for our pets as well as for the staff to be fully staffed and I think that's like that everywhere," Lakisha said.

Starting July 1st, they'll close earlier Monday through Wednesday. The Thomasville Animal Hospital is currently looking for veterinarians and veterinary technicians to ease the workload.