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Across the country, veterinary hospitals and clinics are struggling to keep up with the demand for pet care. With so many people forced out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities are being understaffed. This leads to a rapid increase in pet adoption. Also, pet owners are having a harder time getting routine checkups for their furry family members. Now as businesses open back up, veterinarians may have to turn to unlicensed vet techs to counter the strenuous workload. However, before pursuing this course of action, vets make sure to have the right training documentation strategy.

What are some training documentation strategies to help with recent staffing shortages? 

Scope of Training – An effective training documentation strategy starts with defining the needs of a veterinary practice. It also establishes the training process and information to help train employees. Many vet clinics often make the mistake of not implementing consistent training. This can lead to harmful mistakes for both employees and animals. When it comes to any strategy, make sure to define and address all training objectives from animal health procedures, facility equipment, surgeries, and compliance guidelines to safety equipment, technology, management, and more. 

Audience – Understanding who your audience is will help you determine how to create the most useful training documentation strategy. Managers at a vet hospital should keep in mind the type of unlicensed vet tech they want to hire. For instance, some individuals may pursue a career solely as a veterinarian, whereas some simply don’t mind working in this field. Taking a chance on individuals who simply have a love for animals or just want a job will require more training. For some businesses, this won’t be an issue for licensed vet techs. However, staffing shortages are an issue for many vet companies during this time of COVID-19, so many establishments may have to accommodate those who may not be experienced and licensed.

What do learning styles help with in training documentation?

Learning Styles – Everyone learns differently, so identifying learning styles will ensure better development for training documentation. In a vet hospital, mentor matching is a learning style that may be suitable to improve the skills of unlicensed vet techs. So, managers will need to document all policies and procedures that come with shadowing a more experienced employee. Documents should detail who are the trainees, the duration of the training program, and other aspects depending on job position and objectives.

What tools prevent staffing shortages?

Department & Services Tools – While an employee may be an unlicensed vet tech, they often do just as much work as someone who is licensed. However, their limited skills and knowledge will need improvement by proper documentation. Properly documenting how to use equipment or the rules and guidelines in the various departments will help both new and existing employees. Also, productivity will remain consistent. Veterinary departments may include intensive care units, ophthalmology, internal medicine, surgery, neurology, oncology, and more. For each department and procedure, there should be training documents.

Health Protocols – As the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 virus, health protocols need to be in place to ensure the safety of both the staff and animals. Your practice’s location and size will determine the rules and regulations you should enforce. All vet facilities should document these health protocols to keep employees aware and safe.

Finances – When it comes to labor shortage for many vet companies, it all comes down to money. For some places, they can’t afford to train, and others simply do not want to do it. Well-trained employees are essential to the success of their practice, which involves investing time and money. However, smaller vet practices may encounter financial struggles due to this. For establishments that have the money, creating a training budget document to outline all expenses will be beneficial. 


During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, veterinarians may have to turn to changing their hiring techniques to counter staffing shortages. While hiring unlicensed vet technicians may solve part of the problem, providing them with the appropriate training documents will ensure success through any workplace issues.

How EDC can Help

Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started at (800) 221-0093 or

Written by Kimberly Jones