We’re here to help you succeed. Yes, we love building great relationships with other colleagues. It makes us happy. (Or nerds.) But what makes us happiest is knowing that our community makes life better for our clients and our team. We believe work should be an outlet for greatness. If we can help you to do great work, everybody wins.
Vet-1-1 is Proud to be a Veterinarian Owned Family Business
Once upon a time, a guy named Chris and girl named Jen met on a river float in New Braunfels, Texas. He was a physical therapist, traveling for relief jobs. She was a veterinarian. They fell in love & got married in a super fun destination wedding in Mexico. Then, there was an opportunity to buy the family veterinary practice, so they moved to Colorado and took on practice ownership. Business was good. But as the practice grew, so did the requirements to maintain it. Chris went to part time as a physical therapist to help out. And then he quit his PT job all together and worked full time in a management role at the veterinary practice.
A common trend emerged, despite having a thriving growing practice (and sometimes perhaps because of its growth) – there was a chronic intermittent problem of being under-staffed. Jen and Chris took business training classes together. They revamped how they recruited, interviewed, and hired staff. But still, times of being short staffed occurred. Talking with colleagues, they were not alone.
The statistics regarding career longevity for veterinary technicians show that for many, it is a job they hold for a handful of years and then move onto greener pastures. And you don’t have to look far to find a plethora of information regarding veterinarians experiencing burn out, lack of job satisfaction, financial stress, drug abuse, and mental health issues/depression/suicide.
Our amazing profession is changing. But how we handle staffing is still an antiquated system, grandfathered in. Someone is out on maternity leave? We’ll all just suck it up and work extra! As a practice owner, if I want to take a vacation I have to book a relief vet who I know personally, often, months in advance. Our most productive technician is out for an emergency appendectomy … we’ll just limp by until they are back.
One night while lamenting the problem of being under-staffed, Chris had the idea to start a business for veterinary staffing relief to emulate the model he had worked in on the human side. It was the light-bulb moment, like – “why doesn’t this already exist?!?!” And from there, Vet-1-1 was born.
We see Vet-1-1 as something the field of veterinary medicine NEEDS! It is something we use as practice owners. It is something Jen would be an employee of; for the opportunity to travel, get experience, and as a rescue from burnout. As a practice owner, we have to be on for our team 24/7.
A personal note from Jen
As a fourth-generation veterinarian, I was pretty close to born for this profession. I had no doubts this field was my calling. But with brutal honesty, I will admit that I have had ups and downs. Great days where I knew I made a difference, where I found something subtle on physical exam, where I helped educate a client, where I saved a patient, where I recognized a zebra diagnosis, where I got all my records + phone calls done early!
But I’ve also had dark days. My worst day as a veterinarian, I was notified by the state board that a complaint had been filed again me for client abandonment. It was a client I had finally fired after they were verbally abusive to my staff. I have never felt more betrayed by another person. How could that client go to that extent? I had addressed this issue in the past and with the last incident, I had emailed them, spoken with them on the phone, and had a face to face meeting about our decision and why we could no longer provide care. What more could I have done? The complaint was reviewed and quickly thrown out. But I had to go through it. It was exhausting, embarrassing, and hurtful.
I share this to let all you vet know that we see you! We see how talented, smart, positive, resilient, and caring you are. Veterinarians are just AMAZING humans! But I also see the tough days you have. Sometimes we are strong because we have to be, not because we want to be. Most of my closest friends are veterinarians and many have expressed burnout at some time. Remember you have the power to make choices for what you want your life to look like. You can be a veterinarian and have a balanced and rewarding life outside of your job!
A personal note from Chris
Growing up my mom thought I was going to be a veterinarian. So when I married one – it was quite fitting. The more I got to know and understand about the veterinary field, the more surprised I was. In almost every way the client service is so superior to human medicine. A client could call and talk with the doctor same day. That was the rule, not the exception. But I also saw first-hand how much of a toll this field can take in terms of time. It was hard for us to plan a vacation as a family – clients were reluctant to see anybody else but Jen. It was hard for Jen to predict when she might get out of work – there could be a long phone call that would throw off her schedule. And many days she never left her desk for lunch. But she loves her patients and clients … and they love her too! So we wanted to find a way for better work-life balance. Jen suggested she could be a relief vet. When we looked into options, it seemed most were self-employed 1099 contractors. There was nothing remotely like what I had worked for on the human side. I enjoyed being a traveling relief physical therapist. I was able to travel and work while still having job security, a W2 paycheck, and benefits. That said, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Initially I imagined I would own my own PT clinic someday, but clearly life had other plans. Founding Vet-1-1 felt like a very natural progression of our life experiences. We are dedicated to growing this company so it is a great place for great people to work! We are open to your feedback and suggestions for how to change and improve over time.