Is Your Feedback Helpful or Harmful?
All humans, being the social creatures we are – not only need feedback, we thrive on it. Feedback helps us grow, improve and contribute to the world in meaningful and better ways.
And sure – we all accept that feedback for improvement isn’t always positive; negative feedback is often the greatest trigger for self reflection and positive change.
In our world that is Veterinary Practice – we get feedback every day. From a dear client’s chocolates to say thank you for taking such good care of her beloved pet to flowers and cards expressing gratitude for a job well done.
We welcome both positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback means we’re doing things right so we make sure we continue doing those things and do them well.
Then there’s the helpful critical feedback which we appreciate the most – the information that lets us know where we’ve let you down in some way and gives us the opportunity to make changes or amends.
You may not know it – but we act on feedback every day. In our busy Hospital we do our best to make sure your pets are taken care of in the best possible way as well trying to run on time for consultations, respond to your phone messages, update inpatient fee estimations, schedule diagnostic procedures, perform surgery and attend to any emergencies that come in unexpectedly.
With so many things happening at any given time – Yes – as hard as we try not to, we do slip up at times.
And when we do slip up – we ask you talk to us because for most problems or complaints we can usually find a solution that’s agreeable to everyone involved.
Sadly though – not all feedback we get is constructive or civil and when we are blamed or vilified for things we have no control over this has devastating affects on our team.
- We’re hard enough on ourselves without being subject to unnecessary abuse. It hurts to be told that we don’t care and that we are terrible vets because we can’t meet the prices of low cost clinics. Yet we’re expected to provide everything that low cost clinics can’t.
- We’re shamed on Social Media when we can’t diagnose a problem because the client won’t pay for an X-Ray or a blood test. Of course they never mention that fact.
- If we make a mistake we’re labelled as incompetent. But if the medical profession fails a human patient that’s acceptable.
- A client complains because their preferred vet can’t meet their scheduled appointment because he’s busily trying to stop a patient crashing in theatre. Apparently saving a life does not take priority over a routine consultation.
- We’re yelled at because we won’t supply prescription drugs to someone whose animal we haven’t seen for years. Blamed for not breaking a law that could cost us our licence to practice?
- We are told off for poor service for not being able to see a animals immediately that has been sick for 10 days. It’s us who are negligent – not the owner who has let her it suffer for days.
The Ugly Side of Harmful Feedback
Little wonder the profession boasts the highest suicide rate and good caring vets change careers every day.
So shame on people who believe its their mission to spread half truths about others with no information about the facts. You forget that there are real, caring well meaning people at the end of these hurtful comments.
If you have a problem with any aspect of any service whether that’s from us or anyone else – have the decency to make a time to speak with the people involved face to face before you rant online.