Exploring and Evaluating Veterinary Team Effectiveness in Companion Animal Practice
The veterinary healthcare team concept was explored using an inductive approach involving four veterinarian (N=23) and four Registered Veterinary Technician focus groups (N=26). Themes revealed included Communication, Toxic Attitude and Environment, Leadership, Coordination, and Work Engagement. Each was subsequently explored in a study of team effectiveness and its associations with job satisfaction and burnout. A random sample of 274 participants from 48 companion-animal veterinary teams was recruited. Mixed linear regression found job satisfaction increased with increased individual engagement and tenure at the practice, and decreased with increased years in veterinary medicine, full-time employment status, or within a toxic clinic environment. Higher scores for exhaustion and cynicism were associated with the presence of a toxic environment, reduced individual engagement, and full-time employment status. A coordinated team environment contributed to decreased cynicism and increased professional efficacy scores. These results suggest team effectiveness significantly influences job satisfaction and burnout among veterinary healthcare teams.