Study of staff pandemic preparedness

A study to be published in the journal Health Security will provide insight into whether veterinarians, veterinary technicians and other members of the animal care industry feel prepared to provide essential services in the midst of a pandemic. While there is no shortage of research measuring disaster preparedness among first responders and human health care providers, the same cannot be said for animal care workers.


Dr Meghan Davis and her team surveyed more than 1,500 animal care workers in the United States between July and October 2020 about perceived risks and roles during the coronavirus pandemic. The survey included veterinarians, veterinary technicians and practice managers, as well as animal shelter and animal control employees, wildlife facility workers and others.


“For veterinarians and animal care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, this was really about showing up, despite the risks to themselves and the crazy workload,” said Dr Davis.


The results showed that respondents aged 40 or older and those in leadership positions felt more ready, willing and able to deal with the challenges of the pandemic than younger respondents not in leadership roles.


Dr Davis hopes the findings will be used to target intervention and training efforts to support the more vulnerable members of the workforce. The most common professional concern cited by respondents in the study was a lack of management support.


“The take-home message is response preparedness in this sector can be improved by targeting younger workers not in leadership roles in support programs that centre on improving job efficacy and confidence in safety protocols,” said Dr Davis. Full story: AVMA