Tackling Professional Isolation

It can feel isolating when working as a locum vet/vet nurse (I’ve been there myself as an RVN….. not feeling like I really belonged anywhere/wasn’t any one part of a team) and it is hard, especially when you first start out and you are trying to navigate everything that comes with locum life e.g. finances, insurance, registration fees, adapting to new practices and finding your feet with new teams of people. It can get overwhelming, but as I came to learn you do not have to be isolated and you can be a part of your own team, within the locum community.

So here are some top tips for tackling professional isolation:

  1. Utilise online communities and platforms –

No this isn’t just me directing you
to MFL (even though we are amazing).

I didn’t even know this was a thing when I first started out as a locum, but online communities of veterinary professionals in general and as a bonus the MFL facebook community we have now created, is a great way to chat with others and engage about work and the profession/locum life or even life in general.

2. Reach out –

Vetlife are there to help and support veterinary professionals 365 days a year, as volunteers within the profession the vetlife team understand and are available to chat and offer advice/support no matter your situation, whenever you may need them.

3. Communicate with teams –

As a locum, the beauty of it is being able to work with, learn from and engage with a lot of different colleagues with a wide range of experience and backgrounds so have a chat! There’s almost always time for a friendly chat even if just on your lunch break, so start the conversation and being open to making new friends you may find you have more in common than you think.

See our blog on conversation starters here!

4. Make time for you –

Outside of the profession we all have hobbies/friends and activities we enjoy so it’s important to make time for them to improve our overall wellbeing and help maintain a positive mindset, you need to make the
time outside of work for things that matter the most to you.

5. Be honest –

At the end of the day only you can change your situation and how you feel, so if you are feeling ‘isolated’ address it and look at how you can change it, do not just accept it as it isn’t healthy and does not need to be ‘just how it is’. As locums we are a team in our own right, however this team is huge! and covers not just the UK but the global
veterinary profession, we need to be there to support each other, you are not alone!

Written by Emma Ruggles