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I was employed as a veterinary assistant/technician for about a year and a half at Banfield. I'd just like to say a bit about my experiences and my general perception of the company.

I was repeatedly verbally abused and financially taken advantage of by the hospital manager and her lead henchman (aka - lead Pet Nurse). Despite my horrible experiences, I'll be the first to admit that not ALL Banfield Pet Hospitals are bad. There are quality doctors, knowledgeable technicians, and caring hospital managers. This is not everywhere. The problem is a lack of consistency throughout the chain. Some locations are great, others are abysmal. It seems that the chain has become too big for corporate to regulate the quality of care at all the hospitals.

I was hired at a Banfield with 9 months of experience under my belt and a Bachelor's degree (which was supposed to get me an extra $1/hr). Despite this, I was hired for minimum wage. The hospital manager ignored the fact that I had a degree. I was hired as a "Pet Nurse Assistant." According to my job description, I was supposed to do menial tasks such as cleaning, laundry, animal restraint, and running labwork. Instead, I was doing ALL the duties of a regular PetNurse (not an assistant), with the exception that I did not monitor surgeries. I drove 45 minutes to and from work every day for minimum wage. I did this because I wanted to get into vet school and needed the experience. My manager knew this and repeatedly exploited me because she knew I wouldn't quit.

After me working for the company for about a year, they hired a new employee who had ZERO animal experience. The manager made her a name tag that said, "Pet Nurse Assistant" but really hired her as a "PetNurse" for $2 more an hour than I was getting paid. The manager told her not to tell me her real job title or wage, but she did because she saw I was being taken advantage of. So lets get this straight: I came in with a Bachelor's degree, 9 months of experience assisting, and I get hired for minimum wage. Another girl comes in, no experience, a high school diploma, and gets hired for $2 more an hour? Why? Because she was a single mother, like the hospital manager, and she identified with her. She wasn't trained on surgical monitoring either (the reason the hospital manager claimed I couldn't be promoted to a PetNurse), yet her title was PetNurse. Make any sense?

When they started training me on surgical monitoring, the hospital manager lagged for 2 months in getting me my raise. She claimed that the only reason I had not been promoted from a PetNurse Assistant to a PetNurse was because I didn't monitor surgeries. This, however, was NOT stated in the job description. It was just her excuse to not give me a raise. Even after I got trained, it took her 2 months to submit the paperwork to get me my raise. She kept claiming that she "was going to do it" but never followed through.

This was not the only grievance I had. The manager forced our lead PetNurse (who was a Registered Veterinary Technician) to transfer to another hospital because she didn't want to pay her extra (RVTs make an automatic $2 more an hour at Banfield) and transferred an UNREGISTERED technician to our hospital to take over the position as lead PetNurse. Yes, our hospital was operating without a single RVT. Not one. This unregistered technician was a nightmare. She would actually follow you around, 2 steps behind you, barking orders at you and telling you everything you were doing wrong. She would disagree with everything you did. Our hospital was overbooked and understaffed and we often ran behind. She would scream at you if you ran things in an order she did not agree with, but would change her mind the very next day in terms of what order things SHOULD be running it. It was always impossible to judge what she would deem appropriate. She would also talk down to you and embarrass you in front of coworkers. I had to pull her aside and tell her, "If you have a problem with my performance, you need to speak to me privately and not belittle me in front of coworkers." I told her this multiple times, yet she never did it. She would actually belittle people and say things like, "why would you do it that way? Tell me WHY? What were you thinking?" And then talk shi+ about them behind their backs. I told her multiple times this was unprofessional. She even made a doctor (A DOCTOR!) cry by getting in her face and belittling her in front of everyone.

After months of this abuse, the hospital manger got wind that everyone was unhappy and wanted to transfer hospitals. Banfield has a rule that if you are written up, you are forbidden to transfer for 6 months. Therefore, everyone got written up at once. I got written up for something that happened months ago, and was told if I didn't sign it I would be suspended. She distorted the facts and lied about my performance, but I was forced to sign it. Basically, I was written up for not completing 9 comprehensive exams (which include bloodwork, fecal testing, as well as a thorough exam and entering in all the information in the medical record) in 2 hours. I was the only PetNurse there for those 2 hours, we had one receptionist working, and the doctor was in surgery. So tell me, how am I supposed to draw blood on a squirming animal by myself? Another girl got written up for "being rude" in a staff meeting. The manager claimed that she had made "rude comments and had interrupted" during our hospital meeting. When the employee questioned the manager as she could not remember this happening, the manager said, "I don't remember what you said, but I remember you did." Funny, not ONE person at that meeting remembered this happening. She just wrote her up to prevent her from transferring. I felt bad for the poor girl. She had just been attacked by a dog and had reconstructive SURGERY ON HER FACE a few days before. She had stitches on her lips and was on pain medication, but came to the meeting to be a team player, and then was written up for a comment that no one could remember her making. Wow.

Other things happened as well. The hospital manager never got our schedule out on time. She repeatedly gave it to us Saturday night for the week starting the next day (Sunday). One time, she gave us our schedule at 8pm on Saturday night for the following Sunday. Imagine being told at 8pm on Saturday that you had to be at work at 7am the next day. She frequently did this. None of us could ever make plans or do anything with our lives due to her ineptitude in getting the schedule out on time.

She also altered our time punches. If a hospital accrues overtime hours, it counts negatively towards that hospital and the manager gets less of a bonus. So if you went overtime, she would adjust the hours so that they appeared on a day you weren't working. None of us ever got 40 hours a week, so as long as she shuffled the hours around, she would avoid overtime. She would tell us that she calculated our overtime hours so that we would still get paid the same (so if we worked 1 overtime hour, 1.5 hours would show up on another day), but I'm not sure if she did.

The manager was late every single day. Not by minutes, but by hours. She wouldn't even call to let us know. People would ask to speak to the manager, and we wouldn't ever have any idea when she would show up. She probably worked about 60% of the hours she was scheduled for. She then gave other people her work to do because "she didn't have enough hours in the day." Well, maybe you would if you showed up to work on time.

Her lead henchman, the lead PetNurse would frequently forget her shifts and not show up, leading us to be so far behind. She wouldn't answer her phone when we called to ask where she was.

There were also gaps in the quality of care. Banfield has an anesthesia protocol which is supposed to be followed. It states that when an animal is under anesthesia, there should ALWAYS be 2 people present - one to monitor and one to perform the procedure. However, I was frequently left all alone when performing anesthetic dental cleanings. I was supposed to monitor and clean at the same time. Under normal circumstances, this is doable (although not the best practice). One time, a pet could have died because of it. I was left all alone in the room with the pet under anesthesia. Its vitals started to drop, and I took appropriate measures to correct this. However, the animal was not responding. The doctor was in an appointment room (which was down the hallway), and the receptionist was up front, and the other PetNurse was also in an exam room. I had 2 choices: either YELL for help and hope someone heard me, or run to the exam room to grab the doctor and leave the pet unattended. No one was even in the room to go get the doctor for me. I ended up running to the exam room to grab the doctor since he was in the last exam room down the hallway and probably would not have heard me if I had yelled. The pet was ok, but this is the kind of thing that happens when you leave an unregistered assistant alone with an animal under anesthesia.

There were other things, but this post is long enough. I should have reported the situation to the field leaders when I was working, but I was so afraid of getting fired that I didn't. I NEEDED letters of recommendation from the doctors (who were GOOD doctors), so I had to just try my best and endure it. Getting into vet school meant everything to me, so I sucked it up until I found a job at a better clinic (who paid more and actually staffed appropriately).

I just want to take a minute to defend the doctors that work at Banfield. They aren't all good, and they aren't all bad. Just because a vet works at Banfield doesn't mean they weren't good enough to get hired elsewhere. It's a sad, scary state that veterinarians are entering into. Our interest rates for student loans DOUBLED this year, and Stafford loans were abolished. That means our loans do not start accruing interest after graduation, but the second we take them out. As students, we are in school for about 8 hours a day, then study the rest of the day. We have no time to get a job, and even if we did, it wouldn't make a dent in our tuition. I'm a 1st year, and will probably end up with $250,000 in debt by the time I graduate. I'm an in-state student, too. The out of state students pay even more. With $250,000 in debt, I'll probably never own my own practice. It will take me forever to pay that off. In the past, graduating vets have worked at various practices, and some have saved money along the way to open up new practices or buy practices from retiring vets. This may not be the case anymore. Private practices may dwindle as vets can no longer afford to buy practices. In addition, the job market is bad. Graduating vets often have a VERY hard time finding a job and are unemployed for a long time. Thus, even the brilliant vets may end up working in corporate chains such as Banfield. It's sad, but that's the way it is. Most of us love veterinary medicine so much that we deal with the crippling debt, poor job outlook, and the possible fate of working for corporate America. So although quality control at Banfield is inconsistent, not everyone or every location is bad.

Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Medical Service.

Monetary Loss: $1000.

  • Minimum wage
  • Overtime
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Anonymous
#652981

To the 'Anon' who posted that Ross Graduates are a 'step above a mail order degree'. I recommend you actually educate yourself on what the course they have in Ross involves before you made such ***, bigoted comments.

Some of the best Vets I have worked with trained abroad (Ross, St. Georges University, Europe). They actually have BETTER 1st time pass rates for the NAVLE (National American Veterinary Licensing Exam) then most domestic Vet schools. Also Ross & several other foreign Vet schools are FULLY AVMA accredited - this means that their students HAVE to meet all the same training/testing requirements that the US schools do in order to graduate.

I live in the NYC area & at local CE events get to chat to other local vets & guess what......there are a large proportion of small vet clinics that happily employ Ross & other overseas graduates. Ignorance is no excuse, I recommend you know what you are talking about in the future.

Anonymous
#649822

I also have worked for Banfield and it seems all employees are in agreement that management is horrendous, especially the practice managers. The vet care is pretty much sub-par since they hire Ross graduates.

The vast majority of private practices will not even interview a Ross graduate, much less hire them. There's a reason why most places will not hire them, they're education is one step above a mail order degree. Banfield is all about the numbers. That's why they supposedly take walk ins, but even then they will deny seeing the walk ins if it's going to interfer with the staff's lunch or the vet's quitting time.

Doesn't matter if your pet is half dead - if it's the vet's time to go, they're going to go and leave you to trek your dying vet elsewhere. And, even with the wellness plan which is supposed to cover all vaccines - they do not actually do all the vaccines that your pet my have been getting elsewhere. Unless you specifically state that you want Lepto, Lyme, Corona they typically do not vaccinate for it. And, even though other practices will also have their licensed techs doing the dental cleanings, Banfield allows unlicensed assistants perform them and/or monitor anesthesia.

The vet will only get involved if there are extractions.

Sorry, but if I'm paying a veterinary office to perform a procedure, I expect it to be done by a doctor.

Anonymous
#649792

Former employees are bitter. EVERYTHING they say, needs to be taken with a grain of salt.....

Anonymous
#651665
@Anonymous

I wrote the original complaint. Yes, I'm bitter.

Why? Because I'm an intelligent, passionate, hard worker and I was taken advantage of for over a year by a greedy practice manager. Everything I wrote was 100% fact - no embellishments or lies. I even said in my original review that some locations are great and others aren't.

This is merely an account of my experiences there. As someone who is in vet school, I can tell you that I never wish to be associated with any practice like that particular Banfield again. You can take my review "with a grain of salt" as you say, or you open your eyes. I am committed to providing the best care for not only my future patients and their human caregivers, but my staff as well.

Having worked at multiple practices, I can tell you that care is better when given by happy employees who are treated with respect and appreciation. Banfield simply did not live up to my expectations.

You may want to reevaluate your statement before being so judgmental next time. Why do you think "former employees are bitter"? I have had plenty of jobs that I've left, but am not bitter with those former employers because they treated me right.

Even the jobs I didn't enjoy - I'm not bitter with the company or former bosses. Former employees are bitter because some Banfields truly take advantage of us. I was not fired. I was not asked to leave.

I merely found a better job at a more highly respected veterinary clinic who truly valued employees and clients.

Anonymous
#874747
@the original author

Instead of Bashing an Employer that actually gave you a chance, you should have been EDUCATED on your legal RIGHTS, and EXCERSISED them! 1) Hours are jacked up - contact the LABOR BOARD!

2) Did you ever complain to BANFIELD regarding this - nope! 3) Contact OSHA! You sit here and complain about your student loans now - not Banfield's fault! You chose that career!

Banfield is a CORPORATION that you are accusing of this!

It was not BANFIELD - it was another employee of BANFIELD you had a problem with (your supervisor)! You are complaining but did you EVER take advantage of their benefits - such as CONTINUED EDUCATION (CARES Program) - NOPE!!!!!

Anonymous
#1053352
@Anonymous

Wow....you must not be very intelligent. Nothing in your criticism of the original post even makes sense.

The employer was clearly abuse and manupulative, and hired the employee for below market value because the manager knew she needed the job to get into vet school. Getting paid a *** wage isn't illegal so I'm not sure how "educating" oneself about the labor board would do anything (because it wouldn't). Second, the author explained that she DID try to rectify the situation with her employer, who repeatedly ignored her. Third, you say the author blamed student loans on Banfield.

If you had 2 neurons in your brain to rub together, you would have seen that the original author said that GOOD vets end up working for banfield because the economy and job market are rough and they need a job.

She never said anything about how having loans would somehow be Banfield's fault. Good lord, I'm not even sure how a buffoon like you learned how to use a computer with such poor reading comprehension skills!

Anonymous
#647045

Hello anonymous,

I absolutely agree with everything you have said. I also worked for Banfield. I worked with a hateful, manipulative, and inconsistent manager. The staff I worked with was so scared to stand up and say anything because they feared repercussion.

When I worked at Banfield I observed several safety and health concerns. When I brought my concerns to corporate's attention they basically skated around the issue. (I think it is funny that one of the replies to your post is from Banfield's corporate office)!

I have multiple dogs and even I wouldn't take my dogs there. I didn't trust the doctor's there to perform a simple dental on any of my dogs. The prices they charge are outrageous; even for the employees.

Originally I thought the wellness plans they offered were a good deal but after working there I realized clients were basically being forced to sign up on the wellness plans to keep them coming back or else they would be charged inflated prices for that single visit.

So much of what you describe is so familiar to the situation I went through. I can only hope that the next employee that works there won't have to deal with the negligent and abusive environment I did and hopefully the clients will realize what they are getting into is a sham and not in the their best interest!

Anonymous
#646061

I worked at banfield too, this is the most fair accurate description ever!! I always worked through my lunches and my manager scolded me until she realized hmmm maybe she CAN'T take a lunch because no one is trained to fill her position...

As everyone is either new or an intern! Even the drs would bad mouth the corporate office who only care about numbers and have no inkling about what it means to provide medical care to pets. All they do is fill up the nagging clients with a bunch of rubbish on how sorry they are for their terrible experience...

Here's a $15 coupon to compensate waiting 2 hours to see a dr. The people in the hospital really do care, but they are so limited as to what they can do.

Banfield Pet Hospital
#645555

Hi Anonymous - I understand your frustration, and I am truly sorry that your experience at one of our hospitals was unsatisfactory. After reading your feedback, we would like to speak with you directly to get more information.

Though you are no longer a current associate, we encourage you to also address your concerns directly through Banfield’s People & Organization team (P&O). While we appreciate your feedback, we are limited in what we can do to address these concerns when submitted online. Banfield has an exceptional support system for our hospital associates, and in order to address concerns, we need feedback in a format that can be escalated appropriately. Again, we encourage you to contact the Associate Relations line at 503-922-5153 or ARTeam@banfield(dot)net.

Most sincerely,

The Banfield Team

Anonymous
#645368

Omg I had a manager not as bad as yours but she honestly came in hating me. I had been with Banfield a year and a half at the time and she just got hired.

She hired two other receptionists and favored them. I got 11 hrs a week and they each had 25. One of them couldn't do a single thing right. After having her as a manager for the last year she "transferred" then got fired haha and I'm still here almost at my 3yr mark.

I absolutely LOVE our doctors and most of the other staff we have. Our new manager is fantastic. My location has to be the best around.

I have worked at other locations to sub when they needed coverage and I liked their doctors too but couldn't imagine working with any other doctors except mine. I'm so sorry you had such a terrible experience but you are right not all Ban fields are the same