Employees Talk About VCA-Antech


VCA Antech Vet Tech:   (Current Employee)
Pros
Good discount for employee pets.
Cons
Lets see...
First I would advise you to take a job with this company only if you are totally desperate. They will start you off at $8.00 or $9.00 an hour but will promise you a raise if you manage to stay for a year. Believe me, they will get their money's worth out of you. VCA is very impressed with "Certified Vet Techs". They will hire prima donna's who are above filling mop buckets, emptying trash and performing the normal cleaning that goes with working at an animal hospital. Guess who gets to do it all? You. The insurance plan is insulting. For the minimum plan you pay about $158.00 a month but no one gets it because they simply can not afford it. VCA blithely turns a blind eye to this fact. You will get a great big insurance packet chock full of "plans". Mine went into the recycle bin. You will clear @ $1,300 per month after taxes so you will make about 15,000 a year. That is considered poverty wages and the only good thing is that you will probably qualify for food stamps and gov't assistance. Don't hold your breath on the raise. If you manage to make it for a year then you will hear raise freeze. I am also told that often a raise consists of .10c per hour. Whoppee! As a VetTech you must be respectful of the vets at all times but that courtesy is not expected of the vets. In other words they can treat you like dew-dew on their shoe and you have no recourse. In short you will work like a dog (no pun intended), and be treated like one too. Oh, training? You are on your own kid. They will take you just so far and then stop. The established techs do NOT want you to ever get to where they are. Management? If you have a problem management will listen very nicely then do precisely -- nothing. I got into this field because I really have a feeling for critters but trust me, with VCA it is ALL about the money and how you can squeeze every last penny out of the the client till he squeals. I could go on and on but that is enough..I'm starting to break out in hives just thinking of the stress level!
Advice to Senior Management
Pay your help more. Ultimately you get what you pay for. No one is going to stay with a company where they feel they are being abused and paid poverty wage both at the same time. Treat all Techs fairly and have work load shared equally. Give you managers the ability to handle problems without all the corporate red tape.
Mar 11, 2010
1.0 
VCA Antech Veterinary Technician:   (Current Employee)
Pros
Good discounts for employees on food and services. Ability to advance within the company, if you are willing to re-locate.
Cons
Oh where to start....
If you are thinking of joining a VCA clinic I advise you to try to find another clinic quickly. Even the best Vet Techs are treated like dirt. They put more and more work for you to do and cut the amount of time you have to complete the work. The 'upper' management only cares about money, they cut drug orders back so far that we'd run out of medications and supplies that are considered 'staples' of Veterinary Medicine on a weekly basis. There is also a salary freeze for 'all' employees that some have said can last years, which is fine if you make a veterinarians salary but we know that is not the case. So most Techs can not live by themselves, or support their families. The benefits are a expensive joke. I worked 40 hours per week and could not afford a family plan, would have got a bill instead of a paycheck. For an individual plan it was $158.00 a month, and they have Blue Cross Anthem. If you need to know how bad Anthem is, please call ANY doctor and they will explain that Anthem pays for basically nothing. So you better stay in top shape so the medical bills don't make you bankrupt. Even just a check up with bloodwork will cost YOU $80.00 BEFORE the co pay of $20.00. The 'training' for new employees is none, you are thrown into the pool and everyone hopes you swim. The CEs they offer are few for techs and the ones that are mandatory teach you absolutely nothing. The clinic managers are threatened daily, and the upper management love to put closing the clinic, cutting hours or employees over you head like a sword. They also tell you to try and talk expensive testing and unnecessary vaccines onto clients that make you feel like a used car salesmen. So clients become wary and then will not perform necessary testing when it is truly called for. I could go on forever, but I think these were the most important to know. Stress Stress Stress.
Advice to Senior Management
The Receptionists and the Techs are the ones who get punished by Management when you buy a new Hospital, Office Furniture, and make bad investments. We are the grunts and we are the backbone of a hospital, without us you would not have the nice car, nice house, and knowledge that if your child broke an arm you could afford it. Please think of this when the cuts come around again, and invest instead of deduct from your currently owned ventures.
Nov 6, 2009
3.0 
VCA Antech Kennel Manager in Highlands Ranch, CO:   (Current Employee)
0 of 1 people found this helpful
Pros
High level of growth opportunity with many hospitals and kennels across the United States. Many facets of the corporation to work for; from the hospital management to doctors to techs to kennel techs to lawyers and upper level management and accounting.
Cons
Low pay rate and few salary advancements. The medical benefits are nearly none. It would have cost me over $200 a month on a $1400 salary for basic benefits. The upper management is only focused on financial gain, and it leaves something to be desired in the way of individual hospital decision making.
Advice to Senior Management
Apply more funding to employee payroll, stand up to upper management when it comes to patient care.
Nov 6, 2009
2.0 
VCA Antech Veterinarian:   (Past Employee - 2009)
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Pros
They provide some good free continuing education opportunities.
There is the possibility, but not the guarantee, of great modern equipment.
They have hospitals all over the country if you want to re-locate.
Cons
They prefer to pay "on commission"; proven in human health care to affect doctors' judgement.
Intimidation of vets by use of non-compete agreements. (You will have to agree to restrictions on when and where you practice after you leave their employment, but they can fire you for any reason at any time without consequence.)
They may expect many more hours of cont. educations per year than they will compensate you for or provide.
In my opinion they mostly care about making their share holders happy through new acquisitions; they don't give much consideration to those in the "trenches" - they may even help your non-VCA competitor if it means they can get a lab contract.

Read ALL of their paperwork carefully and think/research before you sign anything no matter how much they push.
Advice to Senior Management
Spend less time conquering new territory and protecting your turf; spend more effort nurturing what you already have. Happy employees make happy clients with healthy pets.
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Sep 29, 2009
4.0 
VCA Antech RVT in Denver, CO:   (Current Employee)
0 of 2 people found this helpful
Pros
Lots of CE opportunities, benefits are good, pet discount is one of the best I have had, opportunity to move up, great equipment.
Cons
system for raises is too standard for everyone, needs to be better and based on merit
Advice to Senior Management
Look at the performance review process and give raises based on individual merits, not across the board raises. It is frustrating.
Aug 31, 2009
1.0 
VCA Antech Veterinarian:   (Current Employee)
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Pros
They pay pretty well, so that is why I've stayed as long as I have. The benefits are OK but not nearly as good as my previous job.
Cons
Focus is always on financial production. No way to work with peolpe to help them out. Staff and doctors treated like commodities. Not too cocerned about comptence, just someone that's going to work and not make trouble. Mgmt never tells us anything which is stressful in bad economic times.
Advice to Senior Management
Spend less on acquiring new hospitals and companies and
invest more back in what you already have. Sqeezing us hard with little in return may be good business but makes for unhappy workers.

2 comments:

Mary Cummins - Animal Advocates said...

VCA is a public company. Public companies care about pleasing shareholders. They please shareholders by making as much money as possible and spending as little as possible. The bottom line is all that matters. That is directly related to share price.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else had their animal come home with more illnesses than when they went into VCA?