Platform Connects Relief Vets With Vet Practitioners | Relief Rover

Play Video

ANIMAL INNOVATIONS SHOW - EPISODE 33 - RELIEF ROVER

Platform Connects Relief Vets With Vet Practitioners | Relief Rover

Does this sound like you?

  • You’re a vet who is passionate about what you’re doing;
  • You want to enjoy life in general;
  • But you’re having a hard time with work-life balance.

If you answered “yes”, there’s no need to worry.

You probably only need a relief vet to take over your duties temporarily.

Fortunately, there’s one place you can easily find a relief vet for your needs.

Simply go to Relief Rover’s website, and voila!

You now have plenty of relief vet candidates who can help restore balance to your personal and professional lives.

Relief Rover to Help You Love Your Veterinary Profession and Your Life

Platform That Connects Relief Vets With Vet Practitioners | Relief Rover

Cindy Trice created Relief Rover in 2017 out of a passion to help vets do what they love doing without giving up freedom, control, variety, and the opportunity to experience life.

She aims to foster a community and connection between relief vets and the vet practices that need them.

According to Cindy,

“I’m a veterinarian. I spend most of my time in veterinary practice as a ‘relief practitioner’ aka ‘locum’. Basically, I go from practice to practice and fill in where they have me.”

Whether it’s because someone is on vacation, on maternity leave, or is ill, relief vets like Cindy help overworked vets find a relief vet at a touch of a button.

Relief work has been around since the veterinary industry started. But, Cindy believes that it’s not for everyone.

Still, she and her team are of the same mind that it can be an excellent way of gaining valuable experience from various roles.

Cindy added,

“It definitely takes a certain personality type, I think, to enjoy it because you’ve got to be flexible… I learn something new all the time… I have to adjust, and I have to think a little bit harder about how can I care for this pet with the resources that I have.”

Using Relief Rover

With people nowadays being on the move all the time, Relief Rover makes it easier for employers to find the relief vets who best match their clinics’ needs.

All the employers need to do is pay a small monthly or annual subscription fee to the site, sign up, and post a job.

They can also search through the relief vet profiles that are visible to them and reach out to those whom they believe may be a good fit for their practice.

Platform That Connects Relief Vets With Vet Practitioners | Relief Rover

On the other hand, if you’re a veterinarian, technician, or nurse looking to do some relief work, Relief Rover allows you to sign up and become a member for free.

Once you build your profile on the site, you can self-sort into groups based on your interest or geography and even get to interact on the platform without worrying about potential employers screening their activities therein.

Cindy described Relief Rover:

“I’m providing that matching service. But, we stay out of the business between the buyer of services and the seller of services. We wanted it to be a low-cost solution for people, for employers.”

Given the burnout, compassion, fatigue, and a small number of vets serving a large pet population, Cindy hopes that Relief Rover can help address the mental health crisis that’s associated with the veterinary profession.

“The majority of people who go into this career, we can’t say no. We don’t want to say no. We want to help everyone. But we only have so much capacity. The relief practice allows both relief professionals to kind of control their working schedule to suit whatever life phase they’re in.”

 

 

Learn more about Relief Rover!

Check out their website at https://reliefrover.com/.

Become a Relief Rover member at: https://reliefrover.com/relief-veterinarians/. Membership is free for all relief vets.

Find a relief vet on Relief Rover at https://reliefrover.com/veterinary-practices/.

You can also visit https://kickitpajamas.com/.

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Cindy: Hi! I’m Cindy Trice, and you are tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chris: Great introduction, Cindy. Thanks for coming on today. Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about who you are and how you’re innovating and helping animals?

Cindy: Well, so, I am a veterinarian, and I’ve spent most of my time in veterinary practice as what’s called a “relief practitioner”, or, in some places, it’s called “locum”.

I basically go from practice to practice, and I fill in to help practices where they have me, whether that’s because someone’s on vacation, or maternity leave, or illness, or even if the practice is just extra busy, and they need an extra set of hands to take care of the patients.

Chris: That sounds really cool.

I would also think it’s got to be difficult because you’re going into a different practice and their way of doing things or their procedures. What’s the hardest part about being a relief vet?

Cindy: It definitely takes a certain personality type, I think, to enjoy it because you’ve got to be flexible.

If you’re very—a very prescribed person in the way you do things, and you kind of like routine and knowing the people around you, you probably wouldn’t enjoy relief practice, but I love the flexibility of it.

I love the variety of it. I learn something new all the time. Some of the challenges are, you know, I mean, I can’t always follow up on cases. You know, I’ll come in for, sometimes, just a day, sometimes, I’m there for weeks.

It totally depends, but I may not have the full follow-up of what goes on, and that can sometimes be tricky.

Chris: I guess I didn’t really think that this was a thing, right? Like, that there was a need. So, it sounds like you’ve been doing this a number of years, and you’re not a one-off, right? There’s people that do this across the country.

Cindy: This has been around probably since the industry has been around. And I think what used to happen is people would call their friends, right? Like, they’d say, “I’m going on vacation with my wife. And can you take care of the practice for me?” And their buddy would be like, “Sure, either we’ll come over, or even we’ll send our patients to your clinic while you’re gone.” 

I think a lot of that kind of collegiality happened back in the day. We’re certainly in a different world now. And then staffing agencies started to exist, where either the staffing agency would employ the relief or local veterinarians and then send them out, or they would work as independent contractors.

And those were really kind of regional, and they would be in different parts of the country. But we—as you know, we live in a totally different world. I mean, people are on the move all the time.

And the days of yore, where a veterinarian would come in, be mentored in a practice, stay there for years, develop the clientele, eventually, own the practice—you know, buy the practice, and then own it, and then that cycle would continue— that doesn’t happen as much anymore.

I’m sure it still happens sometimes, but it’s not the norm anymore.

Chris: Yeah. And I can imagine there’s just lots of opportunity.

Yeah. Like you said, for general practice vets or specialty vets or, I mean, I could imagine all different types of skills in that that are needed depending on, like you said, who’s going on vacation or needing time off or whatever it might be.

Cindy: That’s where I came up with this idea for Relief Rover. I kind of had this evolution as a veterinarian. So, I did an internship. I worked as an associate at a practice a couple of different times, but originally, I was doing really for—just to kind of look around and see what other practices were doing.

I just kind of thought of it as a way to kind of go in, make some money, and leave. I didn’t truly think of myself as a business-to-business service provider.

And then I had this shift. We ended up moving to Montana for—my husband’s a freelance photographer, and he had a job up there at school. And I was like, “All right. Well, I’ll go up, do relief work while we’re there.” And that was the shift.

And I suddenly thought of myself as a business-to-business service provider because I suddenly had to meet all these new practices and introduce myself and sort of sell myself as someone that could come in and take care of their business while they were gone. So, that was the initial shift.

And then, I started realizing over the years that there wasn’t a lot of support for people who want to be relief veterinarians. So, support as in community, business support, and then opportunities to find the type of job you want.

And, like you mentioned, I mean, there’s so many different skill sets that veterinarians can bring to the table. Some like to do a smattering of a lot of things, and some like to stay really focused, whether that’s on shelter and high-volume spay/neuter. And those are the types of jobs they want, and they don’t want to do emergency practice.

And some only want to do emergency practice. Some only want to do GP, or some are like me, which—I like variety. So, I like to dabble in a little bit of all of it.

Chris: How does it work? Tell us a little bit more about how this works. How do the veterinarians sign up? How do the practices find them?

Cindy: So, what I ended up doing is, I created a platform. So, it’s called Relief Rover. The veterinarians, and we have technicians as well, veterinary nurses. We have a category for their membership, too. They sign up. Membership is free for them, and they have—there’s two sides to the site.

They build a little profile that’s on the community side, and it’s almost a little like a Facebook-like thing for them. They can self-sort into groups, whether they’re shelter vets or whether they’re emergency vets, they sort by interest or they sort by geography. And then they can kind of talk in troubleshoot, and the employers on the site don’t see this.

Then the other side of the site is for employers. So, mostly, these are veterinary hospitals or shelters. But sometimes, there are other companies, like telehealth companies, or we’ve even had people post jobs for—that want veterinary writers or editors. So, it’s really anyone who needs an independent contractor vet.

So, they can come on, and there is a small subscription fee, either monthly or annual, for the employers to sign up. And they get to post a job, and they get to search through the relief vet profile resumes that are visible to them.

Chris: So, then, how does it work? So, if I’m posting, and then I find the person— Am I just contracting directly through them? So, you’re providing that matching service?

Cindy: Exactly. I’m providing that matching service. We stay out of the business between the buyer of services and the seller of services.

Chris: Nice. So, as of that, I list, like you said, kind of like my hourly rate or daily rate or whatever way that I’m going about doing this?

Cindy: Right. And then, a lot of times, there is a place for the employer to list what they offer, but often, the vet may be the one that sets the price. Like, this is what I charge, and there’s always room for negotiation in these situations. So, we just leave that up to them.

Chris: Now, what’s your background? I mean, I know obviously you’re a vet—right. But do you have a background in technology? How did you come up with all of this?

Cindy: No, I don’t have a background in technology. We’ve been just challenging to be— to found a tech company with no background in technology. I hired people with things that I don’t know how to do. And even more insipiring than that, there have been so many people that have volunteered to help because they believe in what I’m doing. 

Our tagline is, “Love Your Profession and Your Life.” It allows both relief professionals to kind of control their working schedule to suit whatever life phase they’re in. And on the flipside of that, those that are hiring the Relief Vets, they can take their breaks, they can take their maternity leave, they can go to get their continuing education and know that they have someone coming in to take care of their business and make sure that their patients and clients are taken care of while they are gone.

Chris: So, now, tell us a little bit more about your story more and after you graduated from veterinary school.

I mean, did you work in a practice? Did you immediately jump into this?

Cindy: So, I’ll take you on a little rabbit hole right here, but while I was hospitalized, I received this pair of pajamas from a good friend of mine, and I loved them. And it made all the difference in the world and how I felt in the hospital and how I felt like, walking around the nurses’ station.

And I was in—hospitalized several times during my cancer journey. And those pajamas made every bit of difference in the world for me and how I felt. But they were problematic because they didn’t have the access and the functionality to make things easy for medical care. 

So, while being a veterinarian and a recovering cancer patient, I came up with this idea to—I was like, “Why don’t they just make cute pajamas that work in the hospital?”

And so, I worked with fashion school in Tampa. I built some prototype and started the journey to—while being a relief vet—to also have—start this company. So, I ended up having to closet the whole idea because I was trying to be a vet.

I was being a relief vet. I was just so busy. I’m not a fashion designer. I have no experience in that field. And a good friend of mine, who always loved the idea—she’s a business person. She had some friends who own a clothing company. And boom, the four of us got together.

We relaunched the company in December of 2020, and so, just very recently, we called it KICKITPAJAMAS.COM. And we have pajamas, gowns, and other clothing and accessories to give as a gift for someone you love, who may be ill.

Chris: I absolutely love that! So, not only being a relief vet, you started 2 different companies, right. To really—with totally different focus areas, that’s totally amazing!

So, now what’s next for the future of both of these companies? What do you have plan?

Cindy: For ReliefRover, we are continuing to grow and build out our community and make the connections and we’ve got a lot of plans to add some really neat new technology to the platform.

ReliefRover is all about building relationships. We don’t want this to be transactional. That’s not inventory when you just plugged into a shift. This is about relationships, this is about the right veterinarian going to the right place. And both the hospital and the veterinarian really enjoying that experience and having these be good into all parties. And so much of that involves relationship building.

So, we’ve got our own tools that we’re working on to help build that relationship and help hospitals find the right veterinarian. No matter where they are in the country.

And then for Kick It Pajamas, we’ve got a line of products that we’re working on to help solve the different issues that patience may have, once they’re out of the hospital as well. And just to provide them comfort and a gift. And our goal at Kick It Pajamas: We donate a portion of proceeds to cancer research and patient support organizations.

And our goal ultimately is to be: A financially healthy company and build a foundation where we can increase that support. Because basically, Kick It – it means—if you go and look at the website—KICKITPAJAMAS.COM you’ll see that the “K” the bottom of the K is kicking the “C.” Because our goal is to help and be part of the solution of kicking cancer off the planet. So, that’s where we got the name.

Chris: I love that. That is so inspirational and it’s amazing to me that you’re doing both of these companies. The only question that I have is… do you sleep? This is so cool, what you’re doing.

Cindy: I also work as a relief vet.

Chris: Yeah, I was gonna say, “And you still have a day job, right as a relief vet.”

Cindy: I do. I work a lot in the ER, in the weekends. But yeah—I probably don’t sleep enough. But honestly, I believe so much on what I’m doing and these are the things that I want to give my energy to.

Chris: I think they’re both really amazing. Tell people where they can go. What’s the website? How do they learn more about both of these companies?

Cindy: So, for Relief Rover, it’s RELIEFROVER.COM

And for Kick It Pajamas, it’s KICKITPAJAMAS.COM

Chris: Very easy to find, right? And, if people want to get in touch with you, just contact you through the website?

Cindy: Yeah, they can contact me through either website, or you can reach out to me at—this is a little longer—

[email protected]

Chris: And, as a reminder to our viewers and listeners, if you’ve got an idea, or maybe you’ve got a company or two like Cindy does, and you’d like to be on the show or have somebody on the show, just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW, and let me know about it, and maybe we’ll have them on the show and talk about their innovation.

So, thanks again, Cindy, for coming on today, and I really appreciate it.

Cindy: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Recent Posts

Leave A Comment

Subscribe To The Doobert Blog

From the Blog

Photo Tips

The Doobert Caretaker

  • Penny the Poodle

    Penny the Poodle

    Penny left Oregon on June 19th and arrived at her forever home on June 21st. I was happy to help with 2 legs of the trip: Mt. Vernon, IL to Csdiz, KY. She is adorable and worth every minute! She made it to her new …Read More

Related Posts