A veterinary clinic can be a stressful place for those who work there. Taking care of sick or injured pets, calming their worried owners, and getting along with co-workers can be stressful for veterinary clinic staff. Stress can lead to errors which may affect your clinic’s quality of care, brand equity and even workplace satisfaction.
Veterinarians – like many healthcare providers today – are discovering the benefits of scenting their workplaces. Scenting not only offers benefits for patients (pets) and their owners, but can help alleviate employee stress, making the workplace a calmer, healthier place in which to work.
So how does scent work?
Scientific studies have shown that the sense of smell is connected to the memory center of the brain (the limbic system), which can recognize thousands of scents, recalling both good and bad memories associated with them.
New scent technology uses essential oils and cold-infusion distribution systems that enable fragrances to be dispersed evenly and over large spaces. These systems atomize essential oils, convert them into molecules and disperse them throughout the environment.
Thousands of scents and scent combinations are available through essential oils – scents that are scientifically proven to connect with the brain’s memory center and help influence stress levels, mood, energy levels and more.
Here are six things scent can do for your veterinary clinic staff:
#1. Scent decreases stress
A number of studies have documented the effect that scent has on stress levels.
• Some healthcare facilities have documented reductions in stress levels ranging from 40 percent to three percent after introducing citrus scents into their workplace environments.
• A patent by International Flavors and Fragrances details research showing that nutmeg oil has stress-reducing effects. Four separate studies showed that nutmeg significantly reduced systolic blood pressure in response to a mild stressor. In addition, nutmeg has been found to lower anxiety, tension and anger as well as increase calmness, relaxation and happiness.
• And the scent of lavender has been shown to soothe the stressed-out staff at a chaotic call center.
Clearly, scent can serve as invisible ‘chill pill’ to help relax your veterinary clinic staff during some of the most hectic moments of the day.
#2. Scent calms
Germany’s Tubingen University conducted a study that proves that the fragrance of vanilla reduces the ‘startle’ reflex in both man and animals.
This study is important because it’s often assumed that vanilla scent’s universal effect on humans is due to positive childhood association. However, when introduced to animals, the scent of vanilla shows to have a calming effect as well, indicating that there may be a more essential property of the scent that induces feelings of calm.
#3. Scent can elevate the mood of your veterinary clinic staff
In another published study, researchers found that the scent of a vanilla bean elevated participants’ feelings of joy and relaxation.
#4. Scent energizes
Research has shown that the scent of cinnamon can produce feelings of joy and reduce drowsiness and irritability.
Hospitals, for example, are using the scent of cinnamon to do just that: keep their employees alert, energized and engaged during long shifts of patient care.
#5. Scent can help reduce veterinary clinic staff errors
The benefits of cinnamon scent just keep on coming. A recent study in a financial services company concluded that staff made 40% fewer errors when influenced by the smell of cinnamon.
#6. Scent can help decreases veterinary clinic staff sickness and days off
Due to scent’s antibacterial properties derived from essential oils, scenting can help reduce the bacteria count in work spaces leading to lower staff sickness levels and fewer days off.
Scent: An Extra Edge
Scent may just be the extra edge you need to ensure your clinic’s quality of care, maintain your brand equity and encourage employee retention. And your staff will benefit by enjoying lower stress levels and a more relaxed – and healthier – working environment.
The Aroma Impressions Advantage
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