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6 ways to be more than "just a vet tech"

Samantha Toy, RVT Dec 27, 2017 3:36:00 PM

 

Our least favourite phrase to hear is "I'm just a vet tech".  Vet techs are crucial to the practice running smoothly and successfully, but we know sometimes the day-to-day can get a bit monotonous.  Often it can feel like there's nowhere to go in the career, and unfortunately this is a big reason people leave the field.  Here are 6 ways to help keep current and grow personally and professionally (and no, one of them is not to become a vet!).

1) Look into getting a specialty

There are numerous opportunities to up your game by gaining a specialty.  We all have an area that really interests us more than any other; why not expand on that and focus on what you really love?  From Emergency and Critical Care, to Nutrition, to Behaviour, the options are almost endless.  Check out NAVTA's website for more info!

2) Revise your training regime

Are protocols being introduced in your practice but not followed?  Are new hires struggling to keep up?  If your training program needs a facelift, offer to head the project.  It'll help your newbies, show you're a team player, and keep you busy with a great new project.  
 

3) Start a new project 

Maybe your training is going great.  There's got to be an area in your hospital that could be improved upon.  Perhaps it's starting a clinic newsletter or start a clinic Facebook account.  Not only will this help educate current clients, it will also draw in new ones!  Cut back on tasks you're wasting time on and discover a secret talent you never knew you had!  
 
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4) Switch jobs or career paths

Sometimes it just gets to a point where you've learned everything you can from your current position and need to move somewhere else to feel challenged again.  While it can be super scary, it can also make you become your best self.  If you're in a general practice, you could start some part time hours at an emergency facility.  If emergency is your everyday job, try teaching.  There are also a number of alternate paths out there if you'd like to stay within the veterinary field but want to try something new.  Sales, research, working with wildlife or humane societies, or pet insurance positions are all options.  Never hesitate to challenge yourself.  Being uncomfortable means that you are growing!
 

5) Attend conferences (and USE them!)

This may seem like an obvious one, but many people don't take full advantage of the conferences they attend. Continuing education is necessary to keep the letters behind your name, but it's also something that really should change the way you practice.  Of course you should attend all the classes you can and take notes in the wonderfully large amount of free notebooks you receive in the exhibit hall, but the most important thing about the fabulous tidbits of knowledge you gain at a conference?  APPLYING them!  Don't let them sit dormant in those notebooks.  Work with your team to bring them to life and improve your practice.
 

6) Follow veterinary (and non-veterinary!) influencers 

If you're not into Ted Talks, you should be.  There's so much inspiration out there and you should be taking advantage of it!  There are fantastic veterinary influencers out there of course (Vetgirl, Dr. Andy Roark, Dr. Marty Becker, the list goes on and on) but there are also great non-veterinary gurus as well.  Check out Brene Brown, Simon Sinek, and Seth Godin.  Their speeches are amazing for keeping yourself motivated and moving forward with new ideas.

 

In short, there are many opportunities to break up the day-to-day monotony and become the very best vet tech or nurse that you can. Do you have anything to add to our list?  Let us know below!

 

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