They say most of what you do in life is based on knowledge you received in kindergarten. We think this theme carries over into your career in vet med. That being said, here are some lessons from the playground that we hope you'll carry into the clinic.
1. Share your toys
Okay, we're not talking real toys here, we're talking knowledge. In a vet clinic, you're nothing if you're not part of the team. If you lean towards the more controlling side of the personality scale, remember the importance of showing new hires the ropes. Yes, it takes patience, but if you try to do everything yourself and don't learn to delegate, you're hindering the growth of new staff members. Be a teacher, not an information hoarder.
2. Use your words
Frustrated with the way something is being done in the practice? Letting it build up usually only leads to one thing- a breakdown (or a blow up!). Whether it's a lack of patient care or unfair scheduling, you won't get anywhere by staying silent. If your voice isn't heard, maybe the practice just isn't right for you.
3. If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at allDon't gossip. Vet clinics are small communities, and what you say will always gets back to the person you're talking about.
4. Ask for help
It's okay not to know how to do something, especially if you're new to a practice. It's always better to ask for help than it is to "guess" your way through it. Your effort will be appreciated and you'll know what to do the next time.
5. Clean up after yourself
There's always that ONE person in every practice who will shave a gunky, infected hot spot and leave the clippers for someone else to "handle". Do everyone a favour: don't be that person. Take 5 minutes and clean up after yourself. It will save your equipment and your co-workers' sanity!
6. Trying to hide your mistake always gets you in more trouble
If you messed up, fess up. Everyone makes mistakes, and you'll be more easily forgiven if you admit your mistake as soon as possible.
7. Eat your veggies
Skipping lunch is a notorious issue in this field. Keep your energy up by keeping healthy snacks available. A "snack pot luck" is a great idea- everyone brings an item once a week (box of granola bars, pack of yogurt, bag of apples, etc) and stash them as a "free for all" for everyone to share during the week.
The simple things you learned the very first time you went to school will forever be the ground rules for your life and career. Play nice, be respectful, and take care of yourself!