Are you a veterinarian with a bad habit? Do you work with a veterinarian that has bad habits? There are some bad habits that need to be stopped now. Not only for the relief of the staff, but for the veterinarian themselves and for their patients' well being.
It's a little ironic that I chose this topic to share with you all, because as anyone who knows me would tell you, I've always been planted firmly on the academic side of the school vs sports scale. That being said, I do think there are some good lessons to be learned from sports when it comes to vet med, and pointing them out is my main goal (okay, go ahead and groan). Here are 7 things sports can teach us about veterinary medicine.
Not all vet techs are created equal. I don't mean this to belittle anyone, or for it to be a bad thing. It's just a fact. We all start out in this field because we love animals (and very obviously not because we love money), but the paths we take lead to very different clinics and positions. I believe that our teachers in college have an immense impact on what kind of technicians we become.
I, for one, was greatly influenced by my teachers, and therefore very much ruined for the rest of my career. All it took was one sentence really, and the rest of my career path was chosen for me.
To be fair, there were other ingredients in the mix that shaped me as an RVT. My first clinic for example had impeccable medicine, high standards for patient comfort, and immeasurable care they provided to pets and owners alike. At this clinic I learned that baby birds were to be loved, and not immediately euthanized, and that all lives matter. My role model Nicole, who to this day I still call the RVT who taught me everything I know, instilled a certain pride for the profession in me that was unshakable.
Then came school, and the phrase that was the last puzzle piece in my stance of who I became as an RVT.
"You are the advocates."
To this day, I remember this phrase. I remember hearing it, and tucking it away in the back of my mind as something important, yet not really something I thought a great deal about.
It didn't resonate with me at the time, as I had a solid foundation of what I thought vet clinics were about, and what I thought I would be able to contribute to my profession. Then came reality.
My fellow Smart Flow crusaders and I were just discussing how many clinics we have worked at during our careers. I counted 12.
Yes, I am one of those crazy people that works 2 to 3 different jobs at any given time, however the numbers are also up there because some clinics just simply didn't measure up.
That one phrase in school had cemented my moral and ethical must-haves when it came to where I chose to work, and finding the right fit was not always easy. Where I found that patient care and comfort was lacking, I spoke up. I was being The Advocate. Some clinics welcomed it, some didn't.
Being the advocate comes with a heavy burden of responsibility, stress, and sometimes compassion fatigue. It also comes with pride in the RVT behind my name, and when I feel that I have made a difference in an animal's life, where someone else had dropped the ball.
Being the advocate is hard work. It is emotional. It is taxing. Do I blame my teachers for this extra burden I have had to bear for the last 12 years? Yes. Would I do it all over again if given the choice? Absolutely.
Tell us about who influenced your career!
Nothing matters more than the way we approach, care for, and treat our veterinary patients. In fact, they are the sole reason we are employed. It is our duty and responsibilty to see that each patient is comfortable, clean and receiving the best medical approach possible. We've previously mentioned how to improve patient care under anesthesia, but let's see how to improve patient care in the rest of your veterinary hospital.
I was recently inspired by an article from Dr. Andy Roark about Dolley, one of his beloved former patients who passed away from cancer. It got me thinking about my past patients, and made me realize just how much we learn from them and their people.
It's a fabulous career choice, but it's not glamorous... Here are some reasons one should think twice before entering the messy world of vet med.
Veterinary medicine is not for the faint of heart, the weak, or the soft. There are going to be stressful times (daily), sad times (daily), and some down right heart breaking times (daily). I lose it...a lot, in veterinary medicine. Here are just some of the ways I lose it:
Fresh out of school, you think you're prepared for the world of veterinary medicine. Years later, you realize you had NO IDEA what you were getting yourself into. What would I tell my younger, newly graduated veterinary technician self?
Throughout my time in vet med, I've heard countless fellow technicians (and admittedly, the voice inside my own head) say that they don't know if this career is for them anymore. Most of us do the same things every day in practice. It's easy to get bored if you don't have the opportunity to test yourself or learn new skills.
Whether it's the desire to experience another avenue of veterinary medicine or go back to school and strive towards another career altogether, the thought of abandoning post has crossed many minds. And yet, most people continue on at their practices, caught in a vortex of wondering what else is out there and a looming sense of guilt for even allowing this option to be a consideration.