We all tend to have this glamorous idea of our veterinary careers. We are going to change the lives of every client, patient and stray animal that crosses our path to no end. Then our careers begin and we are bombarded with the not so glamorous part: the medical records, the inoperable tumors, the anal gland explosions, the long hours, the lack of sleep, the crazy clients, the gossiping, the knee pain, the headaches and the realization that you just don't have enough strength to do it all. As you get further into your career you will have to follow these tips on what NOT to do in the veterinary industry if you want to survive.
1. Save every pet
I know we all try to save every pet that comes along our way. That is probably what got us into veterinary medicine in the first place. However, it just takes watching an episode or two of a pet hoarding show to realize this nightmare could become your reality if you save every stray and abandoned animal that crosses your path. Help those you absolutely can, but be brave enough to say no.
2. Skip a vacation
We are tired, fatigued and stressed. You need your beauty rest and a week of relaxation. Even if that means a stay-cation, you need to take a break.
3. Pass up a veterinary convention
Veterinary conventions or conferences are a ton of fun. They are usually filled with exciting lectures, contests, concerts and who can resist the freebies in the exhibit hall? There are so many new things to learn, new inventions that you might not know exist, and it can boil down to some great time away from the clinic.
Once you begin to worry about your day ahead, your surgeries, the last pet you lost under anesthesia, or your staff, you will end up losing focus on what you can control. Worrying will get you nowhere fast.
5. Eat all the donuts
Who can resist all the delicious treats our clients drop off? Well, if you continue to indulge in each one you might notice your waistline inching into the next size up. Treat your body well and it will continue to hold up for years to come.
6. Get wrapped up in drama
Who honestly has time to stick their noses into petty drama? Pick your battles and simply ignore the rest. If things are getting out of hand, go to your boss and not your co-worker.
7. Take your boss for granted
Most of the time, your boss is wearing many hats. They can be your boss, owner of the clinic, and trying to fit being a veterinarian in there somewhere too. Don't take it for granted that they can perform all those duties and then some all the time. Cut them some slack.
8. Forget about your support staff
The support staff of assistants, technicians, receptionists and kennel staff is the heart beat of your clinic. The moment you take them for granted will be the moment your clinic gets crushed with gossip, turnover and turmoil .
9. Judge owners
You never know who your clients truly are. You cannot judge them based on their appearance or initial attitude. The old adage holds true here; never judge a book by its cover!
10. Bring in your baggage
Whether you are affected by your home life or your work life, you need to leave your baggage at the door.
11. Tell distance relatives and friends your profession
Unless you want late night texts and phone calls about hairballs and fleas, it would be wise to not broadcast your profession. Don't you get enough questions from paying clients?
12. Join social media groups for dog breeders
Do you really want to have an aneurysm reading all the crazy things breeders are doing? You cannot fix the world and you should probably never join one of these groups unless you want to make it to your grave early. Just trust me on this, you will not win this battle!
The veterinary industry is full of stressors, but they can easily be managed if you know what not to do. Take some of the stress out and choose your battles wisely if you want to survive.