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 technician 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.
Reprinted with permission from Smartflowsheet.com
Born in Hungary, but raised in London, Ontario, Canada, Anna was bringing stray cats home from a very early age. She has been an RVT since 2003, working in both general practices and emergency facilities, often with orphaned kittens or wildlife in tow. A big part of her life in the last few years has been helping veterinary clinics improve their patient care with Smart Flow. Check out more of her blogs at //blog.smartflowsheet.com.