It seems that our profession has more people with toxic personalities than ever before, and more veterinary technicians are leaving the field in droves because of it. Many of us have come across that one person that thinks they are the center of the universe in the hospital. Maybe they have been employed there the longest; are the only technician with a license; married to the owner or dating the chief of staff; or have been a technician since the beginning of time. Whatever their reason is, it is almost a guarantee that there is one in your hospital and someone has left the profession because of them.
Based on the technician interviews I conduct every day, the number one reason that the applicants are looking to leave their current hospital is because of a single toxic person or the toxic culture in general. If they continue to work in these hospitals, they will eventually leave the field entirely because it’s not worth it to be in one that doesn’t care about their contribution to the team as a whole. The field is already plagued with low pay for the work that we actually do, so why deal with something that we have control of which is to walk away and never look back.
Social media is full of heartbreaking stories from technicians that have left our profession involving a co-worker that treats others in the hospital as if they don’t exist, thinks they are better than everyone else, takes more than they give, asserts dominance, sees others as competition or a threat and only thinks of themselves. I could go on and on but my hope is that you get the picture. What may be worse is if this behavior is demonstrated by someone in a lead position. What hope do we have for the future of our profession if it is fueled by entitlement?
Behaviors such as these have no place in veterinary medicine. It cripples the team culture and encourages people to do and treat people however they want. I believe in my bones that those who feel entitled have seriously forgotten where they came from. They have lost their passion for an industry that has many others waiting for a chance to make a difference. We need more technicians that put patients and clients first, encourage one another, appreciate the help, support each another, demonstrate empathy and leave the gossip to TMZ.
Maybe it is time to take a stand for the team player that can’t imagine doing anything else instead of the person that has lost their love of the profession and would rather look out for themselves than patients. Why would you want someone who has no desire to be part of a successful team? The last time I checked, our profession is not an individual sport and one person can’t do it all alone. I would have no problem encouraging someone who doesn’t belong anymore to find a new path and support the ones that want to be there. Maybe you should too.