Like many in the field, being a veterinary technician has ignited my lifelong passion for veterinary medicine and brought me to some of my closest friends and family. But, being a veterinary technician is not for the faint of heart. This career can be extremely demanding not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. There are definitely both pros and cons of being a Vet Tech.
Every career has its downsides and you have probably heard that being a veterinary technician isn’t just playing with kittens and puppies all day. So, before we talk about the amazing things about being a technician, let’s chat about the tougher things first. Taking the shot of tequila before the lime, so to speak 😉
Cons of Becoming a Vet Tech
Every veterinary technician has to overcome their own personal challenges. In the veterinary technician community, we all work through these things together and prospective techs should know of some of the hurdles we face on a day to day basis.
It’s tough and probably one of the hardest things to be exposed to when entering the veterinary field. It’s hard to talk about, understand, and experience and, as veterinary technicians, it is something we are exposed to frequently.
But, we are also there to support those pet owners on, potentially, the hardest day of their lives. And, everyone in the practice intimately understand this pain. Confiding in (but not trauma dumping onto) the people you care about, whether personally or professionally, can help you manage the toughest part of the veterinary industry.
Our career is filled with stressful situations, particularly in Emergency Medicine. Veterinary technicians practice patience everyday with our patients, clients, and coworkers. We are often the first point of contact pet owners have during stressful appointments and our days can become hectic depending on what cases come through the door.
During these situations, it’s important to remember we are all human and our emotions can get mixed into these stressful situations. You must give yourself and everyone around you some grace in those moments.
From working hours to patients the veterinary field is filled with many unpredictable outcomes. It is extremely difficult to predict how a patient may react in any given situation as we have to remember our patients are not always able to communicate their feelings with words; instead they use their teeth! Because of the nature of our work, it can also be hard to have a consistent work schedule and many veterinary technicians work nonstandard hours.
So, it’s important to work to maintain a healthy work/life balance, whatever that looks like for you! It’s crucial to remember that you are not just a veterinary professional, you’re also a person who has needs and must take breaks. Which leads us to…
The energy veterinary technicians put into the care of their patients can often lead to neglect for themselves. Veterinary technicians are left to manage difficult and emotional situations with clients because of their animals' condition. It can become hard to practice self-care basics without having the foundation of practicing stress management to care for their emotional health and overall wellbeing.
Veterinary technicians who are given or seek out the tools to practice emotional and physical wellbeing are able to prevent burn-out and stay focused in the workplace.
Want to learn more about self-care in the veterinary industry? Check out our Starter Guide!
Pros of Becoming a Vet Tech
Now that we’ve got the tough stuff out of the way, let’s talk about the positives of this wonderfully fulfilling career field.
If you have a genuine love of animals, then this is the job for you, mate! You will gain the knowledge and skill of how to make a difference in the lives of animals and their owners every day.
Not to mention the variety of animals you can work with is immense. The variety of animals also helps ensure that your job is never boring! There are many different career paths you can follow as a veterinary technician once your journey begins.
Did you know there are 16 different types of Veterinary Technician Specialists? Learn more about them here.
The veterinary field overall is so diverse in career paths, and as a veterinary technician, you can explore the many different responsibilities.
Being a vet tech can range from a routine wellness appointment, preparing for surgery, or strictly working on running diagnostics for your emergency patient. Veterinary technicians also get to communicate with owners and veterinarians.
Vet techs' communication skills also allow them to obtain patient intake history, report the patient's condition, and then review treatment plans.
Veterinary technicians are essential to a functional veterinary hospital. There is also a high demand for veterinary technicians and opportunities for advancement once in your career.
Career advancement can range from being promoted to a leadership role in your clinic to earning specialty certificates. Not to mention that during the pandemic, over 23 million Americans acquired pets, which helps with our job security!
The emotional drainage we sometimes feel also comes with some unforgettable emotionally rewarding memories.
Being a veterinary technician means making a difference in the lives of animals and their owners every shift. You are helping owners give their beloved pets a healthier and happier life.
Veterinary technicians also get the pleasure of working in hands-on environments that allow them to fulfill their passion of caring for animals. The positive impact I got to leave on clients is what made me so excited to come into every shift I worked!
Ready to become a veterinary technician? Learn how here!