4 New Years resolutions for veterinary technicians

December 17, 2018
Ciera Sallese, CVT, VTS

Ciera Sallese is a CVT, VTS (Clinical practice), at Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pennsylvania.

Want a resolution youll actually stick with? Pick one that will make where you spend the majority of your daythe veterinary clinica better place to be for you, your patients and the people around you.

Plan now. Keep it achievable. Don't give it up. (Photo credits: James Thew/adobe.stock.com [fireworks], fantom_rd/adobe.stock.com [cat], seregraff/stock.adobe.com [dog])New Year's resolutions are the perfect opportunity to make the changes you've been putting off all year long-especially in the workplace. Because change is so difficult, it's important to pick resolutions that you'll stick with because they truly improve your professional life (which will no doubt spill into your personal life as well). If you're struggling to come up with ideas, perhaps you can start with one (or all four) of the resolutions below:

Have more empathy for clients and patients

It's easy to get tired of the cranky client and the clawing cat, but we still have to find a way to maintain our empathy for them. Remind yourself how upset you would be if your personal pet was in the hospital and your emotions got the best of you. Remind yourself that every time a cat claws or bites, it's because it's terrified and unsure of your intentions.

As technicians, we have to remain advocates for our patients and clients, even when it tests our patience. Instead of getting upset, go the extra mile. Go out of your way to lessen the stress of frazzled and difficult clients. Take a few extra minutes to move the scared cat into a quiet and calm room. Do what you can to make the visit as quick and easy as possible for every person and pet involved.

Learn (or share) a new technical skill

Veterinary medicine is changing all the time. There are tons of new techniques and procedures out there begging to be learned. (Editor's note: There are also now 16 technician specialties officially recognized by NAVTA. Read about the latest addition here.) Use this time of year to set goals for yourself. From sampling catheters to female urinary catheters, there's always something you can learn to advance your technical skills. Ask your senior technicians to teach you new things. Attend conferences with hands-on classes. If you think your hospital would benefit from something, mention it to a supervisor. And when it's your turn, be sure to pass on your knowledge to someone else. This is how hospitals (and people) continue to grow.

Make time to eat your entire lunch

Most people in the veterinary field know all about that day that just keeps on going (and going). You seem to be running the time you walk in until the time you finally drag your tired body back home. You're lucky if you even get a lunch break at all on such days. As much as that kind of hard work is appreciated, it wears down your body and mind. This year, make a point of getting away from the chaos to eat a decent meal. You need all the energy you can get to survive those hectic days, and proper rest and nutrition will allow you to provide better care to your patients and clients in the long run.

Volunteer at an animal-related organization

You can help animals in your local community in a number of ways. This can look like volunteering your time and skills at a shelter or spay-and-neuter clinic, attending fundraisers, helping advertise events or donating food to a rescue on a monthly basis. You will be amazed at how rewarding it can be-even for a person who spends all day, every day, helping animals. It might just give you a fresh perspective on your job or a renewed passion for the veterinary field.

If none of these resolutions inspire you, find one that does. Whatever you do, don't wait another year to make your work life better.

Ciera Sallese is a CVT, VTS (Clinical practice), at Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pennsylvania.