New technicians: Lets be friends

December 6, 2017
Ciera Sallese, CVT, VTS

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

Ready to make friends and influence your veterinary colleagues? These five tips can help you become a successful technicianand great addition to your hospital.

shutterstock.com1. Listen and learn. When you join a veterinary team, there's always going to be someone with more experience than you. Some hospitals even have specific team members who serve as trainers or mentors to new technicians. Don't be intimidated by their knowledge; use it to your advantage! Other technicians and veterinarians are a great resource when it comes to learning technical skills and medical procedures.

2. Practice makes perfect. This old saying is still around for a reason. If you're struggling with a certain skill or procedure, make sure you keep trying. It's easy to shy away from something that seems daunting, but tackling the challenge will make you a better technician in the long run.

3. Anticipate your veterinarian's needs. We all know that a veterinary practice works best when team members work together. Veterinarians need our help with many tasks throughout the day, so part of our job is to make theirs easier. Each doctor is different, so you'll have to learn their specific needs and preferences. They will appreciate your efficiency and reliability.

4. Be a team player. No one likes a coworker who acts only to their own benefit. Remember to share responsibilities evenly and work with others in a respectful manner. Some parts of our job are fun, but others can seem like grunt work. Be sure to help in all areas of the hospital to keep things fair and everyone happy.

5. Don't lose your compassion. Long shifts and tiring duties can make anyone feel burnt out and impatient. Remember that you're not only there to be a technician, but also to be an advocate for your patients. They rely on your patience, understanding and care. Always put your patients first, even if they're less than cooperative. Handling them calmly and with compassion will make them feel safer and will help make future visits easier.

Ciera Miller, CVT, VTS (Clinical Practice), is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and a technician at Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pennsylvania.