SO you want my Job? I’m a Vet Tech, just what do you think I do all day?
Recently, through various avenues of my life, I’ve found people asking for my job. MY job. A job I sometimes wish I could give away. Especially on days that involve anal glands, sharp teeth penetrating my freckled skin, and sometimes inexplicably hostile and looney owners. Well, I guess that makes it every day, at some point or another. As a result I thought I’d write a post or two about what I do, and what it takes to make it as a Veterinary Technician. I’m going to use today, although it was mild comparatively, and I might sprinkle a few of last weeks, and about 10 years of pent up stories in for good measure. Prepare to gawk at what I’m about to tell you. I don’t hug puppies and play with kittens all day. It’s really not what I do.
To start with, let me explain that I wear the cowboy hat that holds all the jobs that are possible in a veterinary clinic short of being the veterinarian. ALL technicians do, unless they are those really special ones that work in big city veterinary hospitals, where they have an opportunity to “specialize.” I’ve never had that luxury.
Take today for instance. I was a receptionist today. My day started answering phones, explaining to angry clients that their appointment isn’t today, it is two weeks from now, and to others on the phone that they can’t get an appointment for two weeks, they need to call another clinic. It didn’t help that we were short staffed, that happens a lot. Most clinics run on bare bones. I work in a government one,that means we are missing a few bones. So, I did a little of that, and then I had to get some medications together for a patient that needs heartworm treatment. Here’s where the fun begins. Not with the medicine you crazy people, with the patient. A beautiful lab with cartoonish eyes and a name I’m not going to type. I don’t understand why people name their animals the way they do, but I digress. So I got the meds together, and checked it off on the board. Then it was time to shave and pre-medicate our not-so-eager to be worked on friend. Pre-medication was done without too much incident. Here comes the fun. You know, the part you’ve been waiting impatiently for. I promise I’m getting to it.
I went back up front to wait a few while the sedative kicks in. I return in 15 minutes, pull out my friend, who at this point has defecated what I thought was everything possible out, and is drooling and panting at a rate which is nearly uncountable. POOLS of Drool, piles of poo, and I’m the only one in sight. I cleaned up the back end and began the process of moving my friend. He wasn’t interested. I’m trying to coax an 80 pound, sedated, drooling, and defecating lab out of a cage. THIS is a lot of what I do. But it’s not over. I get to experience the joy of seeing just what my friend had for breakfast. A large amount of green beans and dog food, on my shoe. YEA me! Oh but it’s not over. He’s now gone from just defecating to evacuating his bowels. Completely. Down the hall. Somewhere in this mess we treated him for the heartworms, returned him to the kennel and went back to doing all the other things we do. For me, I went back up front. For the Dr, she went to see her patients. Fifteen minutes later, I return to my caged, and now empty, friend. Finding some concern, I got the Dr. to check on him. She marked him off as ok, and sent him up front to spend the day with me, and he did. Whining and crying all the rest of the day. That all happened just within 2 hours of starting work as a receptionist today. I could go on, but you’d get bored hearing about me explaining what comfortis is twenty times, or describing how to give medications. Or about all the fecal samples I handled, or about the bloodwork results I called about and typed in. Tommorow I’m Teching again, and surgical nursing, and probably doing some receptionist work too. I’ll continue my story there, and let me tell you, I’m anticipating an exceptional day.