Sympathy and Flexibility, two tools a Vet Tech’s gotta have

So I know I promised another crazy story about my day, but the last two have been mentally draining and physically demanding.  That’s another part of Vet Tech Life no one tells you about before you go into it.  Being a Vet Tech means decisions on the fly and therapy for your clients and patients.  So that I’m clear with my non-vet tech audience; patients are your pets, you, the humans, are the clients.

The reason these last two days have been so demanding is that we are short-staffed, we had a patient die on the way home, and I’ve provided comfort for the end-of-life decision for two elderly animals.  In addition, I heard the saddest thing ever when one of our clients told me that she wished she would die, and was serious.  I won’t go into the reasons why, but she was caring for her dog, and her dog was caring for someone she loved who couldn’t care for the dog anymore.  It’s a fact that we provide as much therapy for owners as many well paid counselors do. Some of it has to do with the fact that pets die, and with a lifespan that rarely reaches 20 years, they die pretty frequently.  Many of them leave the world in a peaceful manner, sometimes escorted by me and whatever Doctor I’m working with that day.

As far as flexibility goes, as I mentioned before, all vet techs wear many hats.  We go from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds with emergency situations, and as often happens, an ordinary situation often becomes something more than expected.  For instance, in everyday practice owners often call for their pet’s yearly visit.  A yearly usually means “my dog needs shots.”  A yearly takes 15 minutes on a healthy pet.  But then, we have yearly exams where the owner hasn’t divulged some important facts.  For instance, my dog has been vomiting daily for two weeks, and has lost 10 pounds.   That 15 minute in and out has just turned into an hour of fluids and bloodwork.   And there are the other clients, who were scheduled at 30 minute intervals but have now waited one and a half hours.  In our clinic, some of our clients drive from two hours away.  This becomes a big issue, a lot.

There’s also the flexibility to realize that what you see on paper isn’t what you get.  I recently had a client who’s age had been grossly misrepresented in her paperwork.  The owner and I were having some serious issues with why I couldn’t do certain things, and after being confused, we had to stop and look at everything.  As it turned out, the dog wasn’t 18 months old, it was 4, a big difference in the durations that vaccines can be given.

Don’t get me wrong.  Being a Vet Tech is a great job.  I got to play with a boston terrier puppy and a doberman puppy today.  I got to see a cat with micro-opthalmia.  I’ve learned things that are not only valuable to pet care but to people care too.  I think of myself as a middle man of pet care and human healthcare.  So many things are zoonotic!  (that means humans and animals can transfer them back and forth) And I love the people, for the most part.  I love talking to people about their pets.  Especially owners who really want to care for them, and understand that we do too.  I really like my job when people remember my name for a good reason.  That doesn’t happen all that often.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll let on a few stories about some of the crazier things that have happened in Vet Tech world.  I’ve only got a stackful.  Maybe the pitbull whose owner swaddled her and carried her around like a baby, or the my dog is pooping spaghetti story. If you like my stories please leave a comment.  I never know if what I’m writing is interesting.


One thought on “Sympathy and Flexibility, two tools a Vet Tech’s gotta have

  1. I really like what you have written here. I am looking forward to hearing more. I am definitely a pet lover. My lil doggie is my best friend, my son, my early alert system for intruders, and my helper, and this is just for starters.

    My dog has definitely helped ease some of the complications I deal with due to failing health. He seems to know when I am feeling bad, and conforts me in his own little way, He also keeps me going, and that is very important with the type of health problems I have. I will never be able to repay my doggie for all he does for me, and my family. He truly is a blessing on our household.

    I cannot wait to hear your stories.



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