Working in a veterinary clinic requires everyone to have devotion, ethics, and a sense of humor. It really does bring together people from all walks of life into a wubbulous melting pot. Yes, wubbulous because every vet clinic can be like stepping into a new story of the world of Dr. Seuss. No clinic is the same and the people you meet there are special, in their own sort of way. In this mix of people, they will bring characteristics or traits that make the job and environment better.
“I do! I like them, Sam-I-Am!” Sort of like the class clown, there is always somebody who is fun loving, free spirited, and maybe sometimes the butt of jokes – just like Sam-I-Am. This really can be anybody in the clinic and they help boost the mood and morale of everyone by cutting loose. Whether it be putting their foot in their mouth and opening up to some playful mocking or the person who ruins everyone’s diet plans by bringing candy, they have a need to lift everyone’s spirits in unarguably one of the most challenging professions in the world. Face it, the clinic needs more of these people than anything else.
2. The Lorax
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, it’s not going to get better. It’s not.” The Lorax is wise and we should listen to him more. Ask anyone in vet med and they’ll say they got into the field because they love helping animals and people. But that’s often not enough…they detest a stale environment and crave change. They are constantly looking for ways to improve how things are done or new ways to practice medicine. They are adventurous when it comes to suggesting and trying new procedures or protocols especially. Think of it like trying to teach an old dog new tricks. Typically, this is going to be a new graduate from veterinary or vet tech school because they’re stepping into an environment that others might view as “normal.” The kind of change they suggest should be evaluated & embraced and their opinions valued as it will make for a stronger team.
“I know up on to you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights.” Truer words may have never been spoken but Mack the Turtle shares this profound wisdom. You may not know Mack but surely you know someone just like him. Mack is the turtle at the bottom of the stack in “Yertle the Turtle” which is about a tyrannical turtle (Yertle) who desires to be higher than the moon. Mack, our hero, steadfastly questions authority and tries to look out for the little guy. Someone in the clinic, possibly in some sort of manager or supervisor role but not the owner, is well suited for this. It’s possible to question the decision makers and still maintain a respectful tone. An overall healthy morale in the clinic will lead to better success and productivity for the team.
“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!” Kind hearted and faithful, Horton the Elephant helps us retain our natural humanity. We already give 110% of ourselves so what more can we do? Nothing more really. But when times are tough, our inner demons may awaken and that little devil on our shoulder encourages us to give in and embrace our dark side. And there, on our other shoulder sits Horton reminding us of our true purpose as healers and not to give up. Someone is counting on us and every now and then we need a cheerleader in the clinic; surely there is one bubbly person at work who encourages you to keep being awesome.
“You wanted my horns; now you’re quite welcome to ’em! Keep ’em! They’re yours!” Thidwick, the Big Hearted Moose is someone we all should strive to have a little bit of in ourselves. The story of Thidwick revolves around his generosity at letting multiple forest creatures dwell in his antlers. He is so giving of others, that he doesn’t look out for himself. Finally, like all moose do, he sheds his antlers thus relieving himself of the burden of being a mobile condominium. He is effectively practicing self-care and looking out for himself for a change. We all need to be able to say “no” once in awhile.
I see a little bit of all these characters in myself changing as the situation calls for it. It’s a hard job that we do but there’s gotta be some room for a little Seussing up in your clinic; and I don’t mean any Grinches or Zax (no matter whether they be north or south going Zax). So which positive Seuss are you?
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the DrAndyRoark.com editorial team.
About the Author
Dr. Ryan Llera is a small animal veterinarian at the Kingston Veterinary Clinic in Kingston, Ontario. Though originally from Florida, he married a Canadian (who is also a vet!) and they share their home with 3 cats, 2 dogs, 2 horses and a pet rabbit. Ryan is also a regular guest writer for the Ontario SPCA blog. You can find more of his writing at www.drryanllera.com or see what else he is up to on Facebook & Instagram.