I love vet tech week because, if only for one week, so many techs feel appreciated. But then I remember that there are some clinics that don’t celebrate. There are some technicians that never get to hear how awesome they are or that what they are doing matters.
One of the biggest problems we have in this field is the lack of kindness, empathy, and appreciation we have for each other. We give our clients and patients 110%, but forget about ourselves or those who are in the trenches with us. Sometimes we forget that we are all in this together.
There was one comment that stuck with me on one of my articles that impacted me dramatically. I use it as my motivation to push for change in the field. It speaks volumes for one of the biggest issues in the field. “Vet techs eat their young.”
When I was a baby vet tech, I lived this comment. I had more experienced technicians look down on me for my total noob status. They scoffed at my inexperience and took joy in my struggle to prove myself. As much as it pains me to admit it, I felt it was a rite of passage and that we all had to prove our worth. I dished out just as much nastiness in my career as was heaped upon me in my early years. I’ve been on both sides and they both weren’t very fun places to live in.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to dish out nastiness or haze the up-and-coming vet techs out there. We don’t have to look at it as having to earn our title or proving our worth. We are all rock star vet techs. We all do this for one reason: we love animals. We all have the hearts of a vet tech, a heart that wants to help the wounded and nurse the injured. It’s time that we start doing this amongst our colleagues. This BS hierarchy and self-induced martyr complex must stop. It all starts with us, folks.
This year my state technician association decided to try something different. Instead of the obligatory “Proud to Be a Vet Tech” post we decided we would push our membership to take action. We are pushing for our membership and our colleagues to participate in random acts of kindness. What better way to show the pride in our profession than to support those who work alongside us? We ask people to show each other that they care.
Maybe we help a vet tech student study for an upcoming exam. Maybe we tell someone we work with how much they inspired us. Maybe we bring veggie trays to feed the staff during the lunch time splenectomy. Or just compliment someone on their mad IV catheter placement skills. But whatever task we choose, we start putting good out into the world.
This field sure isn’t easy. We go home covered in dog hair, cat pee and mysterious bruises. Clients yell at us. They even curse at us. Patients bite and scratch. Our bank accounts aren’t loaded. But still, this is a profession that we should all be proud of.
We do things that create daily miracles. We all need to be reminded of that. We all should be reminded of what amazing veterinary technicians we are. So, please tell someone that they matter, that what they do is worthwhile. Offer kindness, support and cookies. Ask someone how their day is. Stop buzzing around the treatment area and listen to what your coworker is saying. Be kind. Be present. Be genuine.
Thank you to all the fierce forces in vet med that have helped someone else succeed. Thank you to those who won’t hear any appreciation this vet tech week. Thank you all for loving your jobs and pushing to make this field even more amazing. We all matter. We all deserve to be appreciated. Share your knowledge, strength and all-around amazingness with the world. Keep fighting the good fight. Happy Vet Tech Week to my tribe of bad ass technicians who will bring about change and compassion!
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
Jade is a licensed technician of 9 years who lives in Port Orchard, Washington. She enjoys emergency and critical cases, dentistry and creating a bond with her clients and team. During her off time she is busy keeping up with her two crazy Basenjis!