Veterinary technicians provide an important service in the care of animals in domestic, farm and commercial environments. The work is stable and well-paying; however, it is not for just anyone. It takes a certain kind of person and there are several key character traits that are shared by the best, and most highly regarded veterinary technicians.
Before character traits are discussed, it is important to first understand exactly what the day-to-day functions of a veterinary technician involve. The primary role is to assist the veterinarian in whatever task they may be involved in at the moment. This could entail animal examinations, administering intravenous medications or sedatives and performing surgery and other procedures, including euthanasia.
Other regular duties may include: front office administrative tasks, greeting customers and providing initial consultations, filing and paperwork. Especially in small office settings, there really is no limit to the potential tasks a veterinarian assistant may be charged with completing. Anyone seeking a career in this field should be prepared for flexible workdays.
With the basic job description out of the way it is important to understand what type of person is cut out for a career as a veterinarian technician. Here are 3 important personality traits that every veterinary worker should have:
- Love of animals – This one may seem obvious; however, it is important to re-iterate that primary to a role as a veterinary assistant is a genuine caring attitude toward animals. It’s not enough to simply go through the motions; a respected veterinary technician will be able to readily exhibit empathy and true caring for pets – that many people consider to be just like family – and other animals. Without this trait the veterinarian’s practice will suffer along with the animal patients. Taken a step further, veterinary technicians cannot be afraid of being bitten or otherwise injured because they will regularly deal with animals that are under duress.
- Good communicator – Interactions with the human owners of pets and other animals who are taken to a veterinarian is a regular component of the job. The ability to clearly communicate the proper diagnosis, treatment and billing options is an important part of the job that can’t be underemphasized. The hallmark of a good veterinary technician goes far beyond their ability to adequately relate to animal patients. In many cases, especially during difficult times, such as end-of-life situations, it is imperative that the technician is able to responsibly relate important information in a sympathetic voice.
- Not squeamish or afraid to get dirty on the job – While a veterinary technician won’t have to deal with the “yuckier” elements of human medicine – like treating communicable diseases, a yeast infection and other messy ailments – there are many less than attractive components to the business. Everything from cleaning animal feces to dealing with blood and bodily fluids can be regular parts of the job.