What No One Tells You About Being A Vet

Puppy vet exam

Being a veterinarian is among the most popular and idealised career choices there are. Almost everyone loves animals, and many people see helping them as one of, if not the most, worthwhile ways to spend your working life. While it’s certainly a noble vocation, there are a lot of things about being a vet that you generally don’t hear about. Here are just a handful…

People Make Up Just as Much of the Job as Animals

Vet ophthalmology exam
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/armymedicine/7096472197

Obviously as a vet, the purpose of your job and a lot of your time is going to be centred around animals. However, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of humans in this role as well. It’s the pet owners who ultimately have to choose between different courses of treatment depending on their budget, and the limit of what you can actually do. After that, there’s a lot of staff you’ll have to deal with on a regular basis, such as the receptionists, technicians, and the odd specialists from other clinics. By the time you’re learning how to start your own vet clinic, you’ll have to have as many people skills as any other kind of business owner. You may be a great scientist when it comes to the application of everything you learned at vet school, but if you want to make a career out of it, you need to be a people person at times.

Some Animals Will Be Hard to Handle

Vet behaviour MedicineYour average vet will work on cats on a daily basis, and maybe the odd dog, that’s very aggressive and does not like to be handled. Little dogs and cats aren’t exactly as intimidating as the exotic pets some people will own, as they’re fairly easy to control and sedate if necessary. Here and there though, you’ll have to handle an 100-pound dog who isn’t used to your scent, and may hate everything about the strange environment it’s found itself in. You’re going to have a tough job handling some pets, but it’s important to understand that by and large, these pets are acting out due to fear, rather than any kind of inherent aggression or behavioural issues. Vets need to be able to understand the animal’s perspective, and go out of their way to soothe their nerves.

Even if Your Hours Are Fine, It’s Exhausting!

Vets finish late nearly everydayThe vets out there who clock in at 9 in the morning and leave at 5 in the evening are a lucky minority. However, even the veterinarians with these kinds of hours have a very emotionally draining day to get through. More or less from the start of their day, you’re going to be seeing appointments, some of which might entail giving pet owners some very bad news. When you’re not in appointments, you’ll likely be fielding phone call after phone call, or chewing through a mountain of paperwork. It’s important to remember that each and every one of these pet owners will love their pet, and have different concerns, and you’ll need to stay engaged through every appointment.

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