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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I applied to a local college for veterinary technology. After going through a hard time with my dog having parvo despite being vaccinated I realized that I want to help animals as well. Before getting accepted into the vet tech program I have to have 120 volunteer hours (100 at a clinic and 20 at a shelter). I found a local animal rescue to do my volunteer hours and my landlord is actually on the board of the rescue. I was talking to her about it the other day and she said her sister in law was the manager of a local emergency animal clinic and she knows they were looking for a veterinary assistant. She got me in contact with her and we talked for quite some time. It is all on the job training and vet assistants do quite a bit of things in the clinic such as taking x-rays, drawing blood, assisting with surgery, etc.
She wanted to meet up with me the next day and when I went in I was half-way filling out the application and she offered to show me around. After the tour she asking if I was interested. I said yes and she had already had the hiring paperwork ready. I am really excited!
I would love to hear from other veterinary techs/assistants.
What is the best and worst part of the job? I am really nervous but extremely excited!
 

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I applied to a local college for veterinary technology. After going through a hard time with my dog having parvo despite being vaccinated I realized that I want to help animals as well. Before getting accepted into the vet tech program I have to have 120 volunteer hours (100 at a clinic and 20 at a shelter). I found a local animal rescue to do my volunteer hours and my landlord is actually on the board of the rescue. I was talking to her about it the other day and she said her sister in law was the manager of a local emergency animal clinic and she knows they were looking for a veterinary assistant. She got me in contact with her and we talked for quite some time. It is all on the job training and vet assistants do quite a bit of things in the clinic such as taking x-rays, drawing blood, assisting with surgery, etc.
She wanted to meet up with me the next day and when I went in I was half-way filling out the application and she offered to show me around. After the tour she asking if I was interested. I said yes and she had already had the hiring paperwork ready. I am really excited!
I would love to hear from other veterinary techs/assistants.
What is the best and worst part of the job? I am really nervous but extremely excited!

Congratulations!

I was recently talking with a girl that told me she was hired at a vet clinic with no schooling/experience with it, and they taught her all she needed to know. Are you still going to be going to vet tech school despite being hired? I am wondering if this is becoming a norm. Is the need so high for a vet assistant that they are not requiring a college degree? I always say if I had been able to afford it I'd have gone to vet tech school (might still be a possibility)

I apologize I don't have experience working at a vet clinic in order to answer your question, but good luck on this wonderful adventure ahead! I have worked at a kennel for the last month and it's been a pleasure and a labor of love caring for so many different breeds and ages of dogs.

Keep in mind that at a vet clinic, sometimes you may see a lot of sick animals and I've heard that it can be very emotionally tolling. Especially when a dog is in need and the owner can't afford treatment. But being through Parvo, it seems you have an idea of what that may be like.

Keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congratulations!

I was recently talking with a girl that told me she was hired at a vet clinic with no schooling/experience with it, and they taught her all she needed to know. Are you still going to be going to vet tech school despite being hired? I am wondering if this is becoming a norm. Is the need so high for a vet assistant that they are not requiring a college degree? I always say if I had been able to afford it I'd have gone to vet tech school (might still be a possibility)

I apologize I don't have experience working at a vet clinic in order to answer your question, but good luck on this wonderful adventure ahead! I have worked at a kennel for the last month and it's been a pleasure and a labor of love caring for so many different breeds and ages of dogs.

Keep in mind that at a vet clinic, sometimes you may see a lot of sick animals and I've heard that it can be very emotionally tolling. Especially when a dog is in need and the owner can't afford treatment. But being through Parvo, it seems you have an idea of what that may be like.

Keep us updated!
I'm not sure if it's actually becoming the norm because I was under the impression that people HAD to have the schooling. I am still going to school despite having on the job training as I want to strengthen my knowledge and possibly go to a regular veterinary setting instead of emergency depending on how I like emergency.

I think that the euthanizing part will be the hardest part. I have already been warned up front that they see a lot and they euthanize more than normal. I'm really nervous for that part but have been present for a euthanasia due to the owner not having enough money to care for their critical dog. That was tough.
 

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I had to rewrite this post 3 times bear with me X_X

I'm actually working on being a vet tech. I have volunteered at my local vet clinic from Sept. 2015 to Dec. 2015. I stopped going for mental health's sake (unrelated to the clinic.) I recently visited again last month for a pet's exam and they told me that if they hadn't already hired someone, they would've hired me, and they told me if anything happens they'll give me a call. I was also told I was the hardest working one there.

My advice to you is to work hard and be quick and efficient. Get a task done the moment you are told, and try to get everything you see needs to be done, done before they ask you. Always be willing to learn and ask questions.

Most of the work I did was the laborious stuff nobody wanted to really do. I swept and mopped exam rooms, wiped tables down, washed dishes, fecal loops (yuck!), cleaned and sanitized cages and crates, restrained animals, walked in-patients, did bloodwork, prepped vaccinations/injections, filled prescriptions, filed X-rays, restrained during radiographs, restocked, walked in-patients, the list goes on. Just whatever the staff ask you to do, get out there and do it.

When it came to EU, I have not had to assist with it, or watched one. Usually, pet owners would like to be there when their animal is euthanized. What my clinic does is knock an animal out with anesthetics, set a catheter for the euthanasia, and bring it into the exam room with the pet client where they do the euthanasia. You want the least amount of staff in there, so I would hang back and do other work. I did help the client take their euthanized pet and carry it into the car for them to take home to bury. But I have not actually witnessed a euthanasia while I was there. Quite a solemn experience.

The biggest perks of volunteering there were 1) puppies! and 2) GOODIES.
I love seeing a cute puppy come in for it's set of vaccines. Goodies, however, take the cake. Clients would bring in all kinds of things and in between exams/cleaning/what have you, you bet I'll be hovering by those fudge squares. Also, the learning experience if you're willing to ask questions.

I'm sure you'll do great, and whether or not this is your line of work, it's always a good experience! Good luck to you!
 

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Its not easy work, the pay is crap, and there are some people out there you just want to leap across the reception desk and strangle!

You see a lot sickness, but seeing a pet go home healthier than they came in is rewarding. Helping owners that ACTUALLY listen to you is awesome too.

You never stop learning either 10 years is this job and I am still surprised and always learn something new each day.

In the beginning its very hard to not get emotional about every euthanasia, every cranky client, every neglected pet.
Try to have a release somewhere like vent to a partner/friend/family member (a dog forum :) or go out or play a video game (always helps me shooting and stabbing fictional people).
But there is a lot of good in it too. When a client tells you how much they appreciate you helping them and their pet it really does give you warmth.
Plus you do get favourite patients too!
 

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Just want to say I'm not a vet assistant , but wanted to say congratulations on your new job :) an hope it all works out for u x
 

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@MrsCunningham basically got it. The pay is way less then a human position (i.e.: nurse, doctor, receptionist etc.), you get crapped on constantly, there's a risk of burn out, some of the cases I've seen are brutal, you become jaded a bit too, but it's all worth it. I've never had a day that's the same as the last, and watching those sick pets that your team has cared for weeks go home - well it's truly the best feeling ever. Or when you sit with a client and comfort them while they put their pet to sleep, I don't enjoy it but to see the trust and understanding we can have and listening to their stories, I think, makes the day a little easier.

Sure I could make more being a receptionist at a dentists clinic or medical clinic, but it wouldn't be the same. At the end of the day I always have a feeling of pride for what we do, even though I constantly deal with people who say that because of x,y,z reasons we don't care about the pets because we're only in it for the money - which is far less then what most people think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have successfully completed day 2 of work. I have seen quite a bit in the last 2 days but know that it is nothing compared to what is to come. My first day not even 20 minutes from when I arrived, someone brought in a dog that had been hit by a car. We tried to save it but she ended up passing on the table. So far I have witnessed 5 euthanasias. I know it is an Emergency Animal Clinic so most animals who come in are very sick or very hurt. Its hard but a lot of animals had been hit by cars and were unable to be saved. Others were senior animals and were having a lot of issues that they were not going to recover from. One was a 2 day old puppy that was very critical and was dying. Its very sad but to know we helped keep them from suffering is important. I really am enjoying this line of work. We have helped so many dogs and cats get well and go home that it makes it so worth it. I am already doing bloodwork tests by myself, developing x-rays (we don't have digital x-rays there because the company won't change), and I am charting which is good I suppose for just 2 days!
 
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