If homeopathy is your way, I would suggest you let go of your delusions and placebos and replace it with PROVEN, science based medicine rather than trying to buy into an ancient crock of you-know-what. How can I say it’s a crock? I can say that with confidence due to the utter lack of proof when it comes to these “treatments” having any efficacy at all. Treating with nothing does exactly that – NOTHING. And that is precisely what homeopathy is – a whole bottle full of nothing. I know, modern medicines are awful! They treat things and make people feel better and stuff… Let’s go the “all natural” way and treat things like they used to in the bronze age. Here’s a little fact – there’s a reason people only lived into their 30’s back then and I think you can guess what that reason is.
I don’t know when the idea came about that science and medicine are awful things. Wanna know what’s awful? Disease. And worse yet – watching a loved one die of said disease. But somehow the guys doing all of the research into life-saving and life-improving medicine are the guys that you need to flip the proverbial bird to because they’re the evil ones?
How about the scam artists pretending to be doctors, selling you “medicines” that actually aren’t medicines at all? Those guys will charge you an arm and a leg for a product diluted to the point of having no trace of the original (ineffective) ingredient, but the PHARMA companies are the scam artists?
Nobody’s perfect but the ones who claim to be so are the worst.
Regardless of my current level of satisfaction at my job, I have to say the pride I feel in being an RVT never fades. I love the industry I work in, the camaraderie felt with the other techs as well as support staff and doctors, and the constant challenge that each day brings.
Some of the jobs that fall under my job description aren’t pretty, aren’t desirable, and quite often don’t smell very good. However, no matter what, I know that all the little things that I do will contribute to the betterment of the pet’s life. It does become tedious when you are trying to teach someone how to help their pet and they’re clearly going to dismiss everything you’ve said as soon as they walk out the door, provided they actually listened in the first place. I’ve written previously about the things that irk me as a veterinary professional and those things continue to happen day in and day out. What keeps me in this field is the group of like-minded individuals I get to work with on a daily basis.
Even though many of us are in different stages of lives, we have a common goal of helping animals that bring us together at work. Through thick and thin we keep a positive attitude, which is so essential in avoiding burnout and compassion fatigue. Lately in the veterinary world, the number of people succumbing to these things is on the rise and thankfully our clinic has taken this quite seriously. We are all attending a workshop on mental health next week, and I can’t be more proud that our clinic’s partners are taking such a proactive role in addressing the issue of mental health. It’s not something a lot of people think of when it comes to our job, but it is very real and it does affect people in a big way.
As much as I may complain about the job of a vet tech sometimes, we do find time to have fun and see the humour in everyday situations. We can laugh about the tough things from yesterday or about an entertaining animal or client who is booked in today. We can compare stories or “battle wounds” and make light of the fact that our job can really suck. Despite that we love it because we are doing what we love, and we should count ourselves lucky as there are many people out there who either don’t love their job or have no idea what they even want to do. We’ve found what makes us happy.
I certainly feel appreciated during National Vet Tech Week as our clinic owners took the time to show us their appreciation with sweet tweets, and even a little gift. This really shows us that we are valued members of the team and that our work doesn’t go unnoticed.
From this tech to all the others: KEEP IT UP! Your efforts and hard work are what keep your clinic functioning, and just know that what you do matters. Every day you contribute so much to the betterment of the lives of animals and their people, and you should be proud.
There are days at the vet clinic that never seem to end. You’re missing veins, nobody is cooperating for their exams, owners are being difficult or non-compliant and euthanasias are abundant. How does one keep a positive attitude and bring a smile to each and every client when faced with a day like this? Here are a few ways that seem to work for me:
1. Make light of any situation
I am one of those people who uses humour, or attempts at humour, in any situation that makes me uncomfortable, sad, angry, frustrated. You name it, and I’m trying to be funny. This not only makes my coworkers laugh (sometimes), but laughing and/or smiling allows me to release some of that emotion and to make an otherwise terrible situation seem a little more bearable.
For example, we had euthanized a very large dog that day and had some trouble getting it in the freezer because there were things in there that didn’t need to be. Once I had solved the problem of getting that stuff out and the big dog in, I sent out a clinic-wide email asking people to please remove what they could from the freezer because I wasn’t really into playing “Jenga” in there for long periods of time. It made a few people chuckle after an otherwise crazy day and if I can help to boost morale with cheesy things, then I am gonna lay it on.
2. Allowing someone to “let it out”
The first eleven seconds of this video is what plays in my head all the time.
Every single time I read or hear the words “let it out”, I am reminded of the above scene voiced by the late Robin Williams. It makes me smile a little inside, but I also do this in the literal sense. Whether they need to cry, vent, or they just can’t bear to be present in another euthanasia that day, I like to be that person who listens or fills in whenever needed and I know that my teammates would do the same for me. Think of your coworkers like you’re all part of the Amigos.
I think voicing your frustrations can be a very good strategy for getting through the day with your sanity intact. There are certain people I work with who know that when I need to vent, it’s not that I am mad at them or I am being too negative. They know that I just need to voice my opinion or voice my frustrations and then it’s over and I feel better. Then I can continue on with my day. Often you can’t voice what you really think in an appointment because staying professional and courteous is so crucial, so being able to do so can help with getting rid of some frustration.
3. Cut yourself some slack
Yes, I get it. You’ve done this job for “x “years and you are more than capable of hitting that vein, or powering through that tough appointment. The sooner someone realizes that perfection is an impossible goal, the sooner they will be less hard on themselves when they’re having a bad day.
Even being as relatively new as I am, I know that there are going to be days when I’m not at my best. Those days are getting fewer and further apart, and that is what I strive for. You’re going to make mistakes, but as long as you make each one a “teachable moment”, you’re on your way to becoming an even better technician (or whatever your title may be).
Being perfect one hundred percent of the time isn’t going to happen because the industry is constantly going to evolve and change. You can either learn and adapt, or get left behind thinking you’ve seen it all. Chances are, you haven’t. Even some of the technicians I respect the most, who really have “seen it all” know that there is always more to be learned, and staying humble really goes a long way.
4. Give yourself a minute
Sometimes you just need a sec. Take a few minutes to allow your brain to rest, to recharge, and to deal with the craziness. I realize that there are some days where time is short and there doesn’t seem to be enough of it to go around.
I think it is incredibly important to at least have a few moments where you can just sit and release some of that tension. I recently did some CE on compassion fatigue which I felt was really useful. Since we are in a field which requires a compassionate and empathetic person, sometimes this can put some strain on us mentally. I intend to write further on the topic, not as an expert by any stretch of the imagination but just put out the information I have gathered so far and possibly inject some of my own experiences in.
Just think, you could have to work with people.
Don’t get discouraged. Just know that at the end of the day, you really are doing all you can and you are making a difference in the lives of your patients. Any client or employer with sense will know that you are only human, and that you deserve respect for the work that you do.
If all else fails, I watch cat videos until I feel better. This one, for example, had me laughing until I cried.
As always, feel free to leave me a comment. Any positive feedback or constructive criticism to become a better blogger or a better tech would be great!
Today felt like the longest one yet. Starting at 9 am, we managed to spay/neuter 20-ish animals, vaccinate those and more, and also tell many gawking little children to stop leaning on the wall we made to keep all the strays out. Every five minutes, honestly that wall was coming down. I was ready to punt someone.
I feel like this community is not as into us being here as the previous one. People are less willing to bring us their animals and pick them up. One guy told us to just to let the dog loose and it will find it’s way home. Not with all those sedatives, he won’t.
Despite the lack of people showing up, it was nice to know that we really did make a difference for those dogs and cats that we did manage to see. Now to educate people, and get them to be less excited and willing to get rid of theirs dogs just so they can have a puppy again. This seems to be a big obsession here, and it contributes greatly to the population problem.
After a hard day’s work, around 6, we finally closed up shop for the day and got a couple hours to do our own thing. We swam in the lake, which I have to say was a bit nipply. Then as we began the trek back to our base, we admired all of the beautifully scenic, horribly spelled graffiti all over the place. With lines like “bitches and holes” and “once a snitch allways a snitch”, how can one not be swept away in the romance of it all? No, that wasn’t a typo, the morons actually spelled it like that.
We rendezvoused with our police officer friends again and they took us for another crack at finding the bear at the dump. We were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon two bears! For being such great sports about touring us around in their squad-trucks, we fed them again. Perhaps it was nice for them to get to have some friendly company up here for a change, and we certainly enjoyed theirs.
The four pups that we took charge of in Round Lake seem to be taking everything in stride, but the singing at three in the morning has lost it’s cuteness already. Why is it that almost everything a puppy does is hilariously adorable?
Tomorrow we finish up a few last surgeries, if they show up, and then it’s once again time to pack everything up and carry on in the direction of home. I really just hate packing. Our trip home will be slightly different than our trip up. We will be flying the short trip to Pickle Lake, staying overnight, then driving from there to Thunder Bay where we’ll catch a flight back home to TO.
That drive should be a hoot. One motor home, nine people, three dogs, four puppies, personal stuff, and a ton of equipment. I am not sure how this will all go down but I am thinking that it’s gonna be a long one, especially if those pups continue to howl. Singing me the song of their people is cute for a video-op but after a while you’re ready to tell them to put a sock in it.
I really have enjoyed this experience insofar as I have achieved my goal of coming here to feel like I am making use of my skills to benefit someone/something in need. That we have done and I love the feeling. I would do this again and I have a funny feeling that I will.
I belong to this organization with other techs, vets, and volunteers is one that promotes the health and safety of dogs in the far reaches of Northern Ontario. We visit Native communities in hopes of controlling the population through spay/neuter clinics and education. This is my very first trip with them, and I am pumped!
As I write this I am on a plane from Toronto, ON to Thunder Bay, ON where we will rent a car and continue to Sioux Lookout. The final leg will be completed tomorrow as some of us head by bush plane to Round Lake, and I to Cat Lake.
Friends of Animush (Dogs) is a not-for-profit group of dog lovers out to make a difference. The driving force behind this organization is the constant threat of mass dog shoots due to over-population and the ensuing trouble caused by too many dogs and too few people to care for them. Veterinary care is scarce in these remote areas of Ontario, excepting the groups who travel there to do work like ours.
As a registered technician, my biggest motivation for doing this is the knowledge that I will be using the skills I’ve obtained for a cause that will make the difference to the lives of the dogs and the people of these communities. I can’t wait to start, and to experience what life is like in these remote communities. If I can use what I’ve learned to potentially save lives and create deeper bonds between man and dog, I am happy to brave the bugs, heat, and long hours to make that happen.
Hopefully we will leave a lasting good impression and be able to find homes for the dogs that we bring back with us. The neglected, the injured, and the sick are ones that we try to bring back to Southern Ontario to foster with volunteers until they can be found homes.
Conditions in these areas, I’ve heard, can sometimes be rough and the people living there have many of their own problems to deal with aside from those of their pets. While there are programs in place to help the people, we believe that the lives of the animals also deserve to be made better. I expect an eye-opening, educational experience that I’m unlikely to forget and I hope to be able to share my experiences with all of you!
As internet and time become available, I will try to document my journey over the next week. Tomorrow we arrive at our first community, and I will catch up with you then!
If you are in a position to foster, donate, or provide any services that could benefit the Friends of Animush or the animals we’re fighting to save, please contact me or send us a message on our Facebook page entitled “Cat Lake: Friends of Animush”.
If you have a comment or a question about how you can help the Friends of Animush, please feel free to shoot me an email!