When it comes to a job as a vet assistant, there is more to it than just having a love for animals. While this is desirable, it’s important that you consider other qualities that are required in vet care jobs and look to see how they might match your own qualities.
You were either born with these qualities or acquired them through life experiences. These are crucial to your success in this field and may include:
FocusOften the veterinary practice will be a busy and chaotic environment with a number distractions going on, you’ll have to remain calm and be able to carry on with the task at hand.
Active listeningYou’ll need to be able to follow veterinarians' and veterinary technicians' instructions, therefore strong listening skills are paramount.
CompassionVeterinary assistants must treat animals with kindness and show compassion to both the animals and their owners.
Attention to detailIt’s important that you are able to follow exact details as they have been given to you. Examples of this include; precision when sterilising surgical equipment, monitoring animals and giving medication.
PatienceSometimes both animals and people can be difficult. We are exposed to a number of animals, with all different types of personalities and it can be easy to become frustrated with a fractious or difficult animal but it’s important to remember that they didn’t choose to visit the veterinary practice so take steps to exercise a level of patience when dealing with the animal.
The same goes for the pets owners! Often, an animal’s owner can be stressed out and frightened by their pet being unwell so they may misdirect their frustration with you. In this situation, remain patient and calm with an understanding of how the owner may be feeling at that time.
Vet assistants face a number of challenges on a day to day basis from managing frightened animals to handling stressed out pet owners. Not all dogs have been to doggy training and not all pet owners are courteous when their animal is unwell. Therefore problem solving and critical thinking are key qualities to have as you navigate the career of a veterinary assistant. This will allow you to determine what your options are when making decisions, to evaluate them, and then to choose the one with the most promising outcome.
Other criteria required for you to be the right fit as a veterinary assistant include physical fitness. This is because you’ll need to be able to lift heavy objects as well as handle, move and refrain animals.
A vet assistant job outlook looks promising with the BLS predicting that employment will grow much faster than the average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026, at about 19%.