Vet Tech Burnout

One thing I would like to mention is that anyone looking into a career in the veterinary field should do plenty of research before committing to being a veterinary technician. I know there are many people that find the job of a vet tech very interesting. And if you are looking at this webpage I have to assume that you do too! I also know that everyone who is an aspiring vet tech has a love for animals. If you don’t have a love for animals then what is the point in dedicating your life to the job of someone who works with animals?! Which really brings me to my first point. Those who are considering entering the veterinary field as a vet tech should really look at it as a career not just a job. If you go into it with the mindset that being a vet tech is a job you may like and can make decent money you probably won’t last long. Like I have said previously, the job is not easy. If you aren’t 100% committed you have a much greater likely-hood of burn-out.
What is tech burn-out?
I guess the easiest way to put it is that tech burn-out happens due to a variety of factors. Most of which involve the long hours, physically demanding job duties, and the many different tasks that are asked of a vet tech. So let me delve into each of those:
Long hours
I’m sure there are many veterinary hospitals that manage to keep their vet techs hours within reason. But there are just as many hospitals that need their vet techs to be at the hospital way past the normal 40 hour work week. Most hospitals will also require some weekend work. Plus depending on your particular situation you may be required to be on call for after-hour emergencies. The additional hours worked, though great for pay, add up on stress level and overall well being. I think that every potential vet tech should consider what they can handle as far as work-load.
Physically Demanding
I really feel that the physical requirements are probably the biggest reason for burn-out with vet techs. The day to day physical strain put on a vet techs body can be extremely tiring and even dangerous. Depending on the setting you work in you may have a 5 pound dog or a 175 pound beast! Each has its own unique challenges. Restraining a large animal can be hard, especially for blood draws! During restraint your body can be put into very uncomfortable positions that can cause cramping and muscle strain. Even restraining smaller animals can lead to varying positions that your body may not like. Fortunately, there are many new devices for the veterinary field that help with restraint and keeping the vet tech out of some of those more demanding positions.
Amazing amount of tasks!
In a busy veterinary clinic the average vet tech has an amazing amount of work to do in a lot of different areas. The stress of having so many different tasks to complete can be overwhelming at times. I really feel that a person should have a high tolerance for stress if they plan on becoming a vet tech. You can go from reading an ear cytology to stabilizing a hit-by-car in the blink of an eye. There will be many easy days as a vet tech; but there will also be many days that test your patience and mental state!
I’m really not trying to scare anyone away from being a vet tech. I just want people to realize that being a vet tech can be extremely tough sometimes.

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