Things Vet Techs (And Vets) are tired of hearing

Shelley Wenger
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I have been a veterinary technician for years. I don’t really want to say how many actually, because I have done the job longer than some of my coworkers have been alive! Which basically means that I have seen plenty over my many years in the field.

I also have heard plenty and some of these things really get under my skin. Here are some things that I am tired of hearing, along with everyone else in veterinary medicine.

You work Saturdays?

Yes, as a veterinary technician, I work Saturdays. I also work evenings and certain holidays.

In fact, at one of my jobs, I was on call all weekend long! It didn’t matter what time someone called, if you were on call, you were going in. I have worked Christmas, Thanksgiving, and even had to leave an event I was at one weekend to go help do surgery on a patient.

You aren’t open today?

So, besides the fact that your family and friends aren’t happy when you work Saturdays and holidays, people are also not happy when you aren’t open at night to help them. If they need someone at eight o’clock at night, they want their veterinary team to be there for them. The same goes for holidays and weekends.

I’m sorry, but there are emergency clinics for that. In fact, many are open twenty-four hours a day because regular veterinarians can’t keep up with the needs of their patients. Even they can’t keep up with the pure need in the field.

You are only in it for the money.

I’m so tired of hearing this one. Nobody goes into veterinary medicine to make money. In fact, you might be shocked at how little we are paid. We definitely don’t make what our counterparts do on the human side. Most can’t afford to live on their own. They need someone else to manage the bills.

So, when you are looking at the bill at your veterinary office, don’t take it out on the person who makes less than you do, with all of the stress the comes along with sick patients and angry clients. They are doing the job because they love it, not the paycheck.

You shouldn’t be in veterinary medicine because you don’t care.

I don’t hear this one as much as some of the others, but it is still said to veterinary teams all over the country. This usually gets shouted because we aren’t able to get your pet in RIGHT THIS SECOND for something that has been going on for WEEKS or even MONTHS!

Trust me, we try to help as many patients as we can, but there comes a limit. And trust me even more, our limit was reached weeks ago, and we still keep adding sick patients into our appointment book, with nowhere to put them. We are seeing more patients than ever, yet we still can’t see everyone that calls. We are just overwhelmed by the number of people that need us.
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My regular veterinarian can’t get us in. Can you?

I hear this pretty regularly. It really makes me wonder. If your regular veterinarian can’t see you, why do we have to? Again, our appointments are full for weeks, and you want us to squeeze you in even though you aren’t going to ever come back? Go to the emergency clinic. If it can’t wait, you may need more care than we can give you.

Working in veterinary medicine can be a great joy. You can help so many patients. However, you also get to see the nasty side of people. I never imagined that people would tell me that I am only in it for the money or that I don’t care enough. The truth is that I am BURNT OUT, along with pretty much everyone else in veterinary medicine. Yet, we keep showing up to work and doing our best, day after day!

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Shelley is a small town farm mom of two boys. She is a veterinary technician, so she is proud to write about all kinds of animals and their care. She also loves to write about writing, running a business, working from home, and much more.

Glenville, PA

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