Are you suffering from vet tech stress? This demanding job can take a toll on even the strongest people. Most veterinary technicians have felt overwhelmed or burned out at some point in their careers, and some may even believe it's time for them to leave the field. Have no fear! Here are 3 tips that will help you keep things in perspective and avoid vet tech burnout.
1. Do not take your work home with you. It's important to keep your home life and work life separated. Vet techs are exposed to a lot of sad and challenging situations like sick, neglected, abused, and dying animals. If you go home and continue to thing about these things when you're trying to relax, you're going to burn out quickly. Take up a relaxing hobby like meditation or yoga to train your mind to leave these difficult images at work where they belong. Talk to friends and family and let them know how you feel, so they'll stay away from sensitive subjects while you're trying to unwind from a hard day's work.
2. Work hard to raise your salary! Lots of vet techs would not feel so stressed if they were making more money – yet not many of them are doing anything about it! Increase your vet tech salary by acquiring a vet tech specialty (VTS). These are special continuing education credits that show you know your stuff in a specific field, such as equine care, emergency care, or clinical pathology. There are many different VTS specialties to choose from, so pick one that interests you and pursue it. Acquiring a VTS often leads to an immediate increase in salary.
3. Keep everything in perspective. Make a habit of reminding yourself that despite the stress and sad patient cases, you are doing your best to reduce suffering in this world – and that's something to be very proud of! Vet techs are the voices for animals that can not help themselves. Even if the time comes where you have to help put an animal down, you can rest know that this was the right thing to do, because it put an end to needless suffering.
If you keep these three stress management tips in mind, you'll defeat your veterinary technician stress disorder in no time! And do not forget to relish in the positive experiences and play with as many of your patients as you can – the unconditional love of animals will keep you young!