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Make Yourself An Indispensable Vet Tech (and get that raise!)

by Lori Hehn - November 17, 2016 at 9:00 AM
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We know that veterinary technicians are a valuable part of every practice. But there is high turnover in the profession and often job dissatisfaction. Most of us in the profession already realize that vet techs deserve higher pay. It is easier to ask for a raise when you know that you truly deserve one. By doing these 10 things and making yourself invaluable to a practice, you can feel sure that at your yearly review you should get that raise, and can feel confident asking!

  1. Be reliable. I hear from a lot of practitioners that their vet techs seem to call in sick a lot. And while you should stay home if you are truly sick, don’t call out just because you don’t feel like going to work. Use your sick days for illness and plan for your vacation time. It makes life easier on everyone. Things may come up, so keep open communication with your practice.
  1. Check and double check. By checking your work and being thorough, you have a much lower chance of making medical mistakes. We are all human, and when we get busy our chance of making a mistake goes up. If you make mistakes, even simple ones, your boss will notice.
  1. Be client-friendly. Clients and their pets are what drive our business. If we don’t have clients, we don’t have jobs. Customer service is of upmost importance. Do you find yourself having an attitude towards clients or feel frustrated towards them? Check your behavior, because often we wear our feelings on our sleeve. If a situation with a client becomes uncomfortable or is escalating, simply acknowledge how they feel and have a doctor talk to them and remove yourself from the situation.
  1. Attention to detail. Sure none of us like to clean or do other tasks that don’t seem to be part of our general job description. But attention to detail includes not only being thorough with patients’ medical records, treatments, etc. but also the upkeep of the hospital. If you see something, say something, and even better DO something!
  1. Stay off of your phone! This is a HUGE one. Nothing irritates a practice owner more than seeing their employees constantly gawking at their phone. Only use your phone on lunch break or after hours (on your own time). If you are on the clock, there is work to be done. There is no such thing as being “caught up.” If you can’t find something to do, ask your supervisor and they can give you a task.
  1. Be flexible. I wish we had banker’s hours. Unfortunately, too many times we are stuck working late or missing our lunch hours. By helping out during these times, your boss will notice. A co-worker called out sick? If you can help out, this is another opportunity to score big points. Emergencies or work-in appointments require some flexibility. Find ways to help during these times and make sure everyone is seen and triaged appropriately.
  1. Be a learner. Keep your job satisfying by taking an interest in cases and continuing to gain medical knowledge. You have a huge capacity to learn and help with all types of cases and the doctors enjoy discussing cases with you if you are positive and show an interest.
  1. Don’t complain. Negativity and complaining are huge turnoffs to your colleagues. If you can’t say something nice…
  1. Be presentable. I know this is a hard one some days. Don’t show up to work with bed head and wrinkled scrubs. I think you get the point. Look presentable with clean clothes, brushed hair, good hygiene.
  1. Work well with others. In our jobs, we don’t just work with animals. We work with colleagues, clients, supervisors, drug and food reps, and many other people. Follow the golden rule by treating others with respect, and stay out of drama and gossip in the workplace.

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About Lori Hehn

Lori Hehn is a practicing veterinarian and a contributor and content manager with XPrep Learning Solutions. She has a drive for continual learning and enjoys interacting with veterinary and vet tech students. She also writes veterinary learning books for children.

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