Nervous about starting your first job as a vet tech? You will do great! Here are a few tips to help you make a smooth transition into your new position.
- When you are new to the clinic, it is important to figure out where things are kept. Take any extra moment to look in the cabinets and drawers and familiarize yourself with where things are- such as fluid bags, syringes, blood tubes, medications, crash cart, etc.
- Have a pen and sharpie on you/in your pocket to label blood tubes, fluid bags, etc. Those pens are handy when your doctor forgets theirs in the room (which they always seem to do, right?) And as soon as a blood/urine sample is taken, it should be immediately labeled with the patient's name to avoid any mix-up.
- Get yourself a good pair of shoes. After working in this profession for a long time, I can tell you that a good pair of comfortable shoes is worth the investment. We are on our feet all day and taking care of our feet makes a huge difference in our energy and comfort level throughout the day. If you have a favorite brand, leave it in the comments for others to check out.
- Bring an extra pair of scrubs with you to work ALWAYS. It will happen that you get some type of patient “bodily fluids” on you and need to change. Your boss will appreciate that you can quickly change and not have to clock out and go home, leaving the staff shorthanded.
- Don’t be afraid to jump in there and work hard. Ask questions when you are not sure about something. When you are new, it is easy to be hesitant and not know exactly what you should do. So, ask someone!
- Stay off your phone. It looks unprofessional to be checking your phone. Give the clinic number to loved ones in case of emergency and don’t bring it out when you are on the clock. If you need a calculator, bring a small one with you that you can easily access.
- Keep a small memo pad in your pocket. Write tasks down in there if you need to. Until you are used to multi-tasking, you may forget to do something which can cause major issues and frustration. You can write down doses, patient treatments that are needed, call backs you need to do, etc. to help you be accurate and efficient.
For those of you that are seasoned vet techs, what tips or advice can you offer to those starting their first job? Leave a comment below!