The Savvy VetTech

The Negativity Trap for Veterinary Technicians

by Lori Hehn - January 28, 2016 at 9:00 AM
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It can be so easy to fall into the negativity trap. Veterinary Medicine seems especially susceptible to it. Are you or your fellow veterinary technicians and other colleagues heading in this direction?

Negativity is like a virus that can spread throughout the workplace. Read-on to see what you can do to create a more positive work environment.

First, let's look at WHY the negativity occurs:

  • Close quarters- the vet clinic is often close-knit quarters, and co-workers can start to grate on each other's nerves.
  • The profession is predominately female. Females in general are usually more sensitive and take any type of criticism, even if it is constructive, personally. This can breed resentment.
  • Low pay and high stress. Need I say more?
  • Inability to take adequate time off if staff is limited.
  • Job is no longer a challenge, work becomes monotonous.  

What can you do to help create a more positive environment at work?

  • Have an area you can designate in the hospital when you just need to get away for a couple of minutes. You can still work and do your charting or call-backs from your own spot and away from colleagues.
  • Realize that you are not perfect. If someone is offering constructive criticism, try not to take it personally and at least try to see it from the other person's perspective.
  • Be mindful of Compassion Fatigue and do what is necessary for your mental well-being.
  • Always do your best work and don't be afraid to ask for your yearly review and raise. It is easier to ask for it when you know that you truly deserve it!
  • Make a point of it to not feed into the negative comments of others. Acknowledge your colleague's negative comment but try to say something positive, or walk away.
  • Plan time off in advance. If you plan in advance, it is easier to accommodate time off.
  • Discuss cases with the vet. They may not realize you are bored and are eager to learn. This may prompt them to give you more information about the cases and assign new duties so you stay interested and challenged. Read about how you can love your job again!

Check out this great post on Purging Workplace Negativity.

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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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