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Veterinarian Technician August 2012 (Vol 33, No 8)

Editorial: Passion: Key to Productivity and Happiness

by Ann Wortinger, BIS, LVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM, Nutrition)

    None of us can say we went into veterinary technology for the money … or the cool clothes. For most of us, animals are the reason we pursued this profession. But what has kept you in the profession? Is this just a job for you, or is it a career?

    As I approach my 29th year as a licensed veterinary technician, I continue to meet people who ask me when I’m going to vet school, have no idea what a veterinary technician is or does, or assume that veterinary technicians are all just “puppy huggers” who don’t have to engage their brains. Our profession is changing, and we continue to challenge ourselves by pursuing specialty credentialing, authoring professional articles and books, and increasingly serving as program directors of veterinary technology programs. I love to look out at a conference audience and see older technicians who prove that this isn’t a career just for the young with a flexible lifestyle; we have found ways to make this a career for life.

    I believe that to be productive and happy in this profession, you need to find something you are passionate about—even a portion of the clinic, such as the in-house laboratory, surgical suite, or treatment area. Perhaps you could become passionate about a portion of your day, such as new puppy and kitten visits, geriatric care, or even euthanasia. Find something that you love, and learn as much as you can about it.

    As many of you know, my passion is nutrition (not only because I like to eat). I love everything about it—from digestion and assimilation within the body, to therapeutic uses of foods, to increased longevity from nutrient manipulation. While nutrition can’t solve many problems in veterinary medicine, without proper nutrition, no other treatments really work.

    Take a serious look at what part of your day excites you: who or what do you look forward to working on? A technician who spoke to my students was asked what she enjoys most about her work. When she said “venipuncture,” the students were surprised. To cleanly and efficiently obtain blood from a scared, anxious patient is certainly an advanced skill that can be rewarding when performed well. I especially like working on crabby old cats.

    So take some time this week to find your passion. Consider what you like and what you don’t. While we can’t always avoid what we don’t like, we can increase the opportunities to do what we like. If you’re happy or excited about some aspect of your work, every day will be more of an adventure!

    Ann Wortinger is the Nutrition Know-How section editor for Veterinary Technician.

    NEXT: Final View: A “Sticky” Situation

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