Vet tech burnout is real, and the career isn’t all unicorns and rainbows like most people think. It’s more like long hours and a high-pressure company culture. On second thought, it’s more like undesired canine fluids and sleepless nights. You lay awake at night, thinking about whether or not you remembered to plug in the IV pump to make sure the battery didn’t die overnight, not dreaming of cuddles and kisses.
While being a vet tech is a difficult job, there are ways you can make the job more bearable. You can get the love for animals back. It’s not easy, but here are a few tips:
Tip #1: Change Your Schedule
The work-life balance of the average vet tech is, well…. nonexistent. You are scheduled for an 8-hour workday, but you don’t get out of the office until 9:30 on some days. After a while, your friends start asking why you never go out with them anymore. Then, a while after that, they stop asking which is even worse.
If you want to avoid vet tech burnout and rediscover your love for animals, change up your schedule. Work four 10-hour workdays, or three 12-hour workdays. This extra time will enable you to not only get to those chores that you never seem to have time for (what’s dusting?) but even more importantly, it will allow you to have friends again. You will show up to work happier and more productive than you have been in years.
Tip #2: Find a Way to Repair Burn Out
Busy days are hard, happy days are hard, and those days with sad cases are even harder. Even if you work at a great clinic, your job is going to be hard physically, mentally, and emotionally. Find a healthy way to cope. For some people, this is spending time with family, and for others, it is running. Whatever your method, you need to deal with the emotions that follow you home from work. It may be tempting to sit in your La-Z-Boy and watch Netflix for 3 hours, but it won’t help in the long run. Resist!
Tip #3: Embrace the Good
There will always be hard and sad cases. There is no avoiding it. That being said, don’t dwell on them. Get past the bad experiences, and focus on the good. Recognize how valuable they are. Depending on your team, this can either be easy or next to impossible. Be the change. Help coworkers through hard experiences, and congratulate them on the good. Be the change! Not only will it make their lives easier, but they will also return the favor on your bad days.
You have a very important job, and you do great things for so many people. Remember that! Do everything you can to make the most of the time outside work and make work hours as enjoyable as possible. There are many ways to do this. Think about using accessible systems like VPR Cloud to streamline processes and minimize mistakes. Have more of those good days that remind you of the reason you became a Vet Tech in the first place!