Continuing with our celebration of Veterinary Technician Week, I wanted to offer all of you a quick and easy 3 ways you can make your tech shine like the top of the Chrysler Building next time you go to see your vet. Because they deserve it.
1. Bring food
But make sure you specify those cookies are for the TECHS. Because I have seen it. I have seen plates of cookies come in for the vet, and the vet does not interpret “for the vet” as “for the team” and takes them all home. NOT COOL. This was not me who did this, mind you. This also happened to me when I was in college and working as a receptionist for a pediatrician, who would routinely throw me under the bus to clients and made me not only moderately bitter towards him, it made me ever cognizant of my staff in the future and also motivated me to quadruple book him at 5 pm on Friday afternoons the one wretched summer I worked for him. I’m just saying.
2. Write a note
I know it seems like a small thing, but most techs are used to being described as “the short brunette girl” or “the tall blond guy.” Or, in the case of my ever patient friend Manuel, he was “the only one who speaks Spanish.” To take the time to actually make note of a tech’s name, then go write a card to the clinic thanking them by name- it’s golden. (I still have all my thank you notes. They mean that much.)
3. Praise them in front of the Boss
Techs are used to getting complained to, mostly about things they have no control over. The vet is running late. This estimate is too high. Why isn’t my dog ready to go yet. My cat still has his catheter in (OK, that one is legitimate.) My point is, they understand that dealing with client concerns is part of their job, and a good tech will console, explain, and hopefully never forget to take the catheter out before sending your pet home. They do this because that is what they do, not because they are expecting accolades. But it can be wearing.
However. If you’re sitting in the lobby and the tech does something to exemplify good care, if you take about 2 seconds to publicly recognize that in front of the head vet, the clinic owner, or the office manager, I guarantee you will have made that person’s day. Because as often as clients think it, they very rarely say it.
I know these seem like small things, and they are. The fact that every tech I know will be nodding their head in agreement that these are lovely gestures speaks to the fact that few people indulge in them. I get it. We are in a high stress profession, and most owners are so concerned with their pet’s condition that it’s not high on their priority list to acknowledge the staff. That’s OK.
You don’t have to do it all the time, or at all, really. I just want you all to know that these little tiny things can make a big difference. A lot of times the person you’ll have said this to has just cleaned a kennel covered in poop, held a sweet old cat for a euthanasia, and narrowly avoided bodily injury getting blood from an angry min pin and this may be what saves the day for them. It’s the little things that make it all worthwhile.
That goes for everything in life, really. We don’t say thank you to each other nearly enough as a whole, I think.
xoxoxo Love you all very much, and thank you for making me and my colleagues better.