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.
PS. To the techs out there, AliveCor Vet is giving away their super awesome ECG iphone cases all week to you in honor of your work. All you need to do is follow them on Twitter and go from there!
Tonya Whetsel says
Thank you (again) for the reminder! Just ordered a nice little gift to be delivered to the vet techs in my vet’s office. 🙂
Our vet’s techs when Lambchop was a patient were beyond amazing! Jessie and Stacey – knew their names and had their cell numbers, because they were always available to us in am emergency (for which of course we would pay them and for their transportation), when Lambchop was pretty ill. He did not do well overnights at the vet (extra stress + Addison’s) and our vet allowed us (with our experience and knowledge) to take him home with I.V.’s and all sorts of things with the knowledge that we would call on his amazing team – Jessie and Stacey – should we need them. And Jessie and our vet came to us, when we needed them to help Lambchop move on to his next adventure. LOVE, LOVE LOVE THEM! BEYOND LOVE THEM! SO GRATEFUL!!
Dr. V says
I bet you are an awesome client.
Oh and we brought food. All the time!
Mihaela (Dr. V) says
Thank you for the reminder. I will send them a card.
A personal note definitely goes a long way! It takes more time than “Thanks” so it has a special touch. I love the vet techs that treat my girls and boys, and I know how important their job is.
Anetta Lancaster says
I absolutely agree! Way to show the love 🙂
If anyone has a few minutes to contribute, the link below is for a survey on SurveyMonkey about pets and housing that I’m working on for a community service project in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. We really need some people who can spare 2 minutes of their time to take this quick survey and help us out!