If you’ve been dreaming of becoming a vet, you might initially view the job through rose-tinted glasses. However, it’s important to be aware that you will face some challenges in the veterinary profession, both practically and emotionally. We’ve highlighted some key things to watch out for, and ways to overcome these challenges.
Handling Frightened Animals
One of the more common challenges you will face in the veterinary profession is having to handle nervous animals. Many pets are scared of going to the vets and won’t respond well to being handled by unfamiliar people. While vets are skilled in the handling of animals, you might still face the odd pet who decides to lash out or make a run for it. Don’t panic or be hard on yourself in these situations – it’s only natural that this will happen from time to time.
Dealing with Angry Pet Owners
Having to deal with angry or difficult customers is a challenge that occurs in many jobs, and being a vet is one of them. While the majority of people tend to be cool, calm and collected, some pet owners may get angry when told certain things about their pet or learning that they have to get expensive treatment. In these situations, try to remain calm and explain things as clearly as possible.
Getting Your Hands Dirty
Being a vet is not a glamorous job, as you can imagine, even though it is extremely rewarding. It’s likely that you’ll have to deal with blood, urine and faeces on a regular basis in your quest to help pets. However, this is a small price to pay for doing a job you love and, the chances are, you will have been well trained to deal with all sorts of things during your veterinary degree.
Putting Animals Down
On a more serious note, one of the most difficult challenges that veterinarians face is having to end the life of an animal in pain. While this is the right decision for the animal because it helps to ease their suffering, it is still an incredibly emotionally draining and traumatic process to have to perform. It’s important to talk to people about these emotions and seek out help if you think it’s having an impact on your wellbeing.
Coping with Workplace Stress
Being a veterinarian is a very time-consuming and full-on job which can lead to problems with stress. This is one of the harder problems that you will face as a vet, as it can be difficult to find a quick and easy solution. However, you should make sure you are well supported by colleagues, friends and family, try not to overwork to exhaustion, and always seek professional help if you need it. Communication is key and being a vet is still an incredibly rewarding job if you can find ways to manage stress.
If you’re looking for a new challenge in the veterinary profession, why not browse our available jobs?