So You Want to Become a Veterinarian
Guest Author: Dixie Somers
Many people dream of becoming a veterinarian, but loving animals is only part of the skill set needed to thrive in the field. Working as a vet is challenging, exhausting and, at times, devastating. In order to truly decide whether or not it’s the right career path for you, read on to learn five things every aspiring vet should know.
1. It’s Not all Puppies and Kittens
A big misconception that aspiring vets have is that their days will be filled nursing sick, cuddly puppies and fluffy kittens back to health. But all sorts of animals visit the vet, including ones you may not be quite so fond of like snakes, lizards, rodents, and other exotic pets.
Many vets refer their exotic patients to specialists, but general care, wellness exams and emergency visits for all sorts of creatures will fall on your shoulders as a vet, so you have to be comfortable (or at least confident enough) to work closely with animals of all kinds.
2. There’s a Lot of Mess Involved
If the sight of blood makes you squeamish, then a career in veterinary medicine probably isn’t the way to go. Vets perform surgeries, assist in births, treat bleeding and infected wounds and often see a lot of vomit and other body fluids from their animal patients. No one gets a kick out of the mess, but a vet needs to have a tough stomach to get their jobs done.
3. People Skills are Important
Vets spend all day treating animals, but that doesn’t mean they’re alone. A veterinarian has to be a friendly and efficient communicator at all times. Whether they’re delegating orders to vet techs assisting during a procedure, providing care instructions to an owner or even breaking bad news to a pet’s family, strong social skills are essential.
4. There are Many Tough Days
You should motivate yourself to become a vet with all the possible happy endings, but you also have to be aware of the challenges and downright rotten moments you’ll experience in your career. Vets often have to deal with aggressive animals, owners who don’t heed instruction and worsen their animals’ conditions and the most dread of all: euthanasia.
Putting animals down is one of the hardest things a vet has to do. While it does get easier with time, the reality of not being able to save every animal that comes through the door is something every aspiring vet has to acknowledge and accept.
5. Math and Science are Pillars of the Field
Veterinarians have to study an array of advanced science and mathematics to be capable of performing their jobs. The information isn’t just necessary to pass exams either. Vets will utilize the science and math skills they acquire in college every single day on the job, and it’s important to be familiar with ultrasounds and other veterinarian equipment.
The Best Veterinarians
What does it take to be a good vet? Apart from confidence, excellent communication skills, a passion for the field of veterinary medicine and the ability to cope with stressful situations, a good vet is a lifelong learner. They are forgiving to animals, owners and themselves. They’re fascinated by the subject material of their field and always want to learn more in order to provide the best quality of care possible to their patients.
If all of these traits don’t describe you, don’t count yourself out of the running. If you truly dream of becoming a veterinarian, then use that passion as a reason to build up any weak areas and truly commit yourself to achieving your goal.
“5 Things You Should Know if You Want to Become a Veterinarian”
GUEST AUTHOR BIO: Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write about women’s interests and the home niches. She lives in Arizona with her husband, three beautiful daughters and a spunky Jack Russell Terrier who makes life interesting.
OTHER ARTICLES BY DIXIE:
- 4 Things First Time Dog Owners Need
- How to Choose the Best Food for Your Pet
- Animal Allergies: 5 Helpful Things Pet Owners Should Know
- Pregnant Cat? 5 Ways to Make Her Feel More Comfortable
- 5 Tips on Training Your Dog Not to Bite
MY QUESTION FOR YOU TODAY:
Do you dream of becoming a veterinarian?
How about a vet’s assistant?
** Leave your comment below. **
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