The dark side of being a veterinary assistant

I get the question often “is your job fun?” There are few questions that make me stutter out an answer and smile than this question.

I want to first say that I take my  job extremely seriously. It’s rewarding and inspiring to see people work double shifts in the name of helping animals and each other. And nothing beats comforting an animal while knowing you are silently making a difference to them.

With that being said, I have never worked harder in my entire life. There are days I get in my car and cry all the way home. Part of being a veterinary assistant is participating in the passing of an animal.  You also witness the look of heartbreak on pet owners faces when it is time to say goodbye or the moment they learn unexpectedly that their beloved friend will not recover. As an assistant, I have to hold it together. It takes so much strength to not break down.

Today felt hard. I came home with my body aching and my heart feeling heavy. I cried on the way home and fell asleep in the early afternoon because physically and emotionally, I had nothing left. My boyfriend wanted me to go out to eat with his cousin but the thought of going anywhere and meeting with anyone, felt all too exhausting. By the way, unless your significant other is in the same career field, this job will take its toll on your relationship.

For anyone considering this career, you need to understand that this job requires above and beyond what most humans posses. You have to acknowledge on a daily basis that all you can do is your best and that at the end of the day, this has to be enough. There are so many things, decisions, moments, and ideas that you have absolutely no say in.  You must always respect your doctors, listen to your nurses, and do exactly as you are told.

Assistants are responsible for feeding and monitoring patients,  opening and closing the clinic, shift change cleaning list, they scrub/autoclave/ wrap surgical items, all used surfaces are wiped down, every cage used is disinfected, weekly cleaning list, blood work, fecals, staining, assisting in x ray and ultrasound, answering phones, going in patients rooms with doctors, restraining, helping clients to their car, recording everything being sent out (bloodwork/fecals/ other), making medical notes, invoicing, scheduling, putting events on the white board, setting up or breaking down surgery, putting away dental items, laundry, dishes, etc.  Some days you are the only assistant and you are still expected to do all of the above during your shift.

It is hard. It is so hard some days. There are days where you don’t have time to eat. Not even a snack because you are so busy.  I have definite moments where I feel extremely light headed or past physically exhausted. Since having this job I have kept an upset stomach daily.

Being a veterinary assistant is work. It takes a big heart and an extreme drive. I am honored to be able to help the patients that I do and to be there to comfort when others have to pass. ❤

I just wanted to write about some of the realities of this career. This job is not “fun” or “easy.” Days where I leave my job on time, smiling, and stress free are GREAT days. There are those days! But before going into this, make sure you understand EVERYTHING that is involved. For as rewarding as this career is, it requires a lot of sacrifice.

thelightbehind

 

I took this picture a few weeks ago of a tree outside of our apartment. The closer I got to it the more it appeared to be lit up like a Christmas tree. The edges of the branches too here lit with a thin line of white light. I have never before seen something like this. The way the sun was hitting this tree was gorgeous. I feel like God knew I needed to see something good.

Something I also thought of today is that I don’t see things the same way when I see them again. For instance, I can go back out to this tree and not see it like this photograph shows. I past by a different area that I photographed earlier today and did not get the same inspired feeling to photograph it. It is interesting how when we are feeling or longing for something, we seek out a way to turn our answers (or questions) into art. And when that moment has past or when we are at a different place, we see things differently. I just think that is cool 🙂  .