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So I've Been Applying To Vet Clinics

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#1
GimMom

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As some of you know, I'm a hairstylist, but my first love has always and will be animals. I'm not a huge people person, and hair just holds no joy anymore (unless I'm doing fun stuff on the side with friends' hair).

 

So I've begun the process of changing careers. Applying to vet tech courses at local colleges and I've been working with a career centre to tailor my resume to Vet Assistant/Reception jobs. I just applied to 8 clinics, so cross your fingers for me, because I'd rather be covered in fur and other fun stuff than hair colour and perm solution! 

 

I just want to know, because I know a buttload of you are Vet Techs, what I can reasonably expect if I get hired in a clinic as an assistant, because it's been a long ass time since I've worked in a clinic (I was 16/17 when I did, 33 now, so yeah, long time ago), and I forget all the nuances of working in a medical setting. Anyone have some helpful pointers? Also, possibly what to expect with the Vet Tech courses? I'm 100% committed to this, but it's daunting nonetheless. 

 

Thanks in advance, guys <3


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#2
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Proud of you!

I would honestly be prepared to be hired on as either receptionist or kennel staff first and work your way to assistant. That's what I did. Now working my way to be a licensed tech.

But you never know! Some places want a clean slate so they can train you the way they want...bad habits are hard to break

What did you do before when working in a clinic?
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#3
lauren43

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I wish! I have had multiple interviews at different vet clinics/animal oriented places and have not had any good experiences!!! Either they are not what they claim to be or they can't pay me enough to leave my current job.

Best of luck to you!!! What I would give for a career change! I have to say I'm a smudge jealous!

#4
naturalfeddogs

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Congrats! Thats awesome! I am an assistant at an all equine vet clinic. Techs usually earn more than assistants in most cases I would think, but where I work it doesn't matter what you are, it doesn't change your pay. Just depends on the clinic and their polices, I guess. 

 

Keep us posted if you hear from any of them!



#5
GimMom

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Aww, thanks guys! I'm excited, but it's a long process as I'm going through a government-run program called Second Career, which works with our unemployment services to help underemployed/unemployed people find work in another industry. It is INSANE what I have to do to get approval in the program, though. Be working less than 20hrs a week and get back on unemployment, secure a job in a vet clinic or pet store, and get my doctor to medically back me up that I can no longer do hairdressing (panic attacks before GOOD clients indicate I am in the WRONG career, beyond the fact that tedious things like wrapping perms and weaving highlights is having a negative affect on my physical health).

 

I have talked about a vet-related career since I was like, 5 years old. I am so much more at home in the presence of animals than making people pretty, lol!

 

Natalie, I mostly fed and walked the dogs, fed the cats, cleaned cages, cleaned and sterilized the equipment, unpacked orders, general animal hospital duties. My vet was freaking AWESOME and let me scrub in on surgeries to learn more, and she taught me how to prepare the anesthetic for surgeries (which I'm sure she was glad she did, there was never a time I didn't have that stuff ready for her or her techs). I didn't do any reception work, and I left (stupidly) when I was asked to hold two little kittens for euthanasia because they had distemper (poor babies had very limited motor skills and had defecated on themselves, they were strays found that way). It broke my heart into pieces at the time, but I was an emotional teen. Things are different now, older, more mature, and (hopefully!) a lot wiser.

 

I'm not too worried about what the pay is. I've had crap jobs for so long at decent rates of pay that if it means I'm making a little over minimum wage as an assistant or receptionist, it won't matter. I'll be working with animals. :D

 

I'll let y'all know what happens, I'm really hoping for a phone call next week. At least there's like, 14 pages of vet clinics on the Yellow Pages website. Compiling a list! I even applied to a vet clinic that I know supports PMR.



#6
Sprocket

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I started as a kennel assistant and I am now 50/50 and by spring I will be working as a tech 100%. 

 

Biggest thing where I work is training.  They WANT to train you on their own and not to have any bad habits.  I've seen people leave for not being able to break their routines from other clinics.  So don't even mention, "Oh we did it this way" or "My other clinic did this". 

 

Don't get in the habit of, "Its not my job".  Shit needs to get done so do it if you are told to even if its mopping the floor.  We have one tech who is in HUGE trouble for pulling that game recently.  

 

Don't get emotional or attached.  I love our regulars and it was VERY hard for me to bag up a dog that looked just like Gunner.  But that is what happens and you can't let it ruin your day or burn you out.  Think about all the animals that are saved rather than the ones that are lost.  

 

 

 

I think our clinic is much more "strict" than most.  Although this is the first I have worked at, it seems like it.  They run a tight ship with minimal staff, but I love it.  

 

Good luck with your job search! It feels great to do what you love :)


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#7
Sprocket

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Congrats! Thats awesome! I am an assistant at an all equine vet clinic. Techs usually earn more than assistants in most cases I would think, but where I work it doesn't matter what you are, it doesn't change your pay. Just depends on the clinic and their polices, I guess. 

 

Keep us posted if you hear from any of them!

 

Jealous of your equines! The large animals and ranch calls are my favorite.  


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#8
GimMom

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I started as a kennel assistant and I am now 50/50 and by spring I will be working as a tech 100%. 

 

Biggest thing where I work is training.  They WANT to train you on their own and not to have any bad habits.  I've seen people leave for not being able to break their routines from other clinics.  So don't even mention, "Oh we did it this way" or "My other clinic did this". 

 

Don't get in the habit of, "Its not my job".  Shit needs to get done so do it if you are told to even if its mopping the floor.  We have one tech who is in HUGE trouble for pulling that game recently.  

 

Don't get emotional or attached.  I love our regulars and it was VERY hard for me to bag up a dog that looked just like Gunner.  But that is what happens and you can't let it ruin your day or burn you out.  Think about all the animals that are saved rather than the ones that are lost.  

 

 

 

I think our clinic is much more "strict" than most.  Although this is the first I have worked at, it seems like it.  They run a tight ship with minimal staff, but I love it.  

 

Good luck with your job search! It feels great to do what you love :)

I worked at a clinic so long ago I don't even remember how THEY did it, lol. That won't be an issue with me, I'm generally a good hard worker and respect whatever orders I'm given. All I want to do is learn what I need to in order to be a tech eventually. And I definitely don't pull the "Ain't my job!" crap. If something needs to be done and it's not happening, I tend to just say "eff it" and do it. Momma taught me well, ahahahaha. When I was an assistant at the first salon I worked at, I quickly rose to head assistant because I didn't let the others away with ANYTHING. If it had to be cleaned, and it wasn't, they heard about it. I had no patience for idle workers if there was actually work to be done.

 

I'm definitely still an emotional person (I do cry at almost every abuse/neglect case I post on my FB page), but I'm a lot different from that 16yr old kid who just could NOT deal with it. So glad I got a little tougher, I know that's still going to be a small weakness but I'll "suck it up". I would imagine it would make it harder for the guardian of the patient to deal with euthanasia if the bloody techs/assistants are sobbing, too! :)

 

I'm okay with strict and small staff, I actually kind of prefer the structure as well as not a lot of people. When you have large staff, sometimes you tend to get the drama that comes with many differing personalities. I've worked with drama, I hope I don't encounter any of that wherever I'm lucky enough to get hired. I'm actually hoping the fact that I'm 33 will be attractive to prospective employers, hopefully they'll realize I'm a little older and mature and therefore a damn good candidate for the job!

 

Crossing my fingers allllllll weekend. Never wanted something more in my life than this!



#9
Prey Model Raw

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Keep us posted!!! Fingers are crossed for you :)
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#10
GimMom

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Thanks, Natalie! I'll definitely let y'all know what happens. I'm excited!


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#11
naturalfeddogs

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Jealous of your equines! The large animals and ranch calls are my favorite.  

 

 

The farm calls are fun. It's good to be able to get out of the clinic for a little while and see something different. 



#12
Sprocket

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The farm calls are fun. It's good to be able to get out of the clinic for a little while and see something different. 

 

I agree! I hate it when the techs complain about going.  I always say, "I'll go! I love dealing with larger animals".  Stinky greasy dogs and fractious cats is only fun for so many hours a day" :P


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#13
GimMom

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I would find it really interesting to work with large animals, like horses. I used to take riding lessons when I was a little girl, so I love being around them. Sadly, I haven't been on a horse in over 20 years. I'm itching to give it a go again sometime!



#14
Sprocket

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I would find it really interesting to work with large animals, like horses. I used to take riding lessons when I was a little girl, so I love being around them. Sadly, I haven't been on a horse in over 20 years. I'm itching to give it a go again sometime!

 

 

Its really not that glamorous :P Holding for a dental getting sprayed with teeth grindings...but you have to really be dedicated to enjoy it.  I love it! Holding an alpaca down, almost getting kicked in the head a few times...tackling goats to give them vaccines or trim toes...ahhh the good life :D


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#15
GimMom

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See, I'd still find that stuff fun. Just being around animals, period. I've had a horse almost kick me in the shins, still didn't faze me! :P

And I actually got an email back from one of the 44323545132121 clinics I applied to today. Had to fill out a questionnaire and do an online test, and hopefully they'll get back to me about an interview if they like my test score and answers to the survey. They at least liked my resume and cover letter! Fingers crossed!


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#16
Sprocket

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See, I'd still find that stuff fun. Just being around animals, period. I've had a horse almost kick me in the shins, still didn't faze me! :P

And I actually got an email back from one of the 44323545132121 clinics I applied to today. Had to fill out a questionnaire and do an online test, and hopefully they'll get back to me about an interview if they like my test score and answers to the survey. They at least liked my resume and cover letter! Fingers crossed!

 

Awesome! 

 

I find even the hardest jobs with large animals to be absolutely fascinating and fun! Sometimes they do 20 dentals in a day at one ranch. I can't wait until I get to go on that call :D


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#17
GimMom

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Animals don't frighten me. It doesn't mean I don't have a healthy respect for them, because I know large animals when agitated can do a lot of damage. But that would so not stop me from getting right in there and helping the vet.

 

I've now had two responses from vet clinics. One liked my resume and sent me preliminary questions/questionnaire and will contact me if I'm still a candidate after receiving the results of the tests, and one that isn't sure they are hiring, but will pass my resume to the vet and contact me if they're interested. I have applied to 23 clinics, and tomorrow I'm off work, so I'm applying to another 20.


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#18
naturalfeddogs

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Animals don't frighten me. It doesn't mean I don't have a healthy respect for them, because I know large animals when agitated can do a lot of damage. But that would so not stop me from getting right in there and helping the vet.

 

I've now had two responses from vet clinics. One liked my resume and sent me preliminary questions/questionnaire and will contact me if I'm still a candidate after receiving the results of the tests, and one that isn't sure they are hiring, but will pass my resume to the vet and contact me if they're interested. I have applied to 23 clinics, and tomorrow I'm off work, so I'm applying to another 20.

 

 

Awesome! You are bound to hear something after all those applications! Best of luck to you!!  :D


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#19
GimMom

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Thanks! I applied to 20 more today, and I still have a few pages of listings for clinics in the GTA to apply to tomorrow after work. Someone hire me, plzzzzzz! LOL


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#20
GimMom

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After sending out 60+ resumes, I have an interview!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOO HOOOOO! 

 

 

It's on Monday at 2:30pm, so everyone cross their fingers about then. :P It's a vet reception/assistant position, so in terms of the interview, any do's or don'ts you can think of in regards to this position would be extremely helpful. <3


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