Vet Techs Talk: Life Lessons and Avoiding Career Burnout

Posted: Jul 1, 2013
Views: 4205 - Comments: 2

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In this chat I enlist the help of fellow tech nerd (and CaRVTA Registered Vet Tech of the Year!) Liz Hughston RVT, VTS (SAIM, ECC) to talk about the life (or lack thereof) of a veterinary professional. We chat about the characteristics of veterinary people that put us at risk for a terrible work/life balance, how to recognize burn-out, and what we've found successful to keep us engaged in our work for over 10 years.

And, because we can't let a conversation go by without talking about SOMETHING medical-related, we end with our grossest veterinary experiences. An entertaining hour, to say the least!

What do you think? What's are tips you have on avoiding burn-out? What's YOUR grossest work story ever? Share your stories in the comments below!

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Lucas Fults's picture

I really enjoyed this. Burn out and Life:Work balance is something I preach about all the time. I think for myself, it has been more easy to obtain because of how stubborn I am. Early in my career - probably 2001-2004 - I definitely pushed myself beyond my breaking point. I still made time for my friends and for fun to some degree, but for a long time there was not much of the things I hold dear in my life. 2003 is when I started working in emergency, and I think I was fortunate because I had good examples of balance in the technicians who were mentoring me. They all went to concerts regularly, and went on fancy dinner outings. Most of them had some other nerd bone that they tickled outside of the industry, and I think that ability to be multifaceted is what we have to train into ourselves. And it can go the other way as well! After accepting the position of Technical Trainer with my current hospital, I dove in pretty deep, and was divided between my training duties and my hours spent working the floor. I was feeling myself stretching a bit, and then life threw a curve ball, and I started a new (happy, healthy, and adult) relationship with someone who shared my same devotion to his work. His work being entertainment related started pulling me a little too far into my personal life and away from my job duties for a short period of time. Some of that pull was amplified by the fear and discouragement I was feeling from implementing a training program where there had been none, and all the difficult personalities I was having to deal with for the first time. In hindsight I know I was kind of hiding from what I needed to deal with. It only took a quick verbal correction from my boss to reel me back into the hospital, but it's interesting how these two worlds we live in work with our emotional states, and how that can either cause us to be over/under focused. I'm stepping off my soap box, but it really makes a difference to hear this topic discussed between other people in our field, and I don't think it's something that gets touched on enough in other clinics.

stacy keegan's picture

as I sit here (its 5:54am)I have 2 hrs left by myself until I see another tech walk through that door...maybe then I will be able to watch the video....as I write this tears are rolling down my face...you know its just one of those nights....graveyard got to love this burn....