But Do They “Love Animals?”



My dad can’t seem to believe that I can survive without reading the daily newspaper. It was kinda funny. When I lived in Houston he would call and ask. “Did you know a hurricane is coming your way?”But who needs paper that gets ink on your hands when every time I pop onto my internet I have a news story in plain view? Needless to say, I only follow the headline into the story if it piques my interest, and there are a lot of stories that do not.

Yet I find it interesting to see how many times healthcare professions and sometimes specifically veterinary technology is mentioned as a recession-proof, sure-fire way of making big bucks during this time of economic turmoil.

I recall a news article that came out a while back that said techs could make $70,000 in annual wages. The real story wasn’t in the article though; it was in the angry comments that resulted from that article—technicians that were frustrated that this article inaccurately represented the wage they experience in real life, and veterinarians who realized that they likely couldn’t pay their techs that much.

At the same time, I hear that numbers are up in veterinary technology programs across the country. Does mean that there is an abundance of people wanting to come get started on a new, more secure, possibly more lucrative, career path?

It makes me wonder, are they coming into our industry for the right reason, for the love of animals? When I presented this question to a recent audience, an attendee said in his opinion, those people who were not cut out for this job would weed themselves out, and that it likely true for some.

But what scares me is the thought that some of those people will survive the education and credentialing perhaps, only to work in a job that is “just a job” and not a calling, as veterinary medicine is to most of us here already.

So the presentation I referred to was on compassion fatigue, a topic I speak on quite often. It was during the part of the talk where we discuss how the lack of emotional coping methods could lead those who are most compassionate to leave the profession they were called to…leaving behind those who can maintain an emotional distance that leaves them safe, but are they the people who should truly be delivering care to pets and people?

I’m not saying yes or no, just throwing this out there for thought. I tend to be one of those kinds of people who connect dots, and sometimes don’t see a clear picture come through likely because there aren’t enough dots yet to illustrate the details. As those dots are added to this particular picture, I’m curious to see what image evolves. 

 

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When I attended the International Conference on Communication in Veterinary Medicine (ICCVM), I was delighted to meet one of the authors of “Skills for Communicating with Patients," Suzanne Kurtz.

But Do They “Love Animals?”