6 ways to celebrate Vet Tech Week that are more than a pizza lunch
Who doesn’t love free pizza? We’d be the last to say a stack of boxes filled with cheesy goodness wouldn’t be welcome after a busy morning in practice. But there’s more to celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week than pizza parties. After all, a free lunch may fill the belly, but a higher-level acknowledgment of respect and appreciation will feed the technician’s soul.
Veterinarians: Empower your technicians
If you’re a doctor, an important thing you can do to show you value your technicians is to allow them—in fact, encourage them—to perform at the top of their state’s Practice Act. In other words, if your technician is legally allowed to do a certain task, they should be doing it. Consider these tactics:
1. Help them hone a new skill. Maybe it’s suturing an incision after surgery. Maybe it’s placing a catheter. Supervise, support, and encourage along the way—you may find out they could do it all along!
2. Support their next-level interest. Your technicians may be passionate about things like dentistry, anesthesia, behavior … and the list goes on. Discover those interests and equip them to pursue their passion. Keep in mind: Your patients (and practice) will benefit too.
3. Respect the role. In most states, unless someone has put in the time, effort, and funds to receive a technician credential or license, they are an assistant—not a technician—and should be referred to as such.
Technicians: Watch out for each other—and yourselves
Hey, rock stars: You don’t have to wait around for others to celebrate your greatness. It’s your week, after all, and no one knows what you and your fellow techs need better than you. Here are some ideas for having each other’s backs (as well as your own).
4. Write thank-you notes. It’s one thing to get a note of appreciation from a client, manager, or doctor, but it can be even more special to hear from someone who lives in the same blood, sweat, tears, and anal gland fluid you do.
5. Remind each other of danger signs. While the veterinary profession is working to address its well-being crisis, it pays to be aware at the ground level in practice. A team refresher on burnout and compassion fatigue may be key to helping one of your own turn toward a healthier path.
6. Fill up your own cup. Whether it’s engaging in a favorite hobby or spending time with your kids, prioritize the things that recharge your batteries. Keep a list of stress relievers handy (five minutes of yoga, cuddles with a furry friend) so you can turn a bad day around in no time.
Technicians are the key to great patient care and healthy practice revenues. But they also have an enormous workload. So, however your practice does it, make sure to tell them thanks for staying in the profession and making healthy pets their passion. Without them, the veterinary world would be like a pizza without a crust—in other words, a total mess.
And now—bring on that lunch party!