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Old 04-08-04, 08:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
Auskan's Avatar
Join Date: Dec-2003
Location: Wichita, KS
Age: 51
Posts: 652
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I worked as a vet tech for 3 1/2 years. I loved it. I first worked for a large animal vet, then for a mixed large/small practice and finished with a year and a half in a small animal clinic. During that time it was mostly dogs & cats, with just the occasional exotic.

I'm really glad I did it and I learned a lot. The vet I worked for taught me a lot and even had me do some surgery (cat neuters, abscesses, inserting draining tubes, suturing and so on). He also sent me away to the state university's vet hospital to do externships in various areas, for a week or so at a time, which was awesome.

Anyway, despite how much I enjoyed it, I got out of the field for the following reasons:

* No room for career advancement. Most vet clinics are of limited size and its a case of "once a vet tech, always a vet tech". About the best you can hope for is to work for a larger clinic where there are several techs and you can be the "head tech", but there's generally not a lot of room for going "up the ladder".
* Low wages & benefits. Because of the nature of vet clinics being small businesses, they often can't offer a lot of benefits. I didn't have health insurance, only got one week's vacation to begin with (I think I had to be there about 5 years before I'd get two weeks vacation) and there were certainly no benefits like tuition reimbursement offered, as larger companies are able to do.
* In a smaller clinic you can kind of end up being the "dog of all trades" so to speak. In my last job, I worked for a clinic that was small enough that I was the only employee aside from the vet. I had to work the front desk, check in all the clients, check them out, do the accounting, do the inventory, order supplies, put them away when they arrived, do all the cleaning, send out reminder postcards for shots, keep the computer database up to date, walk the dogs, clean the cages AND perform the duties of a vet tech! Variety in work is sometimes a good thing, but if you are trained as a vet tech and you want to concentrate on that, it can be frustrating to be expected to play receptionist as well!
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