There are many opinions on how to excel at being a great technician. Be ever available, work overtime, put your job first, and do not allow verbal abuse from clients to “get to you”. I think it is time that this mold is broken, for it is outdated and false. Far too often, technicians become burnt out from never putting self-care first, and far too often, a technician will find themselves giving their all to a clinic that is not willing to give back. It is essential to find a clinic that shares your core beliefs, will take your opinions into serious consideration, and values the effort you put into the practice.
Rule 1. Be ever available and work overtime
While it is true that there will be times of necessity where everyone needs to put in extra work, that in no way means work yourself into permanent exhaustion. Overworking leads to the dreaded burnout, and renders one incapable of being a viable asset to the practice. If you find yourself always being the “Yes” person while others say no, take a step back and access if this still leaves you time for proper self-care, if the answer is no, then please stop saying yes.
Rule 2. Put your job first
This one is highly misunderstood; putting your career first does not mean neglecting yourself. Running on empty and carrying a short fuse will not help anyone in a field of giving and nurturing. You come first, your home and family come first, revamping the priority list will in fact, aid you in being fully present in your career.
Rule 3. Do not allow verbal abuse from clients to “get to you.”
Yes, this is very true; however it seems to be somewhat impossible. With the caring, empathetic nature of so many in our field, it will often “get to you.” There is no magical potion to negate this truth. It is also perfectly ok to reach out to others in the field whom you trust to discuss your feelings when this happens. It is ok to be hurt, angry, and let down; however it is not ok to base your self-worth on someone who misguidedly projected their anger onto you. If there is a kernel of truth in a client’s complaint, then, by all means, find a way to correct it. Unfortunately in every field, there will be people who refuse to take accountability and instead sling verbal assaults to mask their shortcomings. Yes, it hurts when we are told we do not care about animals or are only in it for the money. We all know how very untrue this is, yet it will still sting the hardiest of techs. Know that we have all been there at the other end of that accusation. The fact that you care so much is a testament to its falsehood.