Preparing Yourself for a Veterinary Career
by: Brent McNutt
Starting a career in the field of veterinary medicine is no easy task. And whether you'd like to be a veterinarian, a technician or assistant, you have to be on all fours (no pun intended) to come out on top.
Tips on how to prepare yourself for a veterinary career:
1. Seek employment or volunteer as an assistant at your local veterinary clinic. Grab those landau scrubs and start working. This will give you an idea of what's life really like as a full-fledged veterinarian. Of course, this will give you the chance to familiarize yourself with some of the animals that you're likely to work with-both sick and healthy. Remember, practical experience is required should you decide to enter a vet school.
2. You can also try getting your feet wet by exploring opportunities in an animal shelter or animal control unit. Volunteering will teach you how to handle and care for "unwanted animals."
3. Seek help and advice from staff members. Try to ask questions regarding the perks of the job, their likes and dislikes, their daily routine, and necessary training. Aside from learning the tricks of the trade, you will be able to get a picture of the types of jobs available.
4. If you feel uncomfortable performing a particular task or answering a client's question, don't be afraid to ask for help. It's better to ask for help rather than risk further injury to an animal or give misleading advice to a client.
5. As with any other medical field, formal education is of utmost importance. We suggest that you research on the various veterinary schools available. Familiarize yourself with the requirements for admission and usual fees. Best if you could learn about the strengths and weaknesses of each school before applying. Making the right choice will certainly help you once you begin your work as a vet.
6. Seek advice from your guidance counselor regarding the possible classes you can take as you prepare for a life in the vet clinic. Remember, it's better to be a well-rounded person, especially when veterinary medicine is concerned.
7. Even before you start working for a vet clinic, try joining a local veterinary interest group. Joining an organization can help you gain better knowledge of veterinary medicine as a whole. This will also give you the chance of interacting with other people that share your interests. Even if you haven't finished your studies, never shy away from joining an organization because its members will be more than happy to help you out.
8. Never stop researching and studying to achieve your career goal. Things may seem tricky a first-but with sufficient knowledge and practical experience, you can easily be the best vet you can be.
9. Try to work for more than one clinic so as to give you a different feel of the profession. It's better to keep a journal of your experiences so you can keep track of your development as an assistant, technician or veterinarian.
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