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Vet students and techs

Greengal

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2019
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  1. Pre-Veterinary
I am curious to find out if anyone has had the experience of working with vet techs who do not want to train vet students and have attitudes towards them.
I have completed one term at vet school and am currently working at a fast paced hospital where I am attempting to gain experience in restraint, venipuncture and catheter placement. I have been there three weeks and was informed by my supervisor they were not happy with my restraint techniques but in that time period I was never critiqued or shown how to improve. In addition, I had little to no opportunities to learn other skills in that time. I have been removed from the ER and put into primary care. I am upset and frustrated and have a feeling I will wind up shadowing/observing for the whole summer, although the program I was hired into was not advertised as such. I have also been in several situations such as this over the years as I was a part time assistant. I am a CVT with little skills and am fearful that this will come back to bite me as a veterinarian. Any thoughts are appreciated!
 

Minnerbelle

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  1. Veterinary Student
I am curious to find out if anyone has had the experience of working with vet techs who do not want to train vet students and have attitudes towards them.
I have completed one term at vet school and am currently working at a fast paced hospital where I am attempting to gain experience in restraint, venipuncture and catheter placement. I have been there three weeks and was informed by my supervisor they were not happy with my restraint techniques but in that time period I was never critiqued or shown how to improve. In addition, I had little to no opportunities to learn other skills in that time. I have been removed from the ER and put into primary care. I am upset and frustrated and have a feeling I will wind up shadowing/observing for the whole summer, although the program I was hired into was not advertised as such. I have also been in several situations such as this over the years as I was a part time assistant. I am a CVT with little skills and am fearful that this will come back to bite me as a veterinarian. Any thoughts are appreciated!

Could a lot of the issue be that they had expected a lot more from you based on your CVT status? Or were you up front with them about your lack of technical skills?
 

DRider13

c/o 2022
2+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2017
179
521
116
  1. Veterinary Student
I am curious to find out if anyone has had the experience of working with vet techs who do not want to train vet students and have attitudes towards them.
I have completed one term at vet school and am currently working at a fast paced hospital where I am attempting to gain experience in restraint, venipuncture and catheter placement. I have been there three weeks and was informed by my supervisor they were not happy with my restraint techniques but in that time period I was never critiqued or shown how to improve. In addition, I had little to no opportunities to learn other skills in that time. I have been removed from the ER and put into primary care. I am upset and frustrated and have a feeling I will wind up shadowing/observing for the whole summer, although the program I was hired into was not advertised as such. I have also been in several situations such as this over the years as I was a part time assistant. I am a CVT with little skills and am fearful that this will come back to bite me as a veterinarian. Any thoughts are appreciated!

As a vet student, I'm also still learning my technical skills and I can understand that you must feel very frustrated with this experience. I think a lot of this frustration comes down to a break in communication.

Before I perform a skill that I've not yet mastered, I usually preface with something like, "I have only done this x number of times so far. Please let me know if you have any advice so I can improve/if there is anything you would do differently" or "I've been shown to do it this way in the past; do you have any other tips that would help me improve on this skill?" or "I'm going to do this step, this step, and then that step; what would you do differently?"

In summary: ask how you can improve or what they would do differently, otherwise they may never tell you.

By being open about my current skill level and asking the technicians to share their wisdom, I find that we have a better dialogue about their expectations and my experiences. I think it also shows them that I am not going to take their critique the wrong way and that I am here to learn and improve, which can help open them up to teaching.
 
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DrinkWater95

Sydney c/o 2022
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Sep 22, 2018
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I am curious to find out if anyone has had the experience of working with vet techs who do not want to train vet students and have attitudes towards them.
I have completed one term at vet school and am currently working at a fast paced hospital where I am attempting to gain experience in restraint, venipuncture and catheter placement. I have been there three weeks and was informed by my supervisor they were not happy with my restraint techniques but in that time period I was never critiqued or shown how to improve. In addition, I had little to no opportunities to learn other skills in that time. I have been removed from the ER and put into primary care. I am upset and frustrated and have a feeling I will wind up shadowing/observing for the whole summer, although the program I was hired into was not advertised as such. I have also been in several situations such as this over the years as I was a part time assistant. I am a CVT with little skills and am fearful that this will come back to bite me as a veterinarian. Any thoughts are appreciated!

Agree with above.

Also, take being switched to primary care as an opportunity. It’s a great place to practice skills without the extra pressure of constant ER cases. Take initiative and show you’re eager to learn and also eager to receive feedback. I’ve learned a lot of my skills by asking questions, seeking feedback and showing eagerness to obtain new skills.

Additionally, I know sometimes techs can sometimes feel intimidated or put off by someone in vet school. Being a tech may be a stepping stone for vet students, but it may be an end goal for techs. Make sure to stay humble and respect the techs, especially the ones who have been around for ages (not saying this is your scenario, but just in case!). Techs have a whole lot of knowledge to share, sometimes they just come with a hard outer shell lol
 
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DRider13

c/o 2022
2+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2017
179
521
116
  1. Veterinary Student
Agree with above.

Also, take being switched to primary care as an opportunity. It’s a great place to practice skills without the extra pressure of constant ER cases. Take initiative and show you’re eager to learn and also eager to receive feedback. I’ve learned a lot of my skills by asking questions, seeking feedback and showing eagerness to obtain new skills.

Additionally, I know sometimes techs can sometimes feel intimidated or put off by someone in vet school. Being a tech may be a stepping stone for vet students, but it may be an end goal for techs. Make sure to stay humble and respect the techs, especially the ones who have been around for ages (not saying this is your scenario, but just in case!). Techs have a whole lot of knowledge to share, sometimes they just come with a hard outer shell lol

Hehe I try to butter up all the older techs who have a hard exterior. Once you build a good relationship with them, they will often move mountains for you and help you gain some fantastic learning opportunities!
 
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Greengal

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2019
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116
  1. Pre-Veterinary
Could a lot of the issue be that they had expected a lot more from you based on your CVT status? Or were you up front with them about your lack of technical skills?
I told them about my skill level prior to taking the job. I feel as if there was little to no support from the beginning which is why I am wondering if anyone else has had this experience.
 

Greengal

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2019
48
33
116
  1. Pre-Veterinary
Agree with above.

Also, take being switched to primary care as an opportunity. It’s a great place to practice skills without the extra pressure of constant ER cases. Take initiative and show you’re eager to learn and also eager to receive feedback. I’ve learned a lot of my skills by asking questions, seeking feedback and showing eagerness to obtain new skills.

Additionally, I know sometimes techs can sometimes feel intimidated or put off by someone in vet school. Being a tech may be a stepping stone for vet students, but it may be an end goal for techs. Make sure to stay humble and respect the techs, especially the ones who have been around for ages (not saying this is your scenario, but just in case!). Techs have a whole lot of knowledge to share, sometimes they just come with a hard outer shell lol
I am very respectful and more than willing to help and learn.
 

battie

U of I c/o 2021
7+ Year Member
Nov 22, 2013
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Perpetual state of disarray
  1. Veterinarian
Here is another issue I am wondering about. I am in my 50s and wonder if it is an age thing with them. Thoughts?

If anything, the older students in my class seem to have a better relationship with a lot of our hospital techs than the younger/traditional students.

It may be worth your while to open up the conversation with whoever your supervisor is or with the head tech/office manager on how you're coming across. You may have the best intentions in the world as a student, but may be missing things that come across poorly. Then take their criticism/outlook with the perception of self-improvement (and not as a personal attack). Ask about specific things (hard and soft skills) that you can improve on and suggestions on where you can start. You'll never know unless you ask.

Sometimes that's very difficult to do, but it would also show them that you're serious about improvement of your people/soft skills as well as your technical skills.
 
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DRider13

c/o 2022
2+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2017
179
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  1. Veterinary Student
I agree with what batsenecal has said. Opening up dialogue with one of your supervisors will help figure out where the break in communication is and how you can mend this gap. I think this would make it a more pleasant experience for you, as well as your colleagues who may not be used to teaching students.

You seemed to discount the useful advice people have offered above, which is why I ask: Are you actively voicing that you require support? Have you actively been working on self-improvement? I don't want you to answer these questions here, but I think it is important to sit back and think critically about your answers.
 
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Greengal

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2019
48
33
116
  1. Pre-Veterinary
If anything, the older students in my class seem to have a better relationship with a lot of our hospital techs than the younger/traditional students.

It may be worth your while to open up the conversation with whoever your supervisor is or with the head tech/office manager on how you're coming across. You may have the best intentions in the world as a student, but may be missing things that come across poorly. Then take their criticism/outlook with the perception of self-improvement (and not as a personal attack). Ask about specific things (hard and soft skills) that you can improve on and suggestions on where you can start. You'll never know unless you ask.

Sometimes that's very difficult to do, but it would also show them that you're serious about improvement of your people/soft skills as well as your technical skills.
Yes. I did that today. They were very nice and encouraging. Thank you!
 
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Greengal

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2019
48
33
116
  1. Pre-Veterinary
I agree with what batsenecal has said. Opening up dialogue with one of your supervisors will help figure out where the break in communication is and how you can mend this gap. I think this would make it a more pleasant experience for you, as well as your colleagues who may not be used to teaching students.

You seemed to discount the useful advice people have offered above, which is why I ask: Are you actively voicing that you require support? Have you actively been working on self-improvement? I don't want you to answer these questions here, but I think it is important to sit back and think critically about your answers.
Actually, I had an open successful conversation with my supervisors. They seemed concerned about how I felt and we worked out a plan for my improvement. Thank you!
 
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