Sometimes coming out of school and going straight into the field can be a little nerve-racking. You’re likely unsure of what to even expect!
To help reduce the anxiety and uncertainty, Dr. Nicole Salloum, MVB, gave us these 9 helpful tips to pass along to you soon to be vets.
1. Its normal to feel overwhelmed.
When you leave vet school, you’ll have a whole bunch of knowledge at your fingertips, but during your first week in practice you’ll be faced with real life situations and may feel like you actually know very little about being a vet. Don’t worry, that’s normal.
2. Be careful when using medical language.
Words like ‘renal failure’ or ‘bone fracture’ are easily understood by us, but not necessarily by clients. People can be hesitant to ask for clarification when they don’t understand the terms, and that can lead to miscommunications.
3. Expand your knowledge.
Try to start off in a multi-doctor practice so you have the opportunity to see many different methods and viewpoints for treating things.
4. Clear communication is crucial.
Get owners to clarify when they say ‘right’ or ‘left’. Do they mean the animal’s right side, or the right side when they are looking head on at the animal?
5. Maintain and grow your network.
Don’t be afraid to keep in contact with your old professors to ask them questions about your cases. Also expand your network by registering with the national and local veterinary associations. These can provide you with a wealth of information and a great deal of support. You should also consider registering with the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), which provides a hefty discount to those fresh out of vet school.
6. Get involved.
Make connections with a local shelter or humane society in your area, and see if they will let you volunteer your services. There is no better education you can get, and it also allows you to continue developing your diagnostic and surgical skills.
7. Stay connected.
Take the time to attend Continuing Education events and activities offered by local veterinary associations and chapters. These can help you stay in the loop of what’s going on in the veterinary profession.
8. Come prepared for unexpected messes.
Keep a spare pair of pants at work, at some point you’re going to get urinated on.
9. Choose your vet practice wisely.
The vet practice you start at most likely won’t be the one you stay at forever, but make sure you start somewhere with a good mentor and base to get your career going on the right track.
Keep Dr. Salloum’s tips in mind as you head out into the unknown world beyond school, and you’ll be well on your way to a rewarding and enjoyable career!
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