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A Day in the life of A...

Vet Assistant
by Jess
Part of a continuing series on vet tech careers.
See the archive for more stories.

There is never a typical day in the life of any kind of doctor or their assistants. Always something new, something exciting, sad, gross, etc.

I work as a Vet. Asst. with a large animal vet. I am currently a senior in high school and I plan on becoming a CVT (certified vet tech.) This is how some days go:

I walk in to the store as soon as I get out of school to see what awaits me today. Of course, it's the usual scrub the "palpating" boots for my boss. I don't mind however doing this work, you have to work your way up somehow right? Then it's on to the other daily duties. This includes cleaning the truck the vet practically lives in.

Next, I am told the plans for the day. Coming in are some horses teeth to be floated, no big deal... get the equipment ready and help hold the horses mouth open. Next on the agenda is a lameness test. These can be the most boring for me..usually I sit there and watch the horse walk and trot...walk and trot.. Slowly the clock reaches 5:00pm and it is time for "after hours" work..hey, a vets duty is never done! Well, unfortunately this happens to be a very VERY STINKY call...yup you might have guessed it...we get to pull a calf! It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't so rotten...but its either get the calf pulled and put up with the stench or leave it there and let the mom die too...After messin with the stinky stuff and washin up of course, we go cut a cancer eye out of a dairy heifer..I have to admit it was pretty gross to watch considering the cow is lookin at you with the other eye.. but you I eventually got used to it.

After that stop we decide we are hungry..ALLSUPS!!! Yup we stop and get us coke, burrito and head home. And then I wait for the next week to see what happens then.

It's not always a glamorous job, there's the scrubbing and cleaning of equipment, messing with dead animals, tolerating those people who can't care for their animals, and the saddest thing...sentencing one to death. However, it's all worth the pain and effort. There's always the reward of seeing the horse you operated on for 3 hours come out in a month perfectly fine and the owners ecstatic about your work.

Its not a job for everyone.....But if you want to do it ...GO FOR IT!

Many thanks to Jess for taking the time to share what a day as a large animal vet assistant is like.

If you are a veterinarian, veterinary technician, student, or other pet-related career professional, please submit your story and share what YOUR day is like -- it not only helps those aspiring to be in a veterinary career, it serves to enlighten pet owners just what goes on behind-the-scenes at a typical (or not-so-typical?) vet clinic.

Additional Reading:

Long Distance Learning
Earn your Veterinary Technology degree on campus or via the web. An interview with Guy Hancock, DVM, MEd. the Program Director for the Veterinary Technology Distance Education Program at St. Petersburg Junior College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veterinary Technician Links
For more information about a career in Veterinary Technology

Pre-Vet and Career Forum
Stop by for advice, support, or to just vent your school frustrations!

Veterinary Career Links
For information on becoming a veterinarian and veterinary careers in general


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