So you want to become a veterinarian? Where do you start and how does one prepare so you can acquire the qualities that a veterinarian needs to have?
iMatrix is not only focused on veterinary marketing services, we care so much for those who are in their early stages of studies and establishing a future in this field, one step at a time. If you care for animals and you feel this is a lifetime calling, here are some qualities that you can develop and key steps that you can practice to seamlessly reach your dream job someday!
What Does a Veterinarian Do?
A veterinarian, on a daily basis, sees and consults pets that are either showing illness or injury and tries to help them get back to normal. A vet is also in charge of seeing well animals maintain the good health stature of your dogs, cats, and other animals. Animals, like humans, go through routine tests to ensure any health issues can be avoided and detected early on.
Veterinarians have a whole array of procedures that they usually do during routine exams and those instances when immediate confinement is needed. You need to have patience since animals do not understand why you need to prick and take blood samples from them, scrutinize their ears, observe them breathe, and perform vaccinations to ensure they do not have problems.
Most of the time, animals are nervous because they do not know what is happening. A veterinarian needs to be reassuring by helping relax the animals. There are many other qualities that you can learn and practice along the way. Let us get to them one by one.
What Are the Key Steps and Qualities A Veterinarian Should Have?
To become a veterinarian, you need to go to college. This entails a lot of studying and an opportunity to develop good study habits while studying several courses in the Sciences.
We can categorize them into two qualities to be a successful veterinarian: having the right hard skills and another one, which ends up to be more beneficial in the long run, are your interpersonal skills or what you sometimes call as soft skills. This will help you communicate effectively with those you work with as well as your visiting clients.
Beyond the long years of education and training required before one can become a veterinarian, here are some key steps you should take if you want to become a member of the elite club:
Step 1: Pursue higher education at an accredited veterinary school
It is important for veterinarians to hold formal degrees; therefore, potential candidates must enroll in graduate programs or colleges that offer courses on veterinary medicine. Some common courses students enrolled in these programs take include anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pathology, and pharmacology.
Step 2: Build a strong foundation in basic sciences as well as liberal arts subjects such as philosophy, psychology, and literature
In addition to the required courses on the sciences, it is important for veterinary students to have knowledge about other disciplines because animals are not just biological organisms; they also have emotions and feelings. If you want to become a leader who can offer emotional support to an animal during difficult times or if you want your pet to feel comfortable around you, then build a strong foundation in humanities first.
Step 3: Get hands- experience by doing internships with local veterinarians
Even if you have a degree from a veterinary school, it is best to do an internship with a practicing veterinarian. You can choose hospitals or clinics that only service animals that are either owned by people in your neighborhood or those coming from shelters. After doing the required number of hours for your state, you will be able to obtain a license as a veterinary technician. In addition to gaining more knowledge and experiences about animal caregiving, you can also network with vets as well as local pet owners.
Step 4: Learn how to work under pressure and leads within hospital settings
In most cases, working as a veterinary medical assistant requires one to immediately respond when there is an emergency situation involving animals. It also means that you need to follow specific protocols. In the absence of a veterinary medical assistant on duty, you might be required to cover that role as well.
Step 5: Apply for jobs within your area
There are some veterinary clinics and hospitals that have big enough budgets to hire full-time staff while others need part-timers to fill in their vacancies. To effectively assess which is the case with a certain hospital or clinic, it will require you to inquire first before submitting a formal application. Always remember that experience trumps all qualifications so if possible, try gaining more experiences through volunteer work.
Step 6: Work hard at getting noticed by managers and clients alike
To find out about animal doctors’ works, one has to visit veterinary clinics or hospitals. These places serve as the stepping stone to getting noticed. It helps if they are close to where you live or work, but this is not a strict requirement.
Step 7: Work hard at collecting references
References are vital in telling employers about your background and most importantly, your personality. For veterinarians, they need to have three individual references. These references must be able to speak well of you including the way you interact with cats and dogs, your level of patience when faced with problems, how responsible you are on the job, etc. If these qualities can be backed up by some sort of written reference, then so much the better.
Several Types of Veterinarians:
Food animal veterinarians. They work on animals as where most foods come to originate. These vets take care of these animals’ medical needs and heal those injured and prescribe proper practices to farm owners.
Inspection veterinarians. They look at livestock, treat them with vaccines, and generally improve and implement government regulations—those who study to control infectious diseases between animals and human beings.
Companion animal veterinarians. You go to clinics and hospitals, and it is they who treat your pets and perform x-ray and blood tests on your cats and dogs.
You learn to develop more compassion for animals. You call them by name to establish a more sincere connection with them and with the owner, too.
If you plan on being a veterinarian, there are qualities that you can live by to be more effective in what you do:
- The hard skills that we are talking about are management and decision-making skills to develop a suitable method to help treat animals.
- Strong command of solving problems. They are doctors dealing with animal lives.
- Manual agility. It’s precisely like surgeons who need controlled hand mobility in administering tests and performing surgeries to their furry friends.
- Your soft skills are something you can start developing at a young age—qualities of being compassionate and being able to be straightforward to your clients.