In February 2021, I enrolled back in school to become a licensed veterinary technician. I was fortunate enough to land a job working as a CSR (client service rep) at my local vet hospital. After I complete six months of training, I will be able to train as a TA (technician’s assistant). The hours are long, and I mean long – 10 to 12 hour shifts a day with a 20-30 minute break. While I love the job and find it rewarding to help clients with their animals, I can honestly say that I do not feel guilty when I clock out at the end of my shift.
IDK about you, but I actually like my spouse
My family consists of my husband and our two
angelic dogs and two perfect cats. I had to adjust to the fact the hubs will be coming and going as the government pleases but for now, he is staying put (well, I just jinxed myself there now, didn’t I?). I relish the fact that I do get to see him, so I rush home to spend some time with him.
Professor of organizational behavior and leadership at the University of Oxford, Sally Maitlis, explained, “The pandemic has been powerful not only in making salient many of the things that matter most – health, family, and relationships – and in disrupting some of the routines and systems that were keeping people on the treadmill.” COVID-19 put into perspective the real priorities we should be more focused on rather than staying fixated on what we are programmed to value such as work and financial status as well as idealizing being overworked.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO), “systematic reviews reported sufficient evidence for higher risks of ischemic heart disease and stroke amongst people working long hours (over 55 hours/week), compared with people working standard hours (35-40 hours/week).” They go on to report that in 2016 over 400 million people who worked hours over 55 a week were overworked and that an estimated 745,000 + deaths and 23.3. million who suffered from ischemic heart disease and strokes were connected.
“Let’s raise a toast to the college grads”
I have always enjoyed school and the only reason I haven’t gone for my Masters is that, well, that shit is expensive and I am still paying off my BA school loans. The reason I wanted to receive an Associate’s degree is that education has always been important to me and I do believe you should thrive for higher education.
I am studying to have my Associate’s in Vet Tech and then take the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) so I can become licensed. In New Jersey, you don’t need to be licensed to work as a vet tech. Most states require it and since I have a military family, I may not always stay in New Jersey. My goal is to finish school in two years and then take the national exam. Thankfully, the course is at my pace so I study when I can.
Value mental health
Being in this field, mental health does take a beating. You tolerate clients shouting at you, possible toxic work enviornments, you must be compassionate, understanding, and judgment-free when someone decides to euthanize their pet, all the while wanting to save every animal that becomes surrendered or abandoned. Sometimes you must shut off your work brain and either watch trashy TV, go work out, cook your favorite meal, or go down a YouTube hole – anything to get your mind off the everyday stresses and completely relax.
Becky Krull, DVM, and co-owner of Green Bay Allouez Animal Hospital explains that the idea of working 7 days a week and being on call 24 hours a day is an outdated mindset. “Those expectations were so high, and they set that standard and ended up burning themselves out. No one can function at that level over and over again… Even if you’re passionate about your job, you have to step away from it,” advised Krull.
Why I don’t feel guilty clocking out
I love being around my husband, I enjoy taking notes and learning new chapters in my courses, and relaxing with YouTube’s animated horror stories. Find a place that is understanding at the fact that you do have another life outside of the one your employer only sees. No job should be worth your relationships, education, and mental health.