If you love animals and would give your right arm to shield your beloved pet from harm, then becoming a veterinary assistant is perhaps the perfect career for you. But, as with everything else in life, doing what you love is not always easy, and you can end up giving more of yourself than you ever thought possible – or healthy. This job is particularly draining, as you will be caring for the most vulnerable creatures in our midst. At the same time, it is deeply gratifying and worth the trouble, if you ensure that self-care takes precedence in your life.
Working with Animals
The first obvious benefit is that you get to work with animals. Cuddling darling dogs and cats, petting parakeets, and even more exotic living beings is part and parcel of the work. You also get to administer medicine and generally take care of ailing animals that unfortunately, cannot speak for themselves. But the gentle attention offered by a vet and veterinary assistant is invaluable and can make all the difference.
You would be part of a team that is focused on the same goal as you: taking care of animals. It can be a wonderful feeling to go into a workplace knowing that your colleagues share the same devotion as you to the profession.
Bolstering Your Career
If you become a veterinary assistant and decide that you want to continue to advance within the field, you’ve definitely chosen the right stepping stone. Most assistants work in the evenings or weekends anyway, so you will have time to go to school and study to be a veterinary technician or veterinarian.
Unfortunately, as emotionally rewarding as this job can be, it is also not the most economically feasible option out there. It’s important to love your job, but it is also important that you can sustain a living wage in the long term. It’s tough, but if you decide that being an assistant first is the best way to advance in your career, then your initial sacrifice will pay off.
While taking care of animals can be a wonderful experience, it can also be emotionally stressful, as you will be dealing with a lot of angry or anxiety-filled “pet parents,” as well as quite a bit of death. Watching a family go through the demise of their beloved dog or cat is heart-wrenching, and it can tear you to bits.
Not for the Queasy
As part of the job, you will have to clean up lots of bodily fluid, from poop to vomit, and other less-than-savory things. If you detest getting your hands dirty – you would be in scrubs, of course, but metaphorically speaking – then this can be a tough job to handle.
Going into this job takes a lot of heart, dedication, but also guts. While it’s not for the faint of heart, it’s also one of the most wonderful professions to pursue. So, if you believe you have what it takes, and decide that the pros outweigh the cons, becoming a veterinary assistant may be your calling—and in that case, the journey will surely be worth it all.