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Three Golden Skills Of Veterinary Sages

“Be careful. You might want to get up, that dog looks like it is going to lunge at you.”, I said to the doctor who was kneeling down face to face with a less than comfortable German Shepherd. The dog licked her concerns away. “He’s being nice,” She said. She was very wrong, the dog lunged and missed her face by a small degree.

The learning curve at new jobs is brief after seven years of experience. Is it true? Is time served the same thing as experience? Is experience the same thing as knowledge? So you wanna be a super vet tech?

During interviews I’m often asked if I can draw blood, place catheters, or draw urine via Cystocentesis. Of course! Demonstrate your particular protocol and its all set. But is that really the sum of a great technician? Perhaps good technicians can do all those things but great technicians, they are separated by traits that make us all human. Below are three of those characteristics you can practice to achieve greatness as a veterinary technician!

Be Observant

She was swaying left and right ever so slightly, almost impossible to notice without paying the maximum amount of attention. A cat, standing at the front of her kennel, stood there staring at me like she was going to start talking any second. Something was definitely wrong and nobody else knew but me and the cat. Dying of anxiety and concern, getting this cat examined immediately was my primary concern. Like my shoes were glued to the treatment area’s floor, me and the cat waited patiently at a table until she was seen.

She had a very low blood glucose level and was almost in shock. Her life was saved because of a simple power of observation. The job wasn’t to watch the boarded babies, it was to observe them — there’s a difference.

“To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe”. — Marylin Vos Savant.

Be Selfless

Selflessness is a practice. Pete was a master.

Rumbling could be heard and the ground quivered with fear for what was about to happen. One of the most feared predators of the wild charged to protect the territory that Pete and his family fortuitously had intruded. A Black Bear charged at the fearful pack of humans and pups. Like he had done it before, Pete launched at the giant biting and kicking as much as he could. His family ran as fast as possible in retreat and back to safety while Pete gave everything he had in the fight. The owners tied the crew to a far away tree and darted back to help Pete — the bear ran off.

Pete’s injuries were too severe. He was accompanied by his family in his passing at a local hospital.

Reflect on selflessness every day and adjust accordingly. Practice this one at all times.



With about 6000 thoughts a day, our minds can become crowded with unnecessary noise and banter. Focus is responsible for great success in almost any field imaginable. How do you tap into your focus? You practice it!

Find a good book and see it all the way through. Play a word search puzzle, a jigsaw puzzle, chess or checkers. Constantly engage your focus with different tasks. Eventually, your focus will bend to your will and your attention to detail will increase and allow you to see things that others cannot!

Just for fun, take a look at the portraits below created by Yoshihisa Tanaka and Ryuta Iida. The subjects were told to sit as still as possible for three minutes straight using all of their focus to keep from moving any bit. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t do it. A lack of focus is in our very nature. Practice focus religiously.

By the way, that Shepherd was licking her as a warning not as a sign of affection. These things will become obvious with the practice of the three golden skills above!




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