Vet Tech Blogs You Should Check Out

In the past I have done Google searches a few times for “vet tech blog.” Today, I decided to take a deeper look and see who is blogging about vet tech work and life.

I ignored the search results that come from vet clinic and hospital websites because they write content more for clients than for other vet techs. I also ignored posts on websites and blogs shiny smiling techs holding puppies and kittens to promote becoming a vet tech, going to school for vet tech training, and that kind of thing.

I was looking for blogs that don’t have to paint a pretty picture of the working conditions and experiences. Especially, I didn’t want to share blog sites that are recruiting–they tend to put a positive spin on everything vet tech. I want my blog’s readers to see the positive AND the negative.

After scrolling through 10 pages of Google results, I only found three blogs that were in line with what I think people considering becoming vet techs should read. (I’m sure there must be more out there, but 10 pages of results!)

Smart Flow Blog by Samantha Toy, RVT is a really well written blog about vet tech work with a lot of info packed into each post. My favorite post is “My Message To All New Vet Techs (Or Those Thinking of Becoming One).” 

Kick Ass Vet Tech is no longer an active blog, but the old posts are worth reading if you want stories about vet tech work and life. Rainy Day, Thoughts on Euthanasia offers a very raw but eloquent insight into what it’s like for a vet tech when dealing with euthanasias.

Chrissy’s Blog has heart-felt stories about living and working as a vet tech. Unfortunately/fortunately . . . fortunately/unfortunately, she is no longer a vet tech. She writes about her decision to change careers in this post, New Beginnings. Another post, The Baby Vet, is a good example of something vet techs run into at work: a veterinary doctor that treats them poorly.

I’m not surprised that there are only a few vet tech bloggers. Techs work long hours and don’t have much personal time for writing a blog. Then there’s the whole writing is re-living the experience, and that can mean re-stressing or even re-traumatizing yourself–not many people, let alone vet techs, want to come home from a stressful shift and then write about what they just went through. And when a shift is full of positive experiences the odds are a vet tech is still going to be tired and need to spend their precious free time on things like housework, rest, self-care, and trying to have a life outside of their clinic/hospital.

Vlogs, however, seem to have better search results for “vet tech vlog” on YouTube.

Julie Gomez’s YouTube channel has good content. I watched, and liked, her vlog Difficult Vet Tech Q&A. Some of the questions Julie answers are “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen?” and “How do vet tech’s feel about their financial earning’s potential?” She tells really good, REAL, and honest answers to the questions in her video. Definitely going to check out more of her vlogs. OH! “What is the procedure that bothers you the most at work?” LOVE THE STORY!!! So FUNNY! 🙂

Reading blog posts is a lot faster than watching vlogs, so I’ll have to spend some time putting together a future post with my favorite YouTube vet tech vlogs.

If you like what you’re reading on this blog, please check out my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebookmy Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

 

Vet Tech Statistics and Facts

A few days ago I was trying to think of blog post ideas I haven’t written about . . . and I began to wonder how much research is being done about vet tech work, and what statistics and findings have been posted online.

I Googled “vet tech statistics” and found the United State’s Department of Labor’s stats.

Labor’s website has interesting stats for 2016/17. They cite the median pay as “$33,400 per year/$16.06 per hour” but don’t clearly signal in the table that this is for registered or licensed techs in the job titles. They do talk about education and exam requirements further down the web page–but you have to connect that with the table, and realize that unlicensed vet techs make a lot less pay/salary.

The site’s definition of what a vet tech does is rather limited: “[they] assist in diagnosing the injuries and illnesses of animals.” Also, “Their jobs may be physically or emotionally demanding”–wow, MAY BE? I’d like to meet the vet tech that says their job is not physically or emotionally demanding.

The site says vet tech employment is “projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026.” That might mean more jobs opening up, but it’d be interesting to see what the forecast is for increases in PAY . . . and nothing is said about that.

I clicked on the “What do they do” tab at the bottom of the page, and found this. If I were to revise this page I would delete the word “may” and type in “will”: “may witness abused animals or may need to help euthanize sick, injured, or unwanted animals.”

I’m curious how many vet techs, both licensed and unlicensed, are employed. The site says “held about 102,000 jobs in 2016,” but this includes technologists and technicians (licensed only).

On this page, they explain how they defined the average pay. It then elaborates on how the “lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,880, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $49,350.” Assuming that there are no errors in the collection of data, and that all the vet technologists and technicians were college graduates and licensed, the lower 10% pay is pretty sad.

This web page has really interesting map info graphics showing average pay in each state, and the number of techs per state. Perhaps most importantly, it shows the “Top paying metropolitan areas”–but it’s important to remember three things: you must be a graduate from a college vet tech training program, you must have taken and passed the state’s licensing exam (and if you move to another state, you might have to take it again to get a valid license there), and that top paying positions will have a lot of competition.

I decided I’d try Googling “vet techs compassion fatigue -veterinarian” next. I tried different variations on this search topic because I was curious to see if I could find out if anyone is tracking how many vet techs per year say they suffer from varying degrees of compassion fatigue.

I’m going to continue researching the topic of “how many vet techs suffer from compassion fatigue” to try and find some concrete numbers . . . but ten minutes of Googling different search terms didn’t give me any specific results. It may be that the industry just assumes ALL vet techs will experience compassion fatigue, so tracking the numbers is not necessary. Or, the lack of resources and funding for research and helping vet techs makes the topic a “non-issue” because little to nothing would be done with the information–which, if true, sucks.

The only specific research numbers I could find were here.

“Of the more than 500 support staff personnel that I interviewed, most of whom were technicians, a shocking 74.73% felt they were experiencing or had experienced compassion fatigue in the past year, and 43.51% stated they had felt suicidal in relation to their job within the past two years.” ( June 8th, 2017 – Source)

I applaud the effort it took to do the survey, and research the topic, and then write the article. I just wish it had more details like whether or not the vet techs surveyed were graduates of college training programs and licensed.

I shudder to think about how many clinics/hospitals are not doing any kind of on-going support programs or training for their vet techs. It’s definitely something that needs more development and practice.

If you like what you’re reading on this blog, please check out my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebookmy Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

15 Sleep Hacks for Vet Techs

If you take a look at vet techs on social media you will see nearly all of them talking about being exhausted and stressed out . . . and wanting more sleep.

Improving quality of sleep can help improve quality of life across a huge range of issues: stress levels reduce, improved mood/state of mind, energy levels, immune system function, avoiding colds and illnesses, better job performance, etc.

Here are 15 sleep hacks you can do to improve your sleep.

Temperature and Humidity – Check the temperature in your bedroom. Your quality of sleep may be poor because it is not warm or cool enough. Most people need a slightly cool room for good sleep. Others prefer a warm room. Figure out what works best for you, and adjust the thermostat. If electric or gas bills for heating/cooling are a concern, check your windows and door frames to see if they are leaking or letting in external temperature conditions; if they are not sealed well, Google “how to home made window sealing door sealing.”

Light Conditions – If your bedroom window doesn’t have blackout curtains or blinds, consider getting some or make your own. Even something as simple as taping cut up pieces of a cardboard box over the window panes to block out all light can work. Whatever you use, make your sleeping space as dark as possible so that your circadian rhythm won’t be triggered to wake you up if you’re trying to sleep in in the morning, or nap during the day. If you can’t find a way to block light coming in from your window, maybe try a sleep mask for your eyes.

White Noise – If your neighbors are noisy when you’re trying to sleep, or you live in an area with a lot of external noise (traffic, people out late at night, etc.) consider getting a white noise mp3 file and playing it on a small speaker in your bedroom. Some people like to listen to rain fall sounds, nature sounds, meditation music, and other different types of audio. Find one that works for you, and set it up.

Take a Hot Shower or Bath – Vet techs are usually stressed, and this energy is embedded in our bodies. Taking a hot bath or shower will ease some of that tension, and help muscles to relax. Add bath salts, a bath bomb, to your water. Play relaxing music while you bathe.

Add Extra Layers of Blankets – For some/many people, an extra layer of blankets adds a soothing weight that makes you feel more secure and relaxed. You can usually find near new quality blankets at Thrift stores for low prices.

Freshly Washed Sheets – Try to wash your sheets once a week if possible. The smell and texture will help you fall asleep and be more comfortable.

Try to Avoid Eating and Drinking Before Bed – Your body will not want you go to go sleep because it needs to digest the food and drink. Check out this article for more detailed foods, drinks, and other things like caffeine that you should avoid before sleep.

Try to Time Your Caffeine Intake so That It’s Out of Your System by Bed Time – If you’re wired on caffeine . . . yeah, obvious statement: you won’t be able to fall asleep. Seems obvious, but many of us forget or stop caring about how caffeine will kill our quality of sleep. Figure out how many hours before your bed time you need to get caffeine out of your system and make a cut off time for your last cup of coffee or whatever you consume for energy.

Add More Pillows – Some people don’t realize that they have sleep apnea or poor quality sleep due to snoring and breathing issues. Elevating your upper body may help you breathe more easily. There are different types of sleep apnea, and causes, that you should check out if you think you might have this issue.

Sleeping with Your Fur-Babies – While I love my booboos, they do wake me up and cause disruptions and damage to my quality of sleep. If it’s possible, try sleeping without them on your bed, beside you, or on top of you. It may take several weeks of re-training to get them used to a new sleeping room or place, but if it improves your quality of sleep it might be worth the effort.

Sleeping with a Significant Other Who Snores or Disrupts Your Sleep – Some couples may not be compatible in terms of sleeping behavior. If your significant other snores loudly, moves around a lot during the night (waking you), or has other sleep behaviors that disturb your sleep . . . you may need to figure out alternative sleeping arrangements. This can mean several things: sleeping in different rooms (snoring), sleeping in separate beds, etc. If you love snuggling before sleep, you can still do that–just make sure one of you understands that they have to move to another bed or room at some point.

Eat and Drink Healthy – If you are eating high sugar, high processed foods within 3-4 hours of your bed time, or even less time, you are setting your body up for poor quality sleep. There ARE foods that can help you sleep well. This article also has a good list.

Sex – But Only if it Helps You Fall Asleep – Some people fall asleep more easily, and sleep better, after they have sex . . . whereas others are energized by it. Figure out which type of person you are, and then act accordingly. If you’re single, that doesn’t mean you can’t engage in ‘solo activities’–wink, wink. 🙂

Avoid Using Smartphone in Bed – The light from your phone screen triggers your brain’s chemistry to not enter sleep-friendly conditions. Social media content is designed to constantly trigger your interest with a never-ending flood of materials. Games also stimulate your mind and excite your body. If you ‘must’ use your phone, go into the settings and make your screen light for ‘nighttime’ color temperature and brightness; this will help a little to reduce the degree of stimulation to your eyes and brain.

Follow a Before Bed Routine – Making a routine before bed can help train your brain and body to enter sleep-friendly states.

If you like what you’re reading on this blog, please check out my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebookmy Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

10 Gift Ideas and Things to do for Your Vet Tech on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming soon, so I thought I’d write a blog post with 10 gift ideas and things to do for those dating or in a relationship with a vet tech.

If you are a vet tech and reading this, I’d like to suggest you post the link on your social media–that way, whoever your dating or in a relationship with will see it.

Flowers – A single rose during Valentine’s shopping week runs “from $5 to $8 per rose” (Source).

Consider getting your vet tech other types of romantic flowers. If you can, try to discover what kind of flower they like besides roses. Making the effort to learn their personal preferences will make the flower gift even more special.

Chocolate – Find out what type of chocolate your vet tech likes and then make/bake it at home. You’ll save money, and the personal effort will boost the romantic value.

Option 1: You can find, for example, Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix for as little as $0.99 at Target. Depending on your budget, you can splurge on more expensive mixes like Duncan Hines Signature Swiss Chocolate Cake Mix for $11.99 at Walmart. Baking a chocolate cake and then writing a personalized message in icing on top is very romantic.

Option 2: Chocolate fudge mixes are also easy to find and range from about $4.99 up to $20 or more.

A Hand-Written Love Letter – Buy some high quality paper and a nice black ink pen. Write a practice copy of a love letter in pencil first, and edit it. Then write your letter on the nice paper with the ink pen. Amazon.com has personal letter paper from $8 up to $20 depending on the style and quantity. A good looking ink pen will cost anywhere from $3 up to as much as you can afford and want to spend. If your vet tech likes poetry try to find out if they have a favorite style or period of poetry and poet; include a quote from a romantic poem in your love letter. Or, if you know a favorite romantic movie or TV show of theirs, Google the show or movie name and find a quote to use in your letter.

Hand-cut Small Love Notes – Since it’s likely you’ll have some leftover sheets of paper from the package you buy for a love letter, consider cutting hand-sized or smaller pieces of paper to write little love notes for your significant other. Hide them in different places where your vet tech will find them during Valentine’s Day: inside a purse or wallet, backpack, jacket or sweater pocket, inside a shoe or slipper, under their pillow, under the monitor of their laptop, under their toothpaste, on the dashboard of their car, etc. Try to do at least six minimum . . . a dozen love notes is better–it’s worth the time and energy. 🙂

Lighting – There are many different ways you can make the light in a room romantic.

  1. Tea Lights – These can often be found in sets with a large number of small candles for a low price. Bed, Bath & Beyond has 100 tea lights for $5.99, for example.
  2. Different Color Light Bulbs – Find out what your vet tech’s favorite romantic color is and change the light bulb colors in whatever room you plan your Valentine’s Day activities.
  3. Glow Sticks – These can be a fun, different, and not too expensive way to change the light in a room. Amazon.com has bundles ranging from $9.99 and up depending on size and quantity.

Romantic Card – Hallmark is always a reliable place to shop for a Valentine’s Day card. If you’re looking for something more unique and less conventional, try looking at etsy.com for their handmade cards that range from $5.00 and up. There are also free eCard sites, like this one, that you can use if your budget is low.

Lightly Used Retro Computer Console Game System – If your vet tech is into playing computer games, consider checking out a used electronics/computer store or thrift store near you. Ask about their return policy and make sure you test that the computer console, controllers, and games you get work BEFORE Valentine’s Day.

Cook Their Favorite Meal – Go to the grocery store and get the ingredients to cook your vet tech’s favorite meal. Get the best quality ingredients your budget can afford. Search YouTube for meal ideas and how to prepare and cook the ingredients. For example, this video has 4 romantic dinner ideas that if you went to a restaurant you would likely pay triple or more the amount of money you spend on cooking the meal at home.

Also, try to follow Dan Savage’s Valentine’s Day advice. Give your vet tech some of the smaller gifts or whatever non-food things you might be preparing for them that, ahem, will help to create ‘the mood.’ 🙂

Make a mp3 romantic music/songs playlist or burn a CD – Burning a CD may seem old school, and if your vet tech doesn’t have a CD player in their laptop or home it may seem like a bad idea . . . BUT, a CD is a physical object that they can keep as a memory of the special day. You can also decorate the CD with permanent markers, or write romantic thoughts and comments on it as well as the CD case paper insert. Alternatively, you can put your playlist on a small USB stick and put that in your romantic card or with the hand-written letter in an envelope. Just try to make sure you tie on a gift mini-card that says To: _____ From: _____ so that they know, can find, and remember what is on the USB stick in the future.

Give Romantic Love Vouchers – You can order pre-made blank love vouchers or make your own at home on your computer or by hand. Fill in romantic promises to do different things for your vet tech. These do not have to be only romantic, or sexual, in nature. Consider some of the following things: do their laundry for a month, wash dishes for a month, give them massages on demand, etc.

You may also like some of the ideas on these two blog posts (see below).

What Can Family, Friends, and Romantic Partners Do For All The Vet Techs Working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

What should you give a vet tech for Christmas?

If you like what you’re reading on this blog, please check out my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebookmy Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

The ‘Should I Become a Vet Tech?’ Questionnaire

While writing my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech, I thought a lot about pre-vet tech people and what questions they should ask themselves before they get a job as a vet tech or go to a four year vet tech university program, take the licensing exam, and then get a job.

I wrote out a list of statements and made them into a survey with a score explanation and recommendations. I’ve posted some of the questions below. The complete survey is in my book.

Some of the items might seem like ‘no-brainers’ that a person should already know how they think and feel about, and that if they disagree with them (i.e. 1. I love being around animals all the time.) that they should not become a vet tech–but there are people who enter the field who do not like being around animals, or, for example, don’t like being around one of the types of animals vet techs see often: cats or dogs.

*Disclaimer: This survey is intended to make you think seriously about the job and evaluate your abilities and needs. Your score/results may not reflect your success as a vet tech.

Question

Disagree Neutral

Agree

1. I love being around animals all the time.

1

2

3

2. I am able to manage fear/anxiety when I am close to large and/or aggressive animals.

1

2

3

3. I am not grossed out by body fluids (blood, urine, pus, anal gland secretions, etc.).

1

2

3

4. I am able to live comfortably on a low income.

1

2

3

5. I am always interested in learning new knowledge and skills.

1

2

3

6. I am able to take criticism without getting angry/upset.

1

2

3

7. I accept the fact that the majority of my work will be cleaning up urine, feces, blood, bodily fluids, animal hair, etc., at the start of my shift, throughout its duration, and at the end.

 1

 2

 3

8. I am okay with being scratched and bitten by animals.

1

2

3

9. I am okay with the fact that I will have scars on my arms and hands from injuries I get working closely with animals.

 1

 2

 3

10. I am okay with working on major holidays when everyone else is off.

1

2

3

11. I have good stress coping skills.

1

2

3

12. I believe I am able to see/hear animals in pain every day for several hours.

1

2

3

Some might say that the items in this survey are ‘too negative,’ but I would say that they are representative of the harsh realities of vet tech work. The working conditions will vary quite a bit from clinic/hospital to clinic/hospital, but there are a large number of variables that will be present to one degree or another.

Question

Disagree Neutral

Agree

13. I believe I am able to see puppies, kittens, and other baby animals in pain and dying every day.

1

2

3

14. I have a good support network of family and friends to help me manage my work-related stress.

1

2

3

15. I am able to learn new skills on the job while under pressure to perform.

1

2

3

16. I am able to manage my thoughts and feelings when talking to extremely upset people (e.g. clients after their pet has died/been euthanized).

1

2

3

17. I am able to manage stress and anxiety when several people want me to do several tasks at the same time.

1

2

3

18. I am able to think and perform tasks when I am tired/exhausted.

1

2

3

19. I am okay with the fact that I may only be a vet tech for 5 years (industry average).

1

2

3

20. I am okay with the fact that my job stress and exhaustion will affect my relationships and personal life.

1

2

3

21. I accept the fact that most people give very little value to the hard work I do.

1

2

3

22. I am okay with the fact that most people think that I play with puppies/kittens all day.

1

2

3

21. I am able be around burned out co-workers every day.

1

2

3

*Disclaimer: This survey is intended to make you think seriously about the job and evaluate your abilities and needs. Your score/results may not reflect your success as a vet tech.

For those people who feel that becoming a vet tech is a ‘calling’–their survey results will likely support their interest and choice to become a vet tech. Some people learn, change, and adapt to the work conditions in spite of entering the field with a lot of personality traits and general incompatibilities that would make them unlikely vet tech candidates.

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to to engage in some serious thought about the statements in the survey before applying for a vet tech position. Even more important, think about these items before applying to, enrolling in, and spending a lot of time, energy, money on tuition, books, and cost of living in a vet tech university program.

I hope that this blog post helps you make the best decision about whether or not you should become a vet tech.

To see the entire survey please check out my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech. There is also a “What Your Score Means and Recommendations” for the survey too.

Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebookmy Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

What Can Family, Friends, and Romantic Partners Do For All The Vet Techs Working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

One of the downsides of working as a vet tech is you may have to do a shift on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. While everyone else is relaxing with family and friends at home, eating delicious foods and drinking their favorite beverages, a vet tech somewhere is cleaning pee and poo out of kennels, walking dogs, giving food and water to boarding animals and hospitalized patients . . . and more.

Family, friends, and romantic partners of vet techs who have to work on a holiday can do many things to help their vet tech feel loved and supported.

1. FOOD! – Order your vet tech’s favorite food and have it delivered to the clinic or hospital where they are working. I guarantee they will be THRILLED to get a surprise delivery. If you can personally deliver the food–all the better. Even if they can only talk to you for sixty seconds, your personal delivery of food will be even more wonderful.

Gift Cards for Food Delivery Service Apps – Another food option for your vet tech is getting them a pre-paid subscription to a food delivery service. If you don’t know what your tech likes to order for delivery, or they are fussy, this might be a good option.

2. Delay Opening Gifts Until Your Vet Tech Gets Home – While everyone might want to open their Christmas presents the second they wake up Christmas morning, consider waiting until your vet tech comes from from their shift. Also, if they are exhausted let them shower, sleep, eat something and then have everyone open their gifts with their vet tech. Adapting to a vet tech’s schedule will make them feel loved and supported.

3. Romantic Partner Christmas Private Spa – Set up a romantic private spa experience for your vet tech when they return home from their Christmas Eve or Day shift. This is a tricky thing to set up and execute because you have to assess how tired your vet tech is upon arriving home, and how stressful their shift might have been too.

There are many things you can do to set up a private spa for your vet tech:

1. Wash their favorite towel and dry it so that it is clean and smells good.

2. Set up a hot shower or bath so that it is ready and timed well for their arrival at home.

3. Have their favorite Christmas music or relaxing music playing in the bathroom while they take a shower or bath.

4. Set up your bed as a massage station. If your budget is low you can use extra virgin olive oil instead of store bought oils. Put candles around the bed (be fire safety conscious, don’t leave lit candles alone in the room). Give your vet tech a massage after their shower. (Or, if they prefer, before they shower/take a bath.)

5. Bake their favorite cookies, cinnamon buns, or something that will fill your home with a relaxing and delicious smell.

6. Have their favorite post-shift snack or meal ready for them to eat.

7. Have their favorite alcoholic beverage or non-alcoholic drink ready for them.

8. Lay out their favorite post-shift comfortable clothes.

4. Prepare a Box of Christmas Foods in Tupperware – If everyone’s schedules and locations just will not coordinate so that your vet tech can open gifts with family and friends together, and they won’t be around for Christmas Eve or Day dinner . . . get a set of Tupperware and fill the containers with turkey, stuffing, dessert, etc. This is a great two-in-one gift because the vet tech can use the Tupperware afterwards too.

5. Organize a Christmas E-Card or Video Message Family, Friends, and Romantic Partner Blitz – Contact everyone you can that is close to your vet tech. Ask them to write and send a Christmas E-Card (there are free online sites), and set up a time for everyone to send them simultaneously to your vet tech. Personal short videos wishing your vet tech a Merry Christmas is another way to make your vet tech feel loved and supported.

6. Fully Stock Their Fridge – This requires you to know your vet tech well, or be able to ask their romantic partner or close friends what they usually stock their fridge with. Helping your vet tech out by buying a week’s worth of groceries is a great gift that they won’t be expecting. Toss in their favorite Christmas food and drink too. If you don’t have the time to go shopping as well as easy access to your vet tech’s home–consider getting them a gift card for their groceries.

7. Gift Box for Your Vet Tech’s Pets – Vet techs don’t make a lot of money, so odds are they won’t be able to spend much on gifts for their pets. Do some research, however, before you buy pet food, snacks, toys, and other items for your vet tech. You need to know if their pets have any allergies. Depending on the type of relationship and communication style you have with your vet tech, you might consider asking them for a list of things that they feel are safe and appropriate for their pets.

8. Envelop of Cash or Money Transfer – Some vet techs are barely able to pay their rent, bills, travel costs, and groceries. Use your judgement on whether or not you think they will use the money responsibly (some might not). If you think they might blow the cash on wasteful things, then gift cards are probably a better option. But, that being said, if you think they are mature and responsible, give them a gift of cash.

9. Warm blankets, heated blanket, or a heating pad – Depending on where your vet tech lives, it might be very cold and snowy. Coming home from working Christmas Eve or Day to new blankets or a heating pad is a nice surprise if you’re tired and had to travel through wintry conditions.

10. New Pajamas and Slippers – New fleece, or whatever material your vet tech prefers, pajamas and slippers will help them feel comfortable and to relax after a long shift. If your budget allows, consider looking at kiwisheepskins.com. They have really high quality comfort items that will help keep your vet tech warm and cozy.

If you like what you’re reading on this blog, please check out my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebookmy Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

What should you give a vet tech for Christmas?

With only a few days left before Christmas I realized that a really good blog post subject would be what you should get a vet tech for Christmas!

Gift Cards – Vet techs don’t make a lot of money, so while a gift card aka cash might seem like an impersonal gift, it will be greatly appreciated. Be practical about what kind of store you purchase the gift card from: Walmart and Target have nearly everything a vet tech might need or want to buy, and at affordable prices. The gift card will go much further at one of these stores than at a fancier, higher end retail store.

Gift Certificate for a Massage – Vet techs work long hours and lift/carry animals which can lead to sore muscles and body aches. A gift certificate for one or more massage sessions with a registered massage therapist will help your vet tech alleviate pain and stress.

Gift Card for Good Quality Shoes – This is one type of gift that is worth spending as much money on as your budget dictates. NOTE: Ask your vet tech about their clinic/hospital rules for footwear, and what their size and style of shoe preferences are. NOTE 2: If you can spare the time and energy, go with your vet tech and take them shopping at a higher end shoe store. 99.9% of the time, when shopping for shoes, it is always better to try the shoes on, walk around in them for several minutes in the store to get a feel for them, and also get suggestions and input from a knowledgeable sales associate.

Gift Card for Shoe Inserts – A lot of people don’t realize that the inserts in shoes they buy are generally poor quality. If your budget is small, consider getting a gift card for a good pair of support and cushion inserts. Again, you need to make sure you know your vet tech’s shoe size, and what type of shoes they wear at work, so that you can choose the right type of shoe store and make sure it carries a good quality shoe insert that will work with their style of shoe. Walmart carries good shoe inserts, so if you get a gift card for that type of store make sure you clearly suggest to the vet tech that you think they should look at the inserts there when shopping.

Stress Management Gift Box – If you know your vet tech well, this is a great multi-gift to help them manage stress. It also can work with low budgets up to spending as much as you want and can afford. Consider filling the stress management gift box with the following: anti-stress foods, scented candles, aromatherapy oils and a diffuser (make sure to avoid oils that are harmful to pets), bath bombs, a multi-vitamin, a vitamin B-complex, chocolate, herbal teas (herbs that reduce stress), color marker or pencil set with an adult coloring book, and more.

Bed Sheets and Pillows – A lot of people can’t afford to get new bed sheets and pillows when their old ones are worn out. New sheets and pillows will help your vet tech sleep better, and this will help reduce stress and raise their quality of life and work experience.

Books/Novels – If your vet tech likes to read, consider getting them books. Google search for the nearest used books store if you have a low budget. NOTE: Make sure you know the genre/s that your vet tech likes, and if possible try to sneak a look at what books they already have at home to see what authors they like to read.

Alcohol – If your vet tech drinks alcohol, the odds are that this gift will be happily received. It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: make sure you either already know their favorite type and brand of alcohol, or ask your vet tech or someone close to them that knows. NOTE: If you suspect at all that your vet tech has any kind of dependency or addiction issues with alcohol, you should not get this for them.

A Good Quality Thermos/Tumbler with Lid – Look for a thermos or tumbler that is 18/8 gauge stainless steel, with insulated walls, and 12 hour+ guarantees for keeping a liquid hot or cold. A lid that seals and locks is important because of safety and hygiene.

Gift Card for Scrubs – Some clinics and hospitals do not pay for and provide their vet techs with scrubs. Good quality scrubs can be expensive, and vet techs don’t make a lot of money. If possible, try to find out what brand of scrubs, colors, size, and patterns your vet tech likes. Also, it’s important to know if their clinic or hospital has dress code rules for what color of scrubs techs must wear, and if patterns and prints are allowed too.

Coffee or Caffeinated Tea – Any hot delicious liquid form of energy will be appreciated by your vet tech. That being said, ask your vet tech or someone close to them what their preferred brand and type of caffeinated beverage is.

Compression Socks – Vet techs spend a LOT of time on their feet. Compression socks help “improve your blood flow. They can lessen pain and swelling in your legs” (source).

Coffee Maker (and grinder) – If your vet tech is a coffee lover, consider getting them a good quality coffee maker. Depending on your budget, also try adding a grinder as it elevates the coffee flavors and freshness. The Ninja brand coffee makers are fantastic, and I personally own one and recommend it as a brand. Cusinart and Kitchen Aid are also brands that have really good coffee makers. All that being said, there are good quality low price coffee makers too, so don’t worry if those three brands are out of your price range. A new, good quality, with good user reviews coffee maker will be appreciated no matter what its price point is.

1 Year Membership at a . . . gym, swimming center, Yoga center, Tai Chi, Pilates, Zumba . . . exercise is good for a huge number of reasons.

Corelle Dinnerware – If your vet tech has just recently moved out of their parents’ home and into a place of their own, the odds are that they won’t have quality dinnerware. Consider getting them a Corelle dinnerware set in basic white.

Gift Card for Car Maintenance or Repairs – A lot of vet techs will have used cars that likely need some kind of repair. If your vet tech has a long commute to and from work, helping them out by paying for replacement parts or repairs is a great gift.

Gift Card for Gas – If your vet tech has a long commute to and from work, their monthly gas expenses will be a drain on the budget. This is a gift that any vet tech will be happy receiving.

Audiobook Subscription – Vet techs may not have much time to read a book, but while traveling to and from work, running errands, exercising, etc., they may want to listen to an audio book.

Healthy Meal Delivery Service – There are several meal prep services that deliver healthy ready to eat meals that would help a vet tech save time and energy prepping and cooking food, help them to eat healthy and avoid fast food delivery/take out, and save them money on their monthly grocery budget. If your vet tech likes to cook, and isn’t working crazy long hours, there are food delivery services that prep all of the ingredients and provide cooking instructions which are delivered to the vet tech’s home. Even just one month of pre-paid meal delivery service would help a vet tech’s quality of life improve–and expose them, if they are unaware, about how much eating healthy can benefit their work and personal life.

All-in-One Multi-Cooking Appliance = Instapot is a small kitchen appliance that can be used to cook in several different ways for almost any food.

Cold-Flu-Sickness Recovery Gift Box – Fill a gift basket with all of the different over-the-counter medicines and supplies you might need when you’re sick: pain and fever med, muscle aches med, anti-diarrhea med, anti-nausea med, sinus cough and cold med, heachache med, herbal teas for different kinds of illnesses, cough drops, echinacea and zinc lozenges, vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, Bullion soup cubes, microwave soups, etc.

If you like what you’re reading on this blog, please check out my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebookmy Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW