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Old 04-30-2015, 07:26 PM
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Paviche Paviche is offline
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Default Question for vet techs/assistants/etc

I interviewed at two different clinics as a vet assistant. I've got a working interview at one tomorrow that I'm pretty confident about, and the other one said that they'd be in touch soon. At this point I'm not sure which I would prefer to work at. This is my first foray into the veterinary world. The biggest difference I see so far is that one is a a 3 vet practice and one is a 6 vet practice. Do you have any preference on the size of the clinic you work for?

The smaller place just moved and changed their name, and unfortunately I can't find any reviews about them under the old name. There are only two reviews for the "new" place and neither is good, but 1) they talk about the doctors being impersonal, etc, which can be subjective, rather than bad practices, as well as complaining about price which... well... yeah and 2) I've always consistently checked Yelp reviews for places I currently worked and it's amazing how untrue a lot of them are, so I don't tend to put a ton of faith in them. The second, bigger place has a lot of positive reviews, and it has its fair share of negative reviews, too. Overall nothing that would really turn me away from either location.

Any other questions I should ask or things to look for?
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:58 PM
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*blackrose *blackrose is offline
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Don't go off of reviews. You would not imagine the number of people who are crazy and review places. "The boarding staff gave my dog ulcerated lesions on its back after they bathed it! Dog abusers!" No, your dog came in with a horrible skin infection and after we bathed it in a medicated shampoo it became apparent under its coat how bad it really was.

The biggest clinic I've worked at was 4 doctors. I enjoyed it. I like smaller clinics (3-4 doctors) as they tend to have a more "family" feel. The clinic I work at now is 2 doctors and while I'd rather have more going on, it's good.

Watch how staff members interact with one another. Drama is WAY too frequent. Bad chemistry screws everyone up and makes your life miserable. I've worked with vets before where I questioned their medicine and thag wasn't fun, either.

Make sure you're comfortable with their policies. The clinic I work at now still does yearly vaccines (AAHA recommendations are every 3 years for distemper and rabies). Their surgery prices are a bit rediculous and the owner doesn't want to change policies to help bring in business. Spay/neuter is always pushed, no questions, no case by case. BUT. The handling is compassionate and safe, the patients are always thought of first, the customer service is great, he standard of care is high, and the medicine is sound. So I can get over the vaccine and alter policies and bite my tounge about the prices because of that.

Ask them about their policies. Ask them about their diagnostics. Ask them about their charting system (10 points if they're digital!!! Hahaha). Ask them about their surgery protocols. Ask them about their emergency protocols. Ask them about their hours of business and normal shift hours. Make sure you're comfortable with the way they do things.

Make sure you like the "feel", the cleanliness, and the organization. Nothing is more frustrating than working with a dirty coworker or not being able to find anything when you need it (or having old equipment that needs to be replaced).
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:15 PM
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Southpaw Southpaw is offline
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As far as size, I much prefer working at a smaller clinic. Right now I work at a "1.5 doctor" clinic which just means we have 1 full time vet and 1 part time. Only 1 doctor is on at a time. I used to work at a 4 doctor clinic where there was always 2 or 3 doctors on at a time, and maybe it was just because I was brand new to the field, but it was too overwhelming for me. It could've just been that particular clinic too, but one of the hard things for me was remembering the specifics of how each doctor liked things done. But obviously some people are going to prefer that busier/faster paced setting.

Biggest things for me are getting a feel for the employees personalities and how they kind of mesh together (are they getting along, do you feel like you'd want to work with them...), and just their overall practices. Is it a place you'd be comfortable bringing your pets to? It seems like a weird thing to consider, but seriously - my first tech job I got like a week after I graduated, and there was no working interview. I quit after a couple days because I thought they were practicing crappy/outdated medicine and I couldn't comfortably work at a place that I wouldn't even want to bring my own pets to.

Might be interesting if you can get a feel for the type of clients, too.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:16 PM
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Paviche Paviche is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *blackrose View Post
Don't go off of reviews. You would not imagine the number of people who are crazy and review places. "The boarding staff gave my dog ulcerated lesions on its back after they bathed it! Dog abusers!" No, your dog came in with a horrible skin infection and after we bathed it in a medicated shampoo it became apparent under its coat how bad it really was.

The biggest clinic I've worked at was 4 doctors. I enjoyed it. I like smaller clinics (3-4 doctors) as they tend to have a more "family" feel. The clinic I work at now is 2 doctors and while I'd rather have more going on, it's good.

Watch how staff members interact with one another. Drama is WAY too frequent. Bad chemistry screws everyone up and makes your life miserable. I've worked with vets before where I questioned their medicine and thag wasn't fun, either.

Make sure you're comfortable with their policies. The clinic I work at now still does yearly vaccines (AAHA recommendations are every 3 years for distemper and rabies). Their surgery prices are a bit rediculous and the owner doesn't want to change policies to help bring in business. Spay/neuter is always pushed, no questions, no case by case. BUT. The handling is compassionate and safe, the patients are always thought of first, the customer service is great, he standard of care is high, and the medicine is sound. So I can get over the vaccine and alter policies and bite my tounge about the prices because of that.

Ask them about their policies. Ask them about their diagnostics. Ask them about their charting system (10 points if they're digital!!! Hahaha). Ask them about their surgery protocols. Ask them about their emergency protocols. Ask them about their hours of business and normal shift hours. Make sure you're comfortable with the way they do things.

Make sure you like the "feel", the cleanliness, and the organization. Nothing is more frustrating than working with a dirty coworker or not being able to find anything when you need it (or having old equipment that needs to be replaced).
Yeah, when I worked at the daycare we got all kinds of crazy reviews that I knew either straight up weren't true, or it wasn't the whole story (like the Weim that we "starved" when the dog actually boarded for a ridiculously long time and we could barely get him to eat, despite our best efforts in mixing anything and everything in, including one employee cooking for the dog at home and bringing it in. Oh and we absolutely were in touch with the owner the ENTIRE time he was gone letting him know the situation.)

Those are a lot of good points I hadn't considered, thank you! I'll have a bunch of questions about policies and protocols when I go in tomorrow. Both places seemed very clean and I'm sure I'll learn more about what their actual cleaning procedures are during working interviews. At the smaller clinic, I saw and heard a bunch of their techs interacting and it seemed like they had pretty good relationships with each other which is huge, and I'll watch when I'm there again.
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