Saturday, January 4, 2014

Working at the Pet Wellness Mobile Vet Clinic

Today, I helped my mom at her Pet Wellness Vet clinic. I've been helping her with this since it started several years ago. My role has shifted from just filling out rabies paperwork to talking to customers to holding dogs for nail trims. Working her for so long, it seems like I know how to pretty much do it all.
When I'm working, some people will assume that I'm training to become a veterinarian and I politely tell them that I actually do not want to be a vet. I just enjoy helping my mom (and petting the cute dogs and cats). But it's still a job and I've taken a lot away from the experience.

Skills I've learned working at the Pet Wellness Mobile Vet Clinic:
Too cute!
We travel around to different locations, like this one. 
    The best part of my job: the canine customers. 
  • Stay organized: We have to keep the clipboards organized so that people get seen in the order they came in. This can be tough when we're so busy and the counters start to get messy. I have to make it a priority. Also, it's important for me to help my mom stay organized with her medicines and vaccines so she can easily find what she needs to help people. 
  • Roll with the punches: Sometimes we make mistakes. It's not the end of the world. Life goes on. Some of the mistakes are beyond our control like when a dog has an accident. I've learned to not make a big deal out of it and to just clean up the situation and move on. 
  • Be cautious around new dogs: I have a bad habit of excitedly lunging at dogs I think are cute. Not surprisingly, this scares them. So, I've learned to approach them slowly, hold out my hand for them to smell and wait for them to approach me. This helps to lower my risk of getting bitten or scratched. 
  • Talking to a wide variety of people: We've seen it all. Blind, deaf, handicapped, non-English speakers, really rich, really poor, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, etc. You name it and they've been to our clinic. I've learned to interact with a diverse group of people.
  • Do what needs to be done: At other jobs I've worked, someone will always tell me what needs to be done. Here, my mom is often too busy to tell me specifically what to do. So I have to be proactive and realize that what I could do to help out, get ahead or go where I'm needed. This helps me become independent.  
  • Watch what you say: I've definitely put my foot in my mouth before. This happens a lot when I say things like, "What a pretty girl!" and the owner stares at me and tells me it's a boy cat. Whoops. Note to self: ask about gender before assuming a pink collar means it's a girl. I've learned to try and be as polite and politically correct as I can to customers. 
  • Go outside my comfort zone: When I began helping my mom, I was in high school and was really shy about talking to strangers. I didn't feel confident enough to talk to people about what vaccines their dog or cat needed. But when my mom needed me to pass out clipboards to people in line, I had to go outside my comfort zone and talk to strangers. It was the only way I would get better. Now, I'm more comfortable talking to people I'm unfamiliar with and I feel more sure of myself.  
Celebrating my 20th birthday at a clinic 
Working at the Pet Wellness Clinic is such a unique work experience opportunity that I know most teenagers don't get to do. I'm thankful for the chance to help so many dogs and cats. Even though I don't want to pursue a career in veterinary science, I can still apply what I've learned in my life and future career.