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8 Essential Skills All Veterinarians Need to Succeed

8 Essential Skills All Veterinarians Need to Succeed

Working as a veterinarian requires a certain set of skills. As a veterinarian, you’ll be responsible for diagnosing, treating and preventing adverse medical conditions in animals. It’s a rewarding profession that allows you to help animals in need. To succeed, though, you’ll need to learn several skills.

#1) Teamwork

Veterinarians must exhibit strong teamwork skills to succeed. While veterinarians may perform some tasks independently, many of their tasks require the assistance of one or more other veterinary professionals. If a veterinarian is performing surgery on an animal, for example, he or she may need the assistance of a veterinarian technician. Even when performing routine tasks, such as weighing animals, veterinarians often require help from a veterinary assistant. Teamwork allows veterinarians to work with other professionals to achieve a common and shared goal.

#2) Stamina

Stamina — both physical and mental — is an essential skill that veterinarians need to succeed. Veterinarians often work long hours. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most of them work over 40 hours a week, with many veterinarians working nights and weekends as well. With high stamina, veterinarians can work through long shifts while providing a high and consistent level of medical care for their clients’ animals. They don’t get exhausted easily, nor does their performance suffer.

#3) Compassion

Another essential skill veterinarians need to succeed is compassion. To an owner, a pet isn’t just an animal; it’s a family member. When an owner’s pet becomes injured or ill, it can cause the owner a great deal of stress. Veterinarians who exhibit compassion are able to help owners through this otherwise stressful experience. Compassion refers to empathy. Veterinarians who are compassionate are able to communicate with their clients to make them feel more comfortable about the medical condition or conditions their pet is experiencing.

#4) Dexterity

Because they work with their hands, veterinarians must be dexterous. Veterinarians provide medical services for animals. Many of the animals seen by veterinarians are small, so performing medical services on them requires excellent dexterity. Not surprisingly, dogs are the most common type of animal seen by veterinarians. While there are hundreds of different breeds of dogs, many of them are small. Furthermore, veterinarians often provide medical services for other types of small animals, including cats, birds, turtles, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and more. Whether a veterinarian is taking a tissue sample or performing surgery on an animal, he or she will need excellent dexterity.

#5) Mathematics

Veterinarians must learn math to perform various calculations in their day-to-day activities. Veterinarians use math to track the development of their clients’ animals, create billing estimates and invoices, prepare medicine and more. Math is such an important skill that most Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) require students to complete one or more college-level math courses. If you don’t complete the required math courses, you won’t be able to enroll in the DVM school.

#6) Time Management

Time management is an essential skill for veterinarians. Veterinarians often see 20 to 40 animals per day. If a veterinarian has poor time management skills, he or she won’t be able to provide medical services to all of these animals. In turn, the clinic’s revenue and revenue will suffer. Veterinarians must manage their time so that they accommodate all of their clients’ animals. If the clinic’s waiting room is full, the veterinarian must work faster to get animals in and out.

#7) Communication

An interpersonal or “soft” skill that veterinarians need to succeed is communication. Veterinarians don’t work in an isolated environment. Rather, nearly all veterinarians work in a shared environment where they are exposed to other veterinary workers as well as clients. With strong communication skills, veterinarians can convey and receive information more effectively with their respective clients and coworkers. Communication is considered a type of soft skill because it can’t be easily taught through traditional education.

#8) Technical Skills

Finally, technical skills are required when working as a veterinarian. Technical skills encompass many different attributes pertaining to the field of veterinary medicine. They are distinguished from soft skills by the way in which they are learned. While soft skills are learned naturally through socialization, technical skills are learned through traditional methods, such as education and on-the-job training.

An example of a technical skill used by veterinarians is the ability to read X-rays. Even if a veterinarian can take an X-ray, it won’t prove useful unless he or she can read it. Administering medication is another example of a technical skill. Veterinarians must learn the proper way to administer, as well as prepare, medication for their clients’ animals.

If you’re thinking about starting a career as a veterinarian, you should brush up on these skills. Successful veterinarians exhibit strong teamwork, stamina, compassion, dexterity, mathematics, time management, communication and technical skills. Of course, these are just a few skills used by veterinarians. Nonetheless, they are all essential to diagnosing, treating and preventing medical conditions in animals.

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