Why’s Your “Why”?

Blog Author: Heather Prendergast, RVT, CVPM, SPHR
NAVTA Board of Directors

Finding a sense of purpose in what you do every day can easily get lost in the minutia of our daily tasks as a veterinary technician. Do you remember why you chose this profession in the first place?

For most of us, caring for and being the voice for our patients –those that cannot speak- is our why. We have always wanted to be the advocate for the patient, and working with people was certainly not part of the why. But with every patient comes an owner; one who also is passionate about their ‘kid’ but often does not understand the nuances of pet care and certainly has a more difficult time when their kid is sick, hurt, or suffering from a chronic condition. Yet, often the most difficult aspect of our job is the client.

Reframing the context of our why is critical. We can’t have a pet patient without the client; they come as a package deal. Therefore, our why includes pet parents, not just being the voice for those that cannot speak. Every patient advocacy moment includes an educational moment – teaching pet parents “the why” so they understand and believe your recommendations. When they ‘get’ the why, the patient gets the care you recommend, and your sense of purpose is achieved.

But what about achieving your sense of purpose for clients who cannot afford the best care, even if they understand the why? This can be a breaking point for many of us. We know the strength of the human-animal bond and the emotional support pets provide. And those clients and pets need care too, without judgment. Perhaps they can’t afford the advanced therapeutics and treatments that are now available, but we can offer a spectrum of care, allowing treatments that would improve their lives or reduce suffering. Using our why to find the balance is critical for both patient and client advocacy. Remember – it is a package deal, and yes, everyone still deserves a pet, even those with financial limitations. After all, it is the animals that bring a balance to human lives.

Watch Simon Sinek’s video to learn how you can inspire your clients with the ‘why’.