What Skills Do I Need To Be A Veterinarian?

If you love animals and want to give them the best of care then you may be thinking about going to veterinary school in order to become a veterinarian. However, mere interest in animals and that genuine desire to help them in their time of need are not going to be enough to succeed as an animal doctor. In order to become an effective veterinarian, you need to have a specific set of skills that are necessary in this profession.

Possessing keen observation skills tops the list. As a vet, you will be dealing with animals that are often sick, injured and in pain. You must be able to determine what the problem is whether you are observing the animal close at hand or from afar, be able to interpret results of laboratory tests and diagnose the condition. Even more important, you need to be able to read the animal’s body language to see if it afraid or in pain and anticipate when it will become aggressive and attack because of its fear.

Another important skill that all veterinarians should possess is that of manual dexterity. In this profession, you be handling small and large animals every day and as such, you must have full control your hands when restraining animals, examining them and even more when you are performing delicate surgical operation on them. Seamless precision is also another skill that you need to have insofar as the coordination between your mind and your hand is concerned.

Communication skills are also essential in this profession. This is a two-way process. You must know how to listen to your clients and their explanation about the signs and symptoms they have seen in their pets before bringing it to your attention. When combined with your examination and the laboratory tests done on the animal, the information gleaned from the pet owner will contribute to a more accurate diagnosis. You must also be able to explain what the problem is with their pet and your recommendations for treatment. You should also be able to deliver accurate instructions to your staff to ensure that they give the proper care to the animals brought to your clinic.

Veterinarians must also be decisive and be able to back their decisions. When giving emergency care, for example, they must be quick to determine what an animal’s problem is and determine the medicine to give that will provide relief. In cases when euthanizing an animal is the best course of action to take, you must be able to explain to the pet owners why you believe this to be the most humane option and help them deal with the blow. This is often one of the most difficult decisions for a vet to make but one which must still be made to end an animal’s suffering if the situation really calls for it.

Finally, veterinarians must possess business savvy and management skills. The continued existence of any privately-owned veterinary clinic will depend on how well you run it. This involves the complex process of hiring, training and retaining personnel, pricing services competitively and providing the best customer service.

Career Spotlight: Veterinary Technician

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