MY Story: From Veterinary Client TO Veterinary HR Manager

Beck Portrait

In January of 2021, I attended my local vet clinic with my 8-week-old puppy for his first vaccination. I sat in the waiting room eagerly waiting to be seen, as I had booked a chiropractor appointment 30 minutes later. The vet was running late, and when it was time to be seen, due to Covid restrictions, I was not allowed to attend the appointment with my puppy.

As I sat in the waiting room, frustrated that I would now miss my appointment due to the vet’s delay, I heard my little dog cry and whine down the hall in the consult room. I was angry I was not there to cuddle him through this scary experience, and annoyed that I was now going to be saddled with a late cancelation fee at the chiro, due to the vet’s incompetence to run on time. I paid my (surprisingly) rather expensive bill and told the receptionist that my experience there was awful, and that I would not be returning. I never thought that 3 months later, I would find myself on the other side of the conversation.

My name is Bek, and I am the HR Manager at The Vet Practice in Whittlesea. I began my journey in the veterinary industry in March 2021 at The Vet Practice, after working as a human resources coordinator in the psychological services industry. I hold qualifications in both HR and Psychology, and am currently studying my Masters in HRM. I have a beautiful 1-year-old Sarplaninac x Maremma whom I adore, and who regularly comes to work with me.

I have learned a lot since commencing in the vet industry only a short time ago, not only about vet and medicine, but also about myself. I am ashamed that a mere 12 months ago, I was that client that I dread coming through the doors at The Vet Practice and affecting my team. 

My time in the industry has been more than challenging. My first few weeks were spent crying, most days. Usually as a result of witnessing really confronting and real situations: young pups dying, families crying, or owners not being able to afford treatment, or crying because of the expectations the team placed on me.

Coming into this industry, I think people expected me to know what I was doing, and I really didn’t.

Vets and nurses were talking to me in a language that sounded alien and expecting me to understand, and I didn’t. The expectations I placed on myself were just as bad and completely unrealistic – that I would come into this clinic and change the whole company in the space of 3 months and be amazing, and I wasn’t.

But I’ve come such a long way since my encounter with the industry in January, and since my commencement in the industry in March. I have learned so much, about veterinary medicine, about people and about myself. I have learned where my passions lie, why I love this industry, and why I would never leave.

Looking back, I am disappointed in the way I have held myself as a client, after now being on the other side of the table, and disappointed in the expectations I placed on myself coming into the industry. But we move on. Because it gets better, so much better. And I would never leave – veterinary is where I am meant to be.

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The Vet Practice is a privately-owned, one-of-a-kind animal hospital offering a wide array of advanced veterinary services, fascinating medical cases, and access to superior technologies and unique resources.