What Does Veterinary Support Look Like to You?

New Grad Vet Support

Having interviewed and employed dozens of new grads over the years, the one burning question that everyone asks is “What support do you provide?”

This is such a hard question to answer, not because we don’t provide amazing support for all our team but because everyone has different expectations of what support means to them.

Not only that, support is such a broad term so in order to make sure it’s the kind you need and expect, you need to ask your potential employer lots of the right questions.

Every job you apply for offers support as a standard inclusion. This means it’s no longer a unique benefit of joining a practice. In fact it’s as ubiquitous as the long list of fancy tools &  equipment you get to work with.

Support comes in many shapes and forms. It’s not just one thing. In fact support is made up of many little things that you may not even know you need until you need them.

Sole charge shifts

For instance – any job that requires any sole charge shifts should be considered with caution. Working any shifts unsupported when you first start as a new grad is not an ideal option. In our experience, there will be many times you’ll need to excuse yourself from the consultation to confer with a senior vet. That simple Vaccination may turn out to be more complicated than you first thought. 

To this day even our more experienced vets appreciate the ability to discuss issues that arise in consultations with a colleague. This provides far better outcomes for not only the patient and client but for your learning as well. 

The same applies to diagnostic and surgical procedures. Again being alone in theatre without the comfort of knowing you can call on another vet for assistance doesn’t help develop your skills or confidence. What if something goes wrong and it will at some point, is there a team around you ready to step in and help?

Your non vet support team – Nurses and Admin staff

We definitely recommend you check out what the support team of assistants looks like. Since you’ll be relying heavily on these people to help you navigate your way through the day, make a point of getting to know how that system works as well. 

❓Is there someone you can call upon to have financial discussions with a client?

❓Is there someone to help with billing?

❓Who do you call on to help deal with a difficult client? 

These are really important questions you need to ask in that interview. Because being a vet is hard enough without the complications of these common issues that will come up on a regular basis.

Short shifts or long shifts? 4 days or 5 days?

While we understand that the number and length of shifts is important to you, remember this. A longer shift with amazing support will always trump a shorter shift with less support. The same goes for the number of days you want to work. More days with more support again will turn out to be less stressful than less days with minimal support.

Our tip is to focus less on your roster and more on the support provided during your times of work.'Click To Tweet

Induction period

Does the advertised position include an induction period? This is not to be confused with an orientation period which is only 1-2 days. An induction period is around 2 weeks and includes active work behind the scenes. This is an important step in developing your confidence before you’re eventually working face to face with clients.

During this time your focus will be learning how the practice works. Such as:

  • Learning the practice protocols
  • Getting to know the team and the roles they each play in making sure the days run smoothly
  • Getting to know the drugs and medications available to you
  • Learning treatment options available through the practice
  • Discovering what conditions are referred
  • Learning to use the practice equipment and software system
  • Examining inpatients – developing your clinical exams skills
  • Assisting vets with procedures and developing treatment plans
  • Performing basic procedures such as taking blood samples, placing catheters, bandaging wounds, animal handling techniques and more

Trial day/s

Finally – always insist on a trial day or days before you make that final decision. We both know that interviews are staged events where we both happily share what we both want to hear. This is especially true in these times when vets are in high demand.

Trial days give you the opportunity to see first hand what a typical day looks and feels like. You also get to uncover the true personalities of the team and experience the culture and vibe of the place? Are their values consistent with yours?  Can you picture yourself being part of that team? Does the type of work they do interest you? Does the workflow make sense?

😕The last thing you want to happen is to find out that the reality of the job is nothing like what was promised.


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About Us

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.