Saturday, September 11, 2010


I generally try to remain upbeat and positive at work. Even when there are endless euthanasias, negligent or cruel clients, crashing patients, endless triages, and long nights. I love my job. I love what I do, I love where I do it, and I feel lucky to have that kind of job in this economy.

Still...occasionally, a night will just get me down, and I start to wonder, "what's the point?" What's the point in doing good medicine when I just have to ship a patient out the door to Dr St. Elsewhere so he can give it steroids to treats its massive shock (NOT good medicine, to those of you not in the medical field)? What's the point in educating clients about vaccinating the NEXT puppy for parvovirus, only to see them 3 months later, with another dying, hypoglycemic, hypothermic parvo puppy, no money, and an entitlement complex? What's the point in trying to work with clients financially only to have them turn around and accuse me of being money-grubbing and "not in it for the animals?"

I mean, REALLY. Last time I didn't have money to pay my electric bill, I called them up, and I said "hey, you must work for the electrical company because you LOVE electricity, and you want to make sure everyone has electricity. Therefore, since I can't pay for my electricity, you should give it to me for free." They laughed and turned off my power anyway. (That's a parable, in case anyone missed it, my power has not been turned off, nor ever been in danger of being so).

There are nights - I kid you not (like last night) - where I actually start to think of things from an owner's perspective. As in - what right do I have to expect payment? The animal is injured! They need help! I should help them! Forget money! I realize when I start to think like that, it's time for a break. Yes, it would be wonderful to help everyone who needs it for free. Unfortunately, I work for a business with very high overhead. Someone has to pay to keep the lights on - the clinic's lights and MY lights...

Argh. Sleep is needed in preparation for my last 2 nights before a break and a much needed mini-vacation to see my friends.


Holly said...

For whatever reason, people seem to think that vets are rolling in money and they don't *need* to be paid for their services. Farriers run into the same thing. And as for Mr. and Mrs. Stupid....I deal with them too, and even after 21 years, they still get to me.

Personally, I pay when I leave the office and only once did I (by accident) speak of the cost of my visit. You see, I go to a DOCTOR of Veterinary Medicine because I am not one. Vets do things I can't, nor do I want to learn how to do them. I would never consider not paying my own physician or dentist or optometrist, so my vet is no different. In fact, just recently I told my vet how much I appreciate the fact that he takes good care of my money. He offers all sort of options but if I decline, he never refuses treatment or pushes things I am not comfortable with.

((hugs)) to you, your profession is often difficult and heartbreaking. A mini vaca is just what the doctor ordered....*ducking and running*. Have fun and tell us all about it when you get back!

Elizabeth said...

HP you can't fix stupid... but can you imagine the volume of work and the money in that field if you could .. :)