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Veterinary Career Characteristics... What Makes a Good Vet?

Liking and caring for animals are important elements in becoming a good vet. But there is more to it than simply being an animal-lover. Vets have to combine scientific and medical knowledge and excellent practical skills with a capacity for hard work and an ability to deal tactfully with animal owners.

You will certainly need good skills in observation and a scientific turn of mind. Diagnosing and treating conditions in animals (just as in humans) requires both knowledge and analytical skill. For this reason, vets have to undergo a long and thorough period of training. In order to complete this successfully you need the right kind of scientific interest (especially in biological science) and an appetite for sustained study. Treating animals is a highly-skilled activity, so you should be prepared for several years of education.

You will also need the skill (and sometimes the strength) to deal with animals which may be anxious and in pain. Any animal may bite, and the larger ones may kick. So you should be comfortable with the idea of direct physical contact with your patients. You should also consider whether you would be able to put an animal painlessly to sleep. This can be very distressing, but putting an animal down can bring a merciful end to suffering and it must be done well and humanely.

 Treating animals also means having to work with their owners. You will need excellent communications skills to explain and discuss conditions and treatments. You will also sometimes have to break bad news in a clear and sympathetic manner.

 

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