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Professionalism: You at Your Best!

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Presentation on theme: "Professionalism: You at Your Best!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Professionalism: You at Your Best!
Denise Mikita, MS, CVT Executive Director Supporting Quality Veterinary Care

2 Overview Success Professionalism Salaries
Obstacles and Advancing your career Enhancing your own career Why teach this? Who cares? Job vs career – how to excel in your career

3 Veterinary Technician Oath

4 Success Define Success Your personal definition Are you trustworthy?
What is your integrity? Define your boundaries and don’t cross them Denise’s definition is learning from your failures. Earning trust can take years, but can be destroyed in a single action. Don’t compromise your integrity by rationalization of a single incident. Either you do or you don’t have integrity for every situation.

5 Professionalism 1. First impressions 2. Behavior 3. E-mail / phone
4. Dress for success 5. Attitude

6 You never get a second chance at first impressions.


8 Would you trust the care of your beloved pet to either of these people
Would you trust the care of your beloved pet to either of these people? What is your first impression? Recognize that there are different opinions and what you feel is appropriate may or may not be appropriate to others.

9 First Impressions You’re making a first impression every day – every time you meet a new client or a new person. It’s not about the ability to express yourself, it’s about the impression that you give to others as a professional.

10 2. Behavior The CACVT office has received some complaints about certain inappropriate behavior. One example is of an employee who just didn’t show up for work one day (no medical problems or accidents). Calls about people not showing up for scheduled interviews. Small community – news travels.

11 Good Behaviors? Timely (ideally is to show up early) Reliable Honest
Respect: co-workers, clients, yourself Caring – for animals and people Identify them and live by them – because they are yours and yours alone.

12 3. Bad E-mail Habits What message are you sending?
With a society of text messaging and high speed communication, make sure your fast impression isn’t a bad impression.

13 Actual e-mail received in office
Hey XXX, It is XXX {person's name who wrote this} and i spoke to XXX about XYZ {a veterinary clinic} and she told me i have been accepted so i just wanted to let you know that i feel better being there because it is closer to home and i do not have to relocate and so i want to let you know that XXX ed me some concerns and i believe that she was more concerned that i might not relocate due to my situation saying i am not professional enough. The only thing i can say is that i do not plan to stay in Colorado and want to make my internship fun and have a great time learning the trade of a Veterinary Technician.

14 / Phone Tips There are actual seminars being given on ing (e.g., CACVT Newsletter (pg 5, Dec. 07 issue) Search the Internet for ideas – many sites (google “phone etiquette” = 2,110,000 hits)

15 4. Dress for Success Clothing is an external indicator of the internal attitude, and should be that of a professional. Job interview: don’t show up in scrubs. Bring them along, but wear appropriate clothing. No blue jeans or cut offs.

16 Personal Appearance Hygiene – look and smell clean (breath mints)
Clean/non-stained & ironed scrubs keep a change of clothes at work (having a blood stain or fecal matter on your scrubs is not a status symbol, it’s just sloppy) Roller brush (in the back) to remove animal hair before going into the next exam room Minimal jewelry / piercing / make-up What is cool to you, may or may not be cool to someone else. Nail care

17 5. Attitude Have you identified it?
Are you able to recognize your personal bad attitude and change it? Avoid Career Landmines. Rumor mills Boss/co-worker badmouthing Attitude – mood swings Conflict Resolution Interpreting and handling conflict Conflict checklist Attitude is everything. Personal experience: when I worked in a clinic, when I was deep in thought, I actually had a scowl on my face. My co-workers thought I was angry. One day one of them pointed it out so I was able to mentally think about my facial expressions when I was deep in thought. Ultimately a positive attitude is going to get you farther in life. Example of a house – one with a party and one with a funeral. Which one would you rather enter? What type of personality would you rather be around?

18 Representing the Profession
You are not just promoting yourself, you are representing the entire veterinary technology profession. You are representing me! Have a good professional reputation Skills, Attitude, Dress, Proactive, Demeanor! I have calls in the office, veterinarian complains about a CVT and doesn’t want to hire one any more. Feels that he can do a better job of training himself and a lot less money. While it may not be fair, one person can spoil it for many. Small community: the word does get around. If you are not a true professional, you may find it difficult to obtain a job. A good professional reputation will help both you and me.

19 Phil’s Technician Philosophy
As a Veterinary Technician, I promise to: be punctual and reliable. support the decisions that are made for the betterment of the hospital. obey the rules of the hospital. be supportive of my coworkers and leaders. be honest with the clients, staff and leaders. maintain my professionalism; treating clients, patients, coworkers and leaders with dignity and respect. be diligent in the performance of my duties and take pride in my work. keep technically proficient and continually strive to improve my personal and professional skills. be responsible for my own actions. accept responsibility and use initiative when I can contribute positively.

20 Phil’s Technician Philosophy
From my leaders, I expect: the opportunity to prove my talents - give me a chance. to be treated with the dignity and respect that I afford others. honesty about the practice and my position within it. recognition for my accomplishments and contributions to the practice. a challenging work environment that will make me grow professionally and personally. support and redirection when I make mistakes. fairness in compensation and responsibilities.

21 Salaries Web sites: e.g., or
Negotiate your wage Reach for more Pay – article in “Firstline®” #1 Ask for a raise: Do your homework - know what is appropriate. Think uniquely: what else do you need to be happy? Other compensation Benefits package, flex time, pd time off, pd CE, pd assoc dues, increased utilization

22 Salaries (cont.) Think you need a raise?
Before you ask for that raise, make sure it's because you deserve it; your performance and contributions have exceeded the normal expectations. Never ask for a raise because you need it - you may be seen as unable to manage affairs on a budget or living over your means. This can sometimes hurt your credibility in the eyes of others. ~ Philip J. Seibert, Jr., CVT,

23 Salaries (cont.) Before you can ask for anything….
You need to have confidence to show you deserve what you're asking for in the first place. You have to constantly prove your worth. How do you do this?

24 Obstacles in your career How to overcome them
If you desire long-term success, you’ve got to commit to life-long learning (continuing education) Step out of your comfort zone from time to time Set specific goals (with a time frame) for improvement – and work hard to achieve them Teach: pass along your knowledge to make others better as well Utilize professional associations – they can only help you if you ask CE: doesn’t have to be just medicine. Can also be personal growth and development. Maybe a communications seminar, or one on burn out, how to avoid it.

25 Advancing your career – proving your worth
How do you personally bring in more money for the clinic? Finding your niche – make yourself indispensable Specialties Understanding the laws Understand more than just your job Understand how veterinarians are governed State Board of Veterinary Medicine

26 Future of Veterinary Technology
Up to you – individual efforts do make a difference Are you by yourself? NO!! Associations – such as CACVT Resources – magazines (examples: Veterinary Technician®, Firstline®, Veterinary Economics®), CE, Websites (VSPN has a professionalism and ethics class)

27 CACVT Enhancement Areas
New Web site Will have opportunities listed where you can be involved in your professional association. Check under “about cacvt” “committee areas”

28 CACVT Enhancement Areas
2007 Survey You can directly enhance the CACVT organization and your profession by filling out the 2007 Survey Results available in the “members only” section on the Web site

29 CACVT Enhancement Areas
PR Committee Booth – chance to talk to the community and explain what you do 2008 National Veterinary Technician Week task force Membership Committee Fun upcoming event Office – see “behind the scenes” and understand how the association is run

30 Professionalism This is when you are at your best!
Step up to the challenge. Understand how you can excel. Educate the community as to what you do (CACVT PR Committee). Represent your profession (veterinary technology) in the best possible light every day. It matters to everyone because you represent everyone!

31 Thank you for being Professional
Questions? Or to receive a PDF copy of this presentation by , please contact me in the CACVT Office. Denise Mikita, CVT Happy Holiday Season!

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