Sharing Well-being With Veterinary Technicians
This past weekend I had the joy of facilitating a day-long workshop on “Well-being Skills for Veterinary Professionals” at the 2018 edition of the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians’ annual Western Slope CE. Almost 60 technicians joined me on the awe-inspiring campus of the Colorado Mountain College’s Vet Tech Program to explore and develop a personal plan for flourishing.
I arrived at CMC’s Vet Tech Program facility around 8 AM on Saturday, October 13th. The morning drive from the hotel to the campus was nothing short of stunning! My wife and I have driven past Glenwood Springs a dozen times and this was our first time exploring it off the interstate. That town is yet another “hidden” gem in our incredible state and the CMC campus is surrounded by all the natural beauty Glenwood Springs has to offer. The majestic, live golden eagle that greeted us at the facility entrance was the icing on the cake of an already amazing morning. (We later learned he lives there as he has been rehabilitated from a disabling injury that prevents his release back into the wild.)
Having been so warmly greeted by Nancy Sheffield, Professor of Veterinary Technology, and other staff and students at CMC, I can honestly say I found myself wondering why I didn’t go to school there!
Primed by the gorgeous Colorado surroundings and inspired by the people I met that morning I was excited and energized for the workshop ahead. My experience with the participants was absolutely awesome.
For this workshop we explored the following topics together:
The foundations of the science of well-being
Understanding the upside of well-being and the positive impacts it has on us and others
Evidence based tools for growing our own well-being
Right from the start I knew I was in the presence of a special group of veterinary professionals. They were engaged, interested, and forthcoming. Most importantly, they were willing to share their perspectives and experiences and ask pointed questions. The intelligence and insight emanating from the group was palpable and I believe I learned as much as I taught. Not to mention, they were hilarious!
In the afternoon the group created individual written plans for growing their own personal and professional well-being. Each participant eagerly reviewed the positive psychology tools I shared with them, personalized the tools that resonated most with them and committed to utilizing the tool(s) in writing. Afterwards some of them shared their well-being plans out loud with the group and I’ll be honest – I was so inspired by their enthusiasm I actually got chills.
It was not lost on me that this workshop immediately preceded National Veterinary Technician Week. While that was coincidence it did deepen the meaning I took from the day.
In the 20+ years I’ve worked in this field I’ve been fortunate to meet and work with countless veterinary technicians. The passion they bring to their work, the compassion they consistently show, their innovation and creativity, their kindness and sense of community – all these traits, and more, have shown up time and time again and for that, techs have a special place in my heart. As the unsung heroes of animal care they are deserving of so many accolades and so much appreciation.
Positive psychology offers robust and consistent research showing the benefits of gratitude. With that in mind, I’d like to challenge readers of this blog – whatever role you play, co-worker, client, friend, or family….think of a veterinary technician you know and take a moment to thank them for the important work they do.
From all of us at Flourish Veterinary Consulting, THANK YOU to all veterinary technicians. You rock and we adore you!
- Written by Josh Vaisman