When I was 13, I began volunteering at Glanbrook. I was a dog-lover through and through, and I wanted to become a vet. We had been taking our Brittany spaniel,, Tilly to Glanbrook for a couple of years, and I thought it would be wise to understand the behind-the-scenes workings of a vet clinic to decide if it would be a good eventual fit for me. Dr. Heather was kind enough to welcome me to the team. In the last 5 years at the clinic, the lessons I’ve learned have been inexplicably valuable.
One of the first lessons I learned at the clinic was the importance of efficiency. I was taught to anticipate what would be needed for an appointment so that clients would not have to wait long to be seen. I observed as the staff asked all the right questions to get to the root of a pet’s health concern. I quickly came to appreciate the veterinarians, technicians, assistants, and receptionists for their well-honed skills in efficiency without compromising thoroughness. With over thirteen thousand active patients to be seen at Glanbrook, efficiency is critical to allow the clinic to run smoothly. It was a skill I would get to employ when I began training as a receptionist. I practiced learning what concerns required immediate attention and worked to ask the right questions to help narrow the issue down to its core. The communication skills I learned working with the staff at Glanbrook have continued to benefit me, even outside of work.
The second major lesson I learned working at Glanbrook is the value of compassion. Without exception, every staff member at the clinic truly cares about each patient that walks through our doors. In the veterinary field, staff members are subject to a rollercoaster of events on any given day. The joy shared with a client who has just picked up a new kitten can be quickly contrasted by the pain felt by owners who are saying goodbye to a companion. I admired how my colleagues stood with clients through it all. Their passion for veterinary work became evident to me immediately; they viewed their time at Glanbrook as more than just a job.
When I began to work at Glanbrook, I quickly learned to acknowledge the importance of having a cohesive team. Even though things move quickly at the clinic, the Glanbrook girls were always happy to answer my questions. Clinic staff have learned to recognize when a team member is feeling burnt out, especially since COVID hit. We have stepped up to support one another. I am ever grateful to my Glanbrook family for their ceaseless effort to uphold me and each other. When we face difficult situations in the clinic, we are always willing to help one another and decipher a solution together.
Sometimes, when tough cases come up in the clinic, Dr. Heather will ask me, “Are you sure you still want to be a vet?” Watching every case that she sees in the clinic, I will admit that I have had my doubts. My colleagues at Glanbrook are strong people, and I do not always feel that I can handle the responsibility that they accept each day. I am endlessly amazed by the tireless work that goes on around me, and I am honoured each shift to be able to help out the amazing staff at Glanbrook in some small way. My answer is always, “I’m sure.”