Managing your Christmas workload as a trainee vet or SVN

Written by: vet times jobs
Published on: 11 Dec 2017


Image © Happy Monkey / Adobe Stock

Much of the country's workforce celebrates Christmas with at least a week off work to rest, recharge, spend time with family, and eat far too much food. Vets and veterinary nurses are not always so lucky...

Animals still get sick, so veterinary professionals are still needed around the country to work extra time around Christmas and the New Year.

Sign up for Christmas hours

Nobody really wants to work at Christmas, and with enough veterinary staff choosing not to work over the holidays, most veterinary surgeries are really pushed for extra manpower during the last week of the year.

While working on Christmas Day is far from ideal, signing up to work at least some of the holiday period is a great way to show the practice you're training with that you're dedicated to the job – for trainee vets, it might even be the extra mile that lands you a permanent contract after you've qualified.

There are some perks to the situation, too. You might find it's a great time of year to build relationships with your colleagues and patients; nothing breaks the ice better than being stuck in the surgery together during a quiet Christmas Day shift.

You can also be rewarded by the thought that all your work on the most festive days of the year is important – nobody brings their rabbit in for a routine check-up on New Year's day.

Don't overdo it

Yes, sign yourself up for some time over the Christmas period, but don't forget to keep some time for yourself, too.

Between work experience and lectures, SVNs and trainee vets are already pushed enough for time as it is. Assess your own priorities and keep at least a few days free for family time and a little Christmas cheer.

Enjoy the New Year rush

Practices can be particularly busy in the period after Christmas. This is partially because, with nobody booking in non-emergency appointments over Christmas and New Year, there's a sudden rush of check-ups and vaccinations to be done.

Additionally, lots of people take advantage of the time off work to introduce a new pet to the home.

Prepare for a busy period in the surgery, and take advantage of the opportunity to show all your training is really paying off.