Advice > Question


I am trying my best to be positive and helpful at work during these times. How can technicians be more supportive of each other through COVID?

There is no doubt we are living through history. It is stunning when you think about the fact that there isn’t a human on the planet who hasn’t been affected by this experience. Honestly, it has been indescribable at times.

How wonderful of you to bring your positive light to work. That is caring and uplifting under any circumstance. But, in this last year I’m sure that has nourished you and many around you. You may not even be aware of the ripple effect you’ve had. Your kindness may have meant more than you know to someone who needed a lift.

Two words come to mind when I think of supporting each other: Compassion and Permission. Compassionate understanding, includes the gift of listening. When you listen to another with your whole self, trust is built. Nothing made me feel better at work than someone asking if I needed space or to talk. Honoring each other compassionately can be a strong bridge to lifting you all up. This can be very organic. Be creative and make it exclusively yours. A token or gesture that will remind you as a group that you are there for each other. This is your tribe. When one rises up, the others rise up. You’d be surprised at your commonalities. In addition, give each other permission to fall down. Some days aren’t so great. But if you know others have your back, that raises you up. It’s magic. You’re not there to fix each other. Support doesn’t always mean fix. It can mean remembering your humanness.

Remind each other in spite of every obstacle thrown at you, you’ve made it to the next day. And the next day…. And the next. Look someone in the eye and mean it when you say it.

Your job makes it necessary to be around a lot of people, while much of the world was, and still is to an extent, hermetically sealed. You’ve done this to keep your family and yourself going and minister to your patients. Veterinary teams have had to be creative in order to do their jobs under some unnatural conditions. “Patty Perfects” like me can find it difficult to live up to perfection. When I remember there is no perfection, I’m easier on myself and those around me. Sometimes your best is all you can do.

Your clients are a mixed bag of people working in different environments. But, in spite of their stressors, the needs of their pets are unchanged. We can support each other by reminding ourselves to cut them some slack too. Emergencies continue to happen, litters continue being born, wellness needs must be addressed, and finances can be more challenging than ever before. A constant for them is their need to get to you.

Despite the challenges, I think we’re doing better than we think. I believe it is our pioneering spirit that keeps us moving forward to make it to the other side of this story. We have another chapter beginning. Perseverance is what we do. We are trailblazers. It’s one of the reasons we journey to other planets!

Encourage finding reminders of your humanness to keep each other grounded. When I need a humbling reminder, I read The Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan. For me, it helps quiet the chatter of the madness. Because, we’re all just doing the best we can.

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Valarie Adams is a CVT with over 45 years working in veterinary medicine. Her 1973 graduation from the Medical Institute of Minnesota puts her in the "aged-but-still-useful" category of alums. Valarie's career has included large and small animal general practice and 17 years in emergency/critical care. In May 2008, she created the Healing Heart Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit that supported programs honoring the spirit of the Human Animal Bond. Healing Heart Pet Hospice program delivered hospice and palliative care to pet families, as well as programs for grief support and financial support for hardship cases. Valarie has lectured nationally and internationally and written and co-written for textbooks and online publications. She fills her heart by volunteering veterinary care to the dogs on a Native American reservation and feeds her soul and tends her spirituality with her horses, nature and singing blues/blues rock. Her blog Confides In Animals has launched at





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