Thursday, 15 October 2020

Happy National Veterinary Technician Week: 10 best things about being a vet tech

Ask an RVT: 10 things I love the most about being a registered veterinary technician  

Happy National Veterinary Technician Week: 10 best things about being a vet tech by Nicole Cunningham, RVT


My years of experience working in the veterinary medicine industry taught me many things. One thing I learned on my first day is that the job of a veterinary technician is difficult. Veterinary technicians assist in surgery, dentistry, treat emergencies, learn how to care for multiple species, assist the doctor, be a nurse, provide emotional support for the client, and be an advocate for the patient. They work hard without breaks- often for less pay than you'd expect. It's stressful. It's fast-paced. It's emotionally draining. It's blood, sweat, and tears. REAL tears. And it is incredibly rewarding. 


I've had the pleasure of working with some incredible vet techs, like Nicole Cunningham. She has been a practicing registered veterinary technician (RVT) for over 10 years at the award-winning Pembroke Animal Hospital. Nicole is an incredible RVT, and has supported me during the most difficult moments with my pets. She always impresses me with her knowledge and her patient-first mentality that allows her to create lasting bonds with her clients. Some studies have shown that the average career-span for a vet tech is 7 years. Some move on to different careers in the industry, others start a second career. Nicole has been working as an RVT for longer than that and still loves it. I asked her what she loves the most about her career as an RVT. Here's what she shared with me.

Happy National Veterinary Technician Week: 10 best things about being a vet tech by Nicole Cunningham, RVT
10 Things I love about being an RVT by Nicole Cunningham

10 things I love about being an RVT 


1. The pets: Of course it all begins with the pets. Loving animals was my drive to becoming a veterinary technician. The bond created between humans and animals is why I started my career in veterinary medicine.


2. The Clients: I never thought of myself as being a "people" person. But this career path showed me that I am truly, undoubtedly a people person. I aim to make my clients feel as comfortable as I make their furry loved ones feel.


3. My work family: These are my people! I've made life long friends. We've been through a lot together and we share common goals. We all strive to become the best for our patients and clients.


4. Every day is different: No two days are the same. I get to have surgical shifts, dentistry shifts, and shifts where I do appointments. Sometimes I even help the client service representative (CSR) team and kennel attendants. I see sick and healthy pets. This much diversity ensures that I am not living a real-life groundhog day.


5. Kitten and puppy snuggling: Yes, I actually love this part of my job. And no, unfortunately, I do not get to do it all day, every day! It's the perk you get when you do this fast-paced and rewarding job. 


6. I witness the human-animal bond: I treasure the human-animal bond. I nurture that bond by keeping pets healthy. I witness it every day when people bring their sick or healthy pets to our team for care. I feel the love the pet owner has for their pet. Pets are truly family. 


7. Continuing education: I'm grateful I can continually learn. There is always something new and improved in the veterinary industry. I attend conferences and lunch meetings that teach us about new products and advances in medicine. I track my continuing education (CE) for my registration (Registered Veterinary Technician, RVT). To maintain my RVT status I'm required to complete a certain amount of CE.  


8. I get to utilize all my technical skills: I get to administer anesthesia, monitor patients under anesthesia, collect blood, and run diagnostics in our laboratory. I perform cytology, take radiographs, use my nursing skills, place intravenous catheters, and run and examine fecal tests. I do diabetic consultations, which I'm very passionate about. Diabetic pets need a lot of extra attention. It's a long list- let's just say I never get bored!


9. Lots of job opportunities: I chose to work in a small animal practice and I love it. But there are opportunities for veterinary technicians to work in different environments, like large-animal practices, nutrition companies, working with laboratory animals, opportunities in practice management, referral hospitals, and zoos- just to list a few. It's a diverse profession. 


10. I get to utilize my non-technical skills: What I mean by non-technical skill, is that skill you have that makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. That feeling that you've accomplished something that you didn't use your hands for. It's when you help a client make a difficult decision. It's when you go that extra mile to make a client smile. It's that little extra- I made someone's day better. Or it's just being there, being compassionate, and being empathetic.

Happy National Veterinary Technician Week: 10 best things about being a vet tech

It's RVT Month!

Thank you Nicole for sharing why you love your role as an RVT and for your year of dedication to animals. October is National Veterinary Technician Month. It started with just a week (this week) but was recently changed to the entire month. I feel that is completely justified. Vet techs work so hard, they've earned a full month of nation-wide appreciation. I'm extending a sincere, heartfelt, HUGE thank you to the dedicated veterinary technicians. You work through your breaks to treat hospitalized patients, hold clients as they grieve for their lost loved ones, come in on holidays to treat emergencies, assist doctors on-call in the middle of the night to save a life, and you do it because you love animals. Your entire profession is built on compassion, empathy, and sacrifice. Many of you have been working non-stop through the pandemic. You are valued, you are important, and I appreciate each time you put yourself second to put someone else's pet first.

Happy National Veterinary Technician Week (and Month)!

October is National Registered Veterinary Technician Month

#RVTMonth #WeAreRVTs




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