For as long as my parents and I can remember, I had said I wanted to work in the animal field. I can certainly remember being 4 years old and telling people I was going to work with animals. Sure I had times where I said I also wanted to be a teacher but for the most part it was the animal field. When I got into the Veterinary Technician program at St Clair College it was one of my happiest moments (for those of you who do not know, there could be over 500 applicants for only 40-50 spots!)
From the moment I stepped into the clinical setting at the school, I was hooked on veterinary medicine. I couldn’t learn enough. The thought that I could combine two of my interests, medicine and animals was amazing.
At St Clair College, the veterinary technician program has its own building on campus. If you’ve ever been there during the school year, you’ve probably seen technician students walking the dogs. The animals we have are comprised of cats and dogs that have been residing at the local shelters. Their personalities are assessed prior to bringing them into the program. I can assure you that NO animal testing is performed on these wonderful creatures! What is given to them is the love and care that many are so desperate to have. They are walked three times per day and loved and cared for. The students learn and, along with the guidance and support of Registered Veterinary Technician teachers and Veterinarians, administer vaccinations, draw blood for health checks, perform fecal evaluations, take x-rays and administer general anesthesia for spaying & neutering (to name a few).
But I digress. When I finished the program, I had the confidence and skills to work out in the field. Luckily for me, I had been working at South Windsor Animal Hospital for two years as a Veterinary Assistant so I easily stepped into the role of Registered Veterinary Technician. For me, not only do I get to see routine examinations and vaccination appointments, but I also get to witness medical anomalies and miracles. No two days are ever the same. And in the ever changing medical field, I get to learn new things all the time. Not only through working but attending seminars and workshops. I see patients come into the clinic with their families who are heartbroken to see their pet not feeling well and I know we are the ones who get to help them. We get to diagnose, perform procedures and administer medications that will change their lives. It is amazing seeing a patient recover. What is also amazing is watching their families recover as well. Of course, we do have days where sadness occurs, but in reality we have still helped those patients through the next transition of their life. And the good days and good experiences far outweigh the negative.
Remember when I said I had also wanted to be a teacher? Well lucky me, I also get to do that! I get to teach people every day on responsible pet ownership, what to do for their pet, how to treat their pet when it is injured and how to continue through an issue. We also bring in Veterinary Technician students from the college for co-op placements and externships and I get to teach them too! Wow how awesome!
I remember walking into South Windsor Animal Hospital and watching their receptionist at the time; she knew who each person was walking in the door, remembered their pet and spoke about something specific regarding their pet. I thought “wow, there is no way I will remember all these clients and their pets!” And here I am, 10 years later and I can’t believe how many patients I remember! What is a little crazy for me, is to see some of my earliest patients, whom I can remember walking in as puppies or kittens, whom I watched transition into adulthood and who are now in their senior years. I am literally living their lives with them. I think and care about them as if I was going to be bringing them back home with me, I treat my patients like they are my own. I have made so many wonderful friendships, laughed and cried with wonderful clients and hugged and fallen in love with so many amazing patients.
They say that most RVT’s only stay in the field for about 7 years. It can be a very stressful, high energy and demanding job (physically and emotionally) and I can understand that it can be difficult to stay in it. But I am lucky. If you ask our staff members how long they have worked here, you will hear 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15 years. That says something. I found a clinic with not only amazing staff but amazing clients. This is the reason I continue in this profession. So I thank all of my clients, past, present (and future!) for helping make my career decision the best one I could!