Back to work! In January I returned back to work after a wonderful week long vacation in Orlando, Florida, where I not only got to take my family to Disney World but I also was able to attend the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) for the first time. The North American Veterinary Conference is the largest Veterinary Conference in North America.
Belonging to the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT), I have had the pleasure to attend our own OAVT conferences in both London and Toronto- but the NAVC conference is HUGE in comparison!!! This year there was just over 15 000 attendees! The sheer size of the conference hotels (yes, there was more than 1) was intimidating and jaw dropping!
These conferences provide the veterinary community with Continuing Education lectures from specialists along with introduction of new, innovative products and further information regarding current products.
As an RVT (registered veterinary technician) we are required to log a certain number of continuing education hours to be current and provide up to date veterinary medicine to our patients. (the veterinarians also require continuing education- so don’t worry, they keep up to date too!)
The NAVC conference lasted 5 days, with hundreds of lectures on topics ranging from customer service, small and large animal medicine, exotics, pharmacology and everything in between! I thoroughly enjoy attending these lectures, as I love learning about the ever changing field of Veterinary Medicine.
Aside from all the lectures, there is also a Trade Show area to demonstrate up and coming products, current products and be introduced to hundreds of various veterinary related companies (and some non-veterinary related companies such Life Planning companies to better enrich the lives of the members of the veterinary field.)
Every company is different and many offered fun games and trivia to help remember their products (and here is the really fun part- win and receive cool free stuff!)
I came home with a number of great new ideas, samples and more information that I think you, our clients and we, the clinic, will benefit from.
I also was able to attend a motivational lecture evening with Jillian Michaels [For those of you who aren’t familiar with her name, she is the original trainer on the Biggest Loser and WOW it was amazing]. She is a wonderful speaker and motivator, it was extremely exciting to be sitting 20 feet away from her and listen to her speak. She is also quite the comedian!
The most enlightening moment of Jillian Michael’s speech was her own experience with her own overweight pet, who has since passed away. She fully admitted that even though she is conscious about all aspects of being healthy, eating right, exercising, having a healthy mind and soul, she was not aware that overweight animals can suffer from ALL the same health complications that overweight humans can. Since learning of this aspect, she has become a faithful advocate for animal health and wellbeing.
This was eye opening for me, being so deeply associated with animal health; she helped me recognize the views of those unrelated to the animal world. They may not realize that these animals can suffer from all the same debilitating and life threatening conditions as humans. One of the most important aspects of our jobs is being a source of knowledge and information. Every single day we discuss your pets health and well-being and how we can prevent disease. The better we are at our jobs, the better you can be as an owner.
The other part of my trip including bringing my family to Disney World. It truly is a magical place! I won’t bore you with all the details of our trip; however I did take a few photos while in Animal Kingdom of the medical side of the park. We were able to see the examination area, the surgical suite and even xrays! We missed the physical examination of a few of the members of the park (which was such a bummer for me!) but the whole tour was still amazing. I don’t know why I had originally thought that it might be vastly different from our own surgical suite. They just have to have a greater diversity in the size of their equipment, from lemurs to monkeys to elephants-oh my!