July/Aug 2016

Behavioral Aspects of Caring for Elderly Cats
July/Aug 2016, Behavior

Behavioral Aspects of Caring for Elderly Cats

Vicky Halls RVN, Dip Couns MBACP

Vicky Halls is a registered veterinary nurse and full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, consulting widely as a feline specialist. She is a member of the International Cat Care behavior and welfare panels and the author of a number of best-selling books. She was also voted The Nation’s Favourite Cat Behaviour Author in the United Kingdom.

This article from the British journal Feline Focus reviews common behavioral changes in senior and geriatric cats and provides recommendations that clients can use in enriching and adapting the home environment for their older pets.

Tips and Tricks to Rev Up Your Client Service Game
July/Aug 2016, Practice Management

Tips and Tricks to Rev Up Your Client Service Game

Heather Prendergast RVT, CVPM

Heather has spent over 25 years in small animal practice, teaches veterinary technology and assistance programs, and is the author of Front Office Management for the Veterinary Team. She lectures on topics ranging from grief management for health care professionals to nutrition, inventory, communications, and veterinary team management. She has also written several articles and participated in published roundtable discussions on these topics.

Currently, Heather provides consulting services for veterinary hospitals and is an instructor for Patterson Veterinary University and VetMedTeam. She serves on several advisory committees and is the Program Chair of the Technician Program at the North American Veterinary Conference. Heather was named the 2014 Veterinary Technician of the Year and Continuing Educator of the Year for 2016 at the Western Veterinary Conference.

Often, veterinary technicians and assistants miss opportunities with clients that could enhance the client relationship and bond, ultimately leading to better patient care. It is up to each individual to capture the moment and create a positive experience for every client and patient every time they visit the practice.

Advice From a New Puppy
July/Aug 2016, Personal/Professional Development

Advice From a New Puppy

Lynne Johnson-Harris LVT, RVT | Editor in Chief

Ms. Johnson-Harris has been involved with the NAVC as a speaker and moderator since 1990. She was the first veterinary technician to serve as an elected Board member of the NAVC serving the Board from 2003 to 2015. Ms Johnson-Harris was also the first veterinary technician to serve as the President of the NAVC (2013-2014). Along with being the Editor in Chief of Today’s Veterinary Nurse journal, Ms. Johnson-Harris is the NAVC Specialty Programs manager and works as the practice manager working along side her husband, Dr. Jerry Harris at Hinckley Animal Hospital.

Our new puppy family member is Quinn, a playful prankster. Our trustworthy and faithful golden retriever, Emme, passed away recently, and our home was just too empty and too quiet. We couldn’t stand it. I’m sure you know the feeling.

Preoperative Roles and Responsibilities of the Veterinary Surgical Nurse
July/Aug 2016, Soft Tissue Surgery

Preoperative Roles and Responsibilities of the Veterinary Surgical Nurse

Danielle Browning LVMT, VTS (Surgery) | University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

Danielle is a senior veterinary technician who currently works in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Services at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, where she has been employed since September 2000. She is the ward nurse for soft tissue surgery. She currently serves on the American College of Veterinary Surgeons continuing education committee as the technician seminar/session chair and is a member-at-large of the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians.

Karen Tobias DVM, MS, DACVS | University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Karen Tobias is a professor and board-certified surgeon at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her DVM from the University of Illinois and completed an internship at Purdue University and her surgery residency and master’s degree at Ohio State University. Dr. Tobias has published more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters. She is the author of the Manual of Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery, co-editor of Veterinary Surgery: Small Animal, and co-author of Atlas of Ear Diseases of the Dog and Cat. Dr. Tobias resides in Knoxville, Tennessee, with one faithful dog and one annoying cat.

Successful surgical outcomes rely on more than the operative procedures themselves. Veterinary surgical nurses play critical roles in preparing the patient, the surgical suite, and the owner.

After a long day of listening to presentations at the NAVC Conference in Orlando, in a language other than my own, I was lying on the bed in my hotel room, thinking about how I, a young vet tech, had ended up in the United States, far from home.
July/Aug 2016, Practice Management

Starting Veterinary Technician Appointments

Esther Klok Dierenkliniek Winsum | The Netherlands

Esther Klok, a veterinary technician at Dierenkliniek Winsum in the Netherlands, previously described her passion for bringing new ideas from the NAVC Conference home to her clinic in 3 articles in 2016 (available on TodaysVeterinaryTechnician.com). In this article, she outlines how her clinic designed a program that not only helps dogs with noise anxiety, but also improves the human–animal bond and has even increased community awareness of how noises affect animals.

After a long day of listening to presentations at the NAVC Conference in Orlando, in a language other than my own, I was lying on the bed in my hotel room, thinking about how I, a young vet tech, had ended up in the United States, far from home.

EARLY CLINICAL SIGNS OF MUSHROOM INGESTION include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, and seizures. If the client is reporting mushroom ingestion, have them collect all the pieces of the mushroom in a bag labeled “DO NOT EAT! POISONOUS!” for identification purposes. Educate clients to scour their yards frequently and get rid of any mushrooms they find.
July/Aug 2016, Toxicology

How to Take a Toxin Exposure History

Jennifer A. Schuett CVT | ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, Illinois

Jennifer worked in a small animal practice for 6 years before considering toxicology. She went to Joliet Junior College for her associate’s degree in veterinary medical technology, graduated in May 2010, and became a certified veterinary technician by August 2010. She has been with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for a little over 5 years. Jennifer has written several protocols for her workplace and articles for an online veterinary magazine, as well as being an active board moderator on the Veterinary Support Personnel Network (VSPN).

In her spare time, Jennifer likes to garden, craft, and spend time with friends and family. When Halloween season comes around, she is also an actor/makeup artist for a local haunted house. Jennifer and her husband Tom celebrated their first wedding anniversary in June 2016.

“My pet just ate this! What do I do?” Pets tend to eat anything and everything. Some exposures may be more of a concern than others. Getting the details of the exposure is very important.

Emergencies cannot be predicted, but they can be anticipated. Learn how to create and stock a crash cart to prepare for the kinds of emergencies your clinic typically handles.
July/Aug 2016, Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

Crash Carts: Preparation and Maintenance

Paula Plummer LVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM) | Texas A&M University

Paula has been at Texas A&M University since 2007, first working in the small animal intensive care unit and then moving to the feline internal medicine service in 2011. She graduated from Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, and has been a registered veterinary technician since 2000. In 2011, she earned her veterinary technician specialty in emergency and critical care, and in 2014, she earned her second specialty in small animal internal medicine. Paula is also involved in teaching technicians in online programs and as a guest lecturer and lab instructor at local, regional, and national continuing education symposiums. When she is not working, Paula enjoys spending time with her husband and furry 4-legged family.

Emergencies cannot be predicted, but they can be anticipated. Learn how to create and stock a crash cart to prepare for the kinds of emergencies your clinic typically handles.

Boundaries are where one thing ends and another begins; the place where two things become different, where you end and I begin.
July/Aug 2016, Personal Wellbeing

The Space Between Us

Julie Squires Rekindle, LLC

Julie is a compassion fatigue specialist who brings a unique perspective and approach to support the sustained energy and passion of animal workers. Her company, Rekindle LLC, offers on-site compassion fatigue training to veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, and other animal organizations.

Julie has more than 20 years of experience within the veterinary field and with leading organizations. She has developed and executed training, workshops, and 1:1 coaching for major companies in the animal health industry. She obtained her certification as a compassion fatigue specialist through the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology and has also completed training from The Figley Institute and Traumatology Institute. Julie’s clients also gain from her experience as a certified health and wellness coach and corporate wellness specialist.

Boundaries are how we protect ourselves from emotional harm. This harm can come in many forms, such as always picking up the slack from lazy coworkers, allowing clients to have our cell phone numbers, not saying “no” when we want to, allowing clients to be disrespectful to us, and being touched when we don’t want to be.

Go With the Flow: The Basics of Fluid Therapy for Small Animal Veterinary Technicians
July/Aug 2016, Internal Medicine

The Basics of Fluid Therapy for Small Animal Veterinary Technicians

Liz Hughston MEd, RVT, CVT, VTS (SAIM, ECC)

Liz practices as a relief veterinary technician and consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area for both general and emergency/specialty practices. She graduated from Foothill College in 2006 and went on to earn her certification as a veterinary technician specialist in both small animal internal medicine and emergency and critical care in 2012. Liz is dedicated to advancing veterinary nursing through training and mentorship and is a frequent and sought-after national and international speaker. In 2013, Liz was awarded the California Registered Veterinary Technician’s Association’s inaugural RVT of the Year Award, recognizing her efforts to improve veterinary nursing in California and beyond.

Fluid therapy is one of the most common therapies in small animal medicine, and knowing what, why, and how to deliver it is a core competency for veterinary technicians. This article provides a brief overview of each aspect.

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