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Summer 2020

Summer 2020, Personal/Professional Development

A Light in the Storm

Kara M. Burns MS, MEd, LVT, VTS (Nutrition), VTS-H (Internal Medicine, Dentistry), Editor in Chief

Kara Burns is an LVT with master’s degrees in physiology and counseling psychology. She began her career in human medicine working as an emergency psychologist and a poison specialist for humans and animals. Kara is the founder and president of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians and has attained her VTS (Nutrition). She is the editor in chief of Today’s Veterinary Nurse. She also works as an independent nutritional consultant, and is the immediate past president of NAVTA. She has authored many articles, textbooks, and textbook chapters and is an internationally invited speaker, focusing on topics of nutrition, leadership, and technician utilization.

Hear from TVN’s Editor in Chief on the COVID-19 pandemic and the winners of the NAVC’s Rippie Scholarship.

NAVTA Corner
Summer 2020, Personal/Professional Development

The Road to Veterinary Nursing

Kathy Koar CVT, MEd

Kathy is the Program Director for Veterinary Nursing at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Kenichiro Yagi MS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM)

Ken has spent nearly 20 years in practice. He obtained his VTS certification in emergency and critical care, as well as small animal internal medicine, and earned his master’s degree in Veterinary Science. He served as ICU Manager and Blood Bank Manager at Adobe Animal Hospital until 2018, and is now Program Director for the RECOVER CPR Initiative and simulation lab manager of the Park Veterinary Innovation Laboratory at Cornell University. He co-chairs the Veterinary Nurse Initiative and serves as a board member of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians, and the Veterinary Innovation Council.

Renaming veterinary technology programs to veterinary nursing programs is a major step for the VNI and the profession.

Summer 2020, Nutrition

Alternative Pet Diets: Grain-free, Raw, and Other Trends

Ed Carlson CVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Ed is the director of technician learning and development for Ethos Veterinary Health and VetBloom. He is also the 2020 president of the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association and the treasurer of the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association. Ed has served on multiple NAVTA committees and is the 2020 NAVTA president-elect. He obtained his VTS (Nutrition) in 2014 and lectures frequently at local, regional, and national veterinary conferences on a variety of nutrition topics. Ed was also the recipient of the NAVTA 2019 Technician of the Year award.

Alternative pet diets such as grain-free and gluten-free might be permeating the market, but educating clients on the components of a balanced pet diet will ward off malnutrition.

Summer 2020, Ophthalmology

Cataracts in Dogs: The Importance of Early Detection and Management

Tyler Grogan RVT, CVT

Tyler is currently working in Florida as a relief veterinary nurse in areas including ophthalmology, emergency medicine, and general practice. Tyler also works with the Uncharted Veterinary Conference, contributing to their social media marketing. Tyler’s clinical interests include ophthalmology, anesthesia, low-stress handling, and the human-animal bond. She is also passionate about providing veterinary teams an opportunity at wellness in practice through her relief services, SOS Vet Relief. Tyler has written articles for several online publications on topics from client communication to mental wellness in the profession.

Veterinary nurses play a very important role in educating the client about cataracts in dogs and the options for sight-restoration.

Summer 2020, Practice Management

Implementing a Patient-Outcome Improvement Plan

Rachel Beck CVT, PMP

Rachel Beck is a certified veterinary technician and credentialed project manager on the Veterinary Medical Programs team at Banfield Pet Hospital. She currently leads a team of project managers who specialize in implementation. Having been in the veterinary field for over 15 years, she has served roles both in hospitals and at Banfield’s central office. She is passionate about engaging the whole veterinary team in proactive health and wellness as well as about career pathing for paraprofessionals in the industry. She resides in Portland, Oregon, with her significant other and 2 cats.

Developing a patient-outcome improvement program may be a novel way for your veterinary team to approach the provision of care in a hospital.

Summer 2020, Urology & Renal Medicine

Predictive Power

Jennifer Klein MBA, LVT

Jen began her career as a licensed veterinary technician in southern Maine. After a productive career as a small animal LVT, she joined the corporate side of animal health, working for 25+ years in various roles including operations, R&D, product design, development, and marketing. After 21 years with IDEXX, she ran her own consulting business for several years before joining Antech as vice president of marketing and corporate affairs. Jen has had many pets over the years, including a rescue sonoran gopher snake, and is currently searching for the perfect addition to her pet family after recently saying goodbye to her rescue basset hound, MonaB.

AI could be the future of veterinary medicine. Read about how Antech is introducing RenalTech, a predictive platform for CKD in cats.

Continuing Education, Summer 2020, Pain Management

Locoregional Anesthesia for Small Animal Patients

Heidi Reuss-Lamky LVT, VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia, Surgery), FFCP

Heidi Reuss-Lamky graduated from Michigan State University’s Veterinary Technology Program in 1984. She has extensive experience in general practice, and since 1993 has devoted her technical expertise to the surgical department of specialty hospitals. She has been affiliated with Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, since 2006.

Heidi became certified through the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia in 2003, and sat on the credentials committee from 2005 to 2009. She served in the president’s role on the Executive Board of the Michigan Association of Veterinary Technicians from 2007 to 2009. She was a charter member of the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians and currently sits on the executive board. She has a special interest in veterinary behavior medicine and earned her Fear Free Certification in November 2017.

Heidi is an ardent advocate for the veterinary technology profession, and serves as a consultant for many allied veterinary industries. She is on the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties, and also serves on the editorial review board for Today’s Veterinary Nurse Journal.

Heidi is a prolific author and lecturer, presenting anesthesia, surgical nursing, and Fear Free-related topics at veterinary meetings worldwide. She most recently published Chapter 8, “Waste Anesthetic Gas Collection and Consequences,” in Veterinary Anesthetic and Monitoring Equipment, edited by Kristen Cooley and Rebecca Johnson. She was also honored to receive the 2013 NAVC Dr. Jack L. Mara Memorial Lecturer award.

Heidi currently shares her home with her husband, Bryan, and 3 dogs, 2 cats, an African grey parrot and pond koi. In her spare time she enjoys horseback riding, gardening, travel, lecturing, and quenching her never-ending thirst for knowledge.

Pain management has become an integral part of small animal veterinary care, and the use of anesthetics and analgesics are varied and easy to perform.

Summer 2020, Toxicology

Chlorfenapyr Poisoning in Dogs: A “Phantom” Toxicosis

Camille Kelly CVT, VTS (ECC)

Camille is a veterinary ICU nurse at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Camille graduated with a degree in equine science from Delaware Valley University, in Doylestown, Pa. After working in various private practices, she joined Oradell Animal Hospital in Oradell, N.J., where emergency and critical care became her focus. Her special interests include snakebite envenomation, feline critical care, and blood component therapy. She is passionate about mentoring veterinary nurses, training in advanced nursing skills, and supporting veterinary students in their professional development.

When Daisy presented with signs of toxicity after 2 of her animal companions died hours earlier, this veterinary team worked to determine the cause.

Summer 2020, Clinical Pathology

Ear Cytology: Sampling, Processing, and Microscopic Evaluation

Barbie Papajeski MS, LVT, RLATG, VTS

Barbie teaches clinical pathology and laboratory animal courses in the veterinary technology program at Murray State University and is a continuing education instructor for the Veterinary Support Personnel Network. Before full-time teaching, she worked at the Breathitt Veterinary Center diagnostic laboratory. She currently serves as secretary of the Academy of Veterinary Clinical Pathology Technicians and the Kentucky Veterinary Technician Association. She resides in western Kentucky, near Land Between the Lakes, where she loves to hike with her 2 sons and husband. She shares her home with 3 dogs, 4 cats, and an assortment of feathered and scaled animals.

A guide on when to perform ear cytology, how to collect ear cytology samples, and some of the common findings veterinary nurses encounter in dogs and cats.

Summer 2020, Practice Management

Wellness Resources for Veterinary Professionals

Jamie Holms RVT, CPT1

Jamie Holms has 17 years of experience in the veterinary field, most in emergency and critical care. Prior to that, she was an animal control officer and a veterinary team manager for a 24-hour practice in Los Altos, Calif. She is currently the administrative manager for Dr. Andy Roark and Uncharted Veterinary Conferences. Jamie is passionate about mental health and suicide prevention in the veterinary community and is a firm believer that education reduces stigma and increases survival. She is a certified Mental Health First Aid responder, QPR gatekeeper, and certified gatekeeper instructor. Jamie is an administrative rock star, organizational aficionado, tea geek, and workaholic.

Veterinary practices need to start putting employees’ wellbeing as a priority, but it’s up to both workers and management to implement change together.

Summer 2020, Personal/Professional Development

Mending the Broken: Lifelong Learning Through Restoration

Kristen Hagler BS, RVT, VTS (Physical Rehabilitation), CCRP, CVPP, OAM, VCC

Kristen has been an RVT since 2002 and has multiple credentials related to physical rehabilitation and pain management. In 2012, Kristen helped form the Organizing Committee of the Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians and was recognized as a Veterinary Technician Specialty in Physical Rehabilitation in 2017. In 2018, Kristen was awarded the California Veterinary Technician of the Year award by the California Veterinary Technician Association. Her special interests include veterinary orthotics and prosthetics, geriatrics, sporting and performance, mobility and service dogs, and multidisciplinary pain management strategies.

Veterinary nurses have a multitude of specializing career paths following accreditation. Finding one you’re passionate about makes a positive difference in your life, your patients’ lives, and your clients’ lives.

Summer 2020, Personal/Professional Development

How Veterinary Professionals Can Engage the Modern Client

Jade Velasquez LVT

Jade Velasquez is a practice manager at a general practice in Gig Harbor, Wash. She uses her writing and speaking to reach veterinary professionals with her unique view on veterinary medicine. In 2014, she created a Facebook group, Veterinary Support Staff Unleashed, to boost positivity and create dialogue in order to inspire open communication in the field. Jade is also a regular contributor to the NAVTA Journal. At DrAndyRoark.com, her writing has generated some of the most viewed and well-received articles on the website.

As pet owners begin to treat their companion animals as family members, they expect a deeper relationship with their veterinary team.