fbpx
  • NAVC Brands

Summer 2021

Summer 2021, Personal Wellbeing

Hope: The Shot in the Arm We Need

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.

It’s been a tough year for the veterinary profession. But we persevered. We learned new skills, pivoted practice protocols, and we’re coming out on the other side.

NAVTA Corner
Featured, Summer 2021, Personal/Professional Development

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Areas of Needed Focus in Veterinary Medicine

Erin A. Spencer MEd, CVT, VTS (ECC)

Erin has a degree in veterinary technology (2001) and a master’s degree in education (2015). She earned her veterinary technician specialty in emergency and critical care in 2011. In 2009, Erin began volunteering with the Rural Area Veterinary Services program; in 2012, she accepted a full-time role. Erin spends 4 weeks each summer participating in field clinics on Native reservations in western states. Currently an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Veterinary Technology program, Erin is past president of the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association and the current president of National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

Coming to terms with your implicit bias and privilege is difficult. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important in creating a more inclusive workplace and profession. The veterinary profession is recognizing this effort and making strides to address DEI.

Summer 2021, Behavior

Empowering Clients to Address Behavior Concerns

Melissa Spooner-Raymond LVT, VTS (Behavior), BS, KPA-CTP, TAGteach Level One, Fear Free Certified

Melissa is passionate about and deeply involved in the community of veterinary behavior and training. She has worked in both general medicine and behavioral specialty medicine. Her focus now remains in the nonprofit arena where she can combine the knowledge that she has gained from her bachelor’s degree in health services administration and her certifications as a VTS in behavior and a Fear Free professional. Melissa enjoys sharing her knowledge with fellow veterinary professionals and training pet parents through presenting at conferences, teaching veterinary hospital staff, or working one on one.

Because behavior issues can negatively impact the human-animal bond, it’s important to discuss and address them as early as possible.

Summer 2021, Nutrition

Nutrition and Behavior Therapy for Feline Idiopathic Cystitis

Ashley Self BS, LVMT, VTS (Nutrition)

Ashley has been a licensed veterinary technician on the nutrition service at the University of Tennessee for 9 years. She attained her VTS (Nutrition) in 2018 and is an active member within the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians (AVNT) and the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (AAVN). Ashley is passionate about clinical nutrition in
both small and large animals as well as educating pet owners about the impact nutrition can have on their beloved pets. 

The underlying cause of FIC is unknown and presentation and clinical signs vary widely. Working with owners to appropriately structure the environment for their cat(s) and providing feeding guidelines to support urinary health and ideal body weight will, at a minimum, increase the cat’s wellbeing.

Summer 2021, Parasitology

Giardiasis in Cats

Ann Wortinger BIS, LVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM, Nutrition)

Ann is a 1983 graduate of Michigan State University and got her specialty certification in Emergency/ Critical Care in 2000, in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 2008 and in Nutrition in 2013. In 2017 she attained her Fear Free Level on certification, and has since moved into level 2.

She has worked in general, emergency, specialty practice, education and management. Ann is active in her state, national and specialty organizations, and served on the organizing committees for Internal Medicine and Nutrition. She has mentored over 20 fellow VTSs and has worked on a variety of committees and positions. She is currently an instructor and Academic Advisor for Ashworth College’s Veterinary Technology Program, as well as an active speaker and writer.

Ann has over 50 published articles in various professional magazines as well as book chapters and a book, Nutrition and Disease Management for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses in its second edition in 2016 coauthored with Kara Burns. Ann received the 2009 Service Award for her state association (MAVT), the 2010 Achievement Award for the Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians (AIMVT), and in 2012 received the Jack L. Mara Memorial Lecture Award presented at NAVC.

Her fur/feather/fin family consists of 4 cats, 2 domestic geese, 14 chickens and a pond full of goldfish.

Giardia protozoa are quite hardy. Prevention and client education is key to keeping a cat happy and healthy.

Summer 2021, Personal/Professional Development

The Future of Veterinary Nursing

Sarah Rumple Rumpus Writing and Editing, Denver, Colo.

Sarah Rumple is an award-winning writer and editor who has been covering veterinary topics since 2011 after earning a degree in communication from the University of Colorado. She owns Rumpus Writing and Editing, a Denver-based copywriting agency, and believes that if you don’t ask for what you want, you’ll never get it.

Telehealth will be a major part of veterinary medicine moving forward, and many of these capabilities are a part of the everyday routine for many veterinary nurses already.

Summer 2021, Preventive Medicine

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex

Lara Arbach LVT, VTS Clinical Practice (Canine/Feline)

Lara began her second career as a licensed veterinary nurse after graduating from LaGuardia Community College in 2011. She had previously worked as a graphic artist for a real estate company. Lara enjoys working in general practice and obtained her VTS in 2019. She found her veterinary family at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital 3 years ago and values the clinic’s high standards for patient care. Lara has an affinity for passing on knowledge to others who aspire to work in the veterinary profession. In her spare time, Lara enjoys running, reading science fiction, and art journaling.

Veterinary nurses play a key role in helping clients separate facts from fiction in regard to CIRDC as well as other vaccine-preventable diseases. 

Featured, Summer 2021, Hematology

Blood Transfusions in Anemic Dogs and Cats

Rebecca Nusbaum CVT, VTS (ECC)

Rebecca obtained her associate degree in veterinary technology in 1999 and her VTS in emergency and critical care in 2005. While working in ECC, she discovered her passion for transfusion medicine and veterinary blood banking. She was instrumental in starting HemoSolutions animal blood bank in 2004, and in 2014, she purchased the business. Rebecca has always been a strong advocate for the advancement of veterinary transfusion medicine and blood banking by supporting research, development, and education and raising standards in all areas of transfusion medicine. She wrote the chapter on donor program management in the Manual of Veterinary Transfusion Medicine and Blood Banking and has lectured and helped provide hands-on learning workshops. 

Successfully providing blood transfusions for anemic patients requires knowledge of how to support the patient during the procedure, blood product selection, administration of the blood transfusion, how to prevent complications, and more.

Summer 2021, Neurology

Bilateral Otitis Media Causing Atlanto-Occipital Joint Infection and Neurologic Signs

Kathleen R. Hipple CVT

Kathleen graduated in 2007 from the Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a degree in Veterinary Specialized Technology. In 2015, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh with a focus on chemistry, biology, and psychology. She has worked for 7 years in general practice and 7 years in specialty practice, primarily neurology. 

This case report exhibits a cat pawing at his head and hiding in the home. Imaging and cytology revealed an infection in the AO joint.

Summer 2021, Diagnostics

The Veterinary Nurse’s Role in Reading Blood Gases

Heather Ann Sidari RVT, VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia)

Heather is a graduate of Central Carolina Community College with an AAS in veterinary medical technology. She obtained her VTS in anesthesia and analgesia while working as an anesthesia technician at North Carolina State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Currently, she is the ICU supervisor at North Carolina State University and is working to obtain her VTS in emergency and critical care. Heather enjoys lecturing and has lectured at state and national conferences around the United States. She is a member of NAVTA, her state organization, IVAPM, and VECCS and is Fear Free Certified, a Recover Rescuer, and a Healing Touch for Animals Level 2 Practitioner. 

Knowing when and how to draw blood gas samples, as well as how to interpret the results, is critical to good patient care.

Summer 2021, Clinical Pathology

How to Collect and Prepare Samples for the Laboratory

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.

By researching and staying current with test requirements, veterinary nurses are instrumental in communicating preliminary preparation with clients and discussing with the veterinary team ways to reduce erroneous test results.

Summer 2021, Personal/Professional Development

Nutrition Coach Certification: Helping Pets Live Long, Vibrant Lives

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.

Nutrition is becoming increasingly important to both veterinary professionals and owners. Becoming certified and establishing yourself as the point of contact to clients will ensure optimal results.

Summer 2021, Personal/Professional Development

Working With Service Dogs

Amie Chapman RVT

Amie began working in the field in 1998 as a veterinary assistant. She completed the Veterinary Technician Program at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California, and became an RVT in 2010. She has been at the same emergency clinic for the past 22 years and is currently the lead technician. She has been involved in service dog puppy raising since 2002 and has had a hand in raising over 20 puppies. When she isn’t working at the clinic or for her nonprofit, Growing Up Guide Pup, she is spending time with her husband Matthew and her current dog-in-training named Pixie. Other critters in the family include retired service dog Penny, career-changed guide dog Ricki, rescue dog Ozzy, and kitty cat Autumn.

Taking into consideration the many nuances of service dog ownership could ensure better veterinary care to these working animals and less stress on the owners.

Featured, Summer 2021, Personal/Professional Development

Back to Basics

Megan Brashear BS, RVT, VTS (ECC)

Megan graduated in 2000 with a BS degree in Veterinary Technology. She has enjoyed working in emergency and critical care since 2000 and is currently the Small Animal Veterinary Nursing Manager at the Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in West Lafayette, Indiana, where she oversees the technician supervisors as well as teaches and trains technicians and students on the hospital floor. She loves the opportunity to travel and lecture, sharing her knowledge with veterinary nurses and technicians around the world.

Don’t mistake technical skill for medical knowledge. If you build a solid base of both understanding and skill, you will soon enough be the one setting the example.

MENU