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Personal/Professional Development

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, 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.

Featured, 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.

Spring 2020, Personal/Professional Development

Recognizing the Best

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.

Apply for the Earl H. Rippie, Jr. Veterinary Nurse Leadership Scholarship, which recognizes veterinary nurses who have demonstrated leadership skills and have made a positive impact on the profession, and get the chance to win a full experience at VMX 2021!

NAVTA Corner
Spring 2020, Personal/Professional Development

The Veterinary Technician Association’s Role in Public Education

Christen Puckett-Smith BS, RVT

Christen Smith is a 2009 Murray State College graduate. She graduated from East Central University in 2005 where she received her bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations. She currently works at Murray State College Veterinary Technology Department in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. She is a full time faculty member and instructs the Veterinary Assisting certificate program. She also works at Ada Veterinary Clinic in Ada, Oklahoma one day a week to keep up her skill set and current best practices. Christen currently serves on the Oklahoma Veterinary Technician Association’s executive board as the Past President. She is a member of NAVTA, AVTE and SVBT. Recently she was voted as the NAVTA District 9 Representative. OVTA named her Veterinary Technician of the year in 2015. Christen enjoys studying animal behavior. She received her Silver Certification in Low Stress Handling University in 2018 and her Fear Free professional certification in 2019. MSC staff and students implement enrichment, positive reinforcement, socialization, and low stress handling while promoting the enhancement of the patient’s clinical experiences and relationships with staff. She has been married to her best friend for ten years, Ragan. They own 7 dogs, 3 cats, 1 hedgehog, 4 alpacas, and 3 nigerian dwarf goats. Their ranch is named BMK Acre, where they offer education events and alpaca love sessions. 

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.

Veterinary technician associations are on the front lines of advocating for the profession at the state level and providing public education so that the critical work performed by members of our profession is recognized. Behind the scenes, veterinary nurses contribute to the work of their state veterinary technician associations, working to elevate the profession and to ignite the passion in others to consider the profession as a career.

Spring 2020, Personal/Professional Development

Building Meaningful Connections

Abbie Hathaway CVT | Banfield Pet Hospital, Vancouver, Wash.

Abbie’s career in veterinary medicine began nearly 12 years ago, following her undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California. After gaining experience in retail management, Abbie started as a veterinary assistant, then earned her veterinary technician credentials and evolved her leadership skills as a practice manager. In her current role as Program Manager of Veterinary Technician Training, Abbie supports current and aspiring veterinary technicians across Banfield Pet Hospital’s more than 1000 hospitals nationwide to help create healthy workplace environments and enable lifelong careers.

While the goal of most other veterinary professionals is to help as many pets as possible, that isn’t possible without also making meaningful connections with clients.

Spring 2020, Personal/Professional Development

A New Solution: Relief Veterinary Technicians

Michelle D. Krasicki-Aune MBA, BS, CVT Vet Teams, LLC

Michelle D. Krasicki-Aune, MBA, BS, CVT, is the founder, owner, and lead relief Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for Vet Teams, LLC. She loves drawing on her more than 20 years of experience as a CVT to meet the challenges that relief work brings in her daily experiences and also loves all things related to boxer dogs! She also dedicates her time to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians as the organization’s treasurer, works behind the scenes to help further veterinary nurse education, and helps teach and train the veterinary community in Fear Free practices.

The concept of a Relief Credentialed Veterinary Technician (rCVT)/Nurse is new to many managers and practice owners, but could drastically improve the teamwork and efficiency of a clinic or hospital.

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