Career Challenges

Perception is Often Reality

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.

Kenichiro Yagi BS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM) | Adobe Animal Hospital | Los Altos, California

Ken practices at Adobe Animal Hospital as an ICU and Blood Bank Manager. He is an active educator, lecturing internationally, providing practical instruction, and authoring texts, chapters, and articles on transfusion medicine, respiratory care, and critical care nursing. He serves on the boards of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society and the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians, on the Veterinary Innovation Council, and as the NAVTA State Representative Chairperson. He is a graduate student in veterinary medicine and surgery through the University of Missouri. Ken invites all veterinary technicians to ask “Why?” to understand the “What” and “How” of our field and to constantly pursue new goals as veterinary professionals.

Dennis M. McCurnin DVM, MS, DACVS

Spanning five decades, Dennis’ distinguished veterinary career has covered small practice, teaching, and publishing. He has won numerous awards, published many papers and articles, and contributed to 11 textbooks, including McCurnin’s Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, now in its ninth edition. Currently, he serves as director and president-elect of the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) and consults and lectures in the areas of Veterinary Technology and Practice Management.

Over the past 50 years, veterinary medicine has become highly sophisticated. Many veterinarians find practice goals of simultaneously providing a high level of medical care and attaining acceptable profit margins can no longer be met without the care provided by credentialed veterinary technicians. The veterinary technician has become a skilled practitioner of patient assessment and …

Animal abuse

Animal Cruelty: Your Role in Identifying Abuse

Lisa M. Smith LVT, VTS (ECC) | Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware

Lisa has over 20 years of experience in the field of Veterinary Medicine. She studied Animal Science at the University of Delaware, and became an LVT in 2008. She obtained her Veterinary Technician Specialist Certification in Emergency and Critical Care in 2014, and graduated with a Master’s of Science degree in Veterinary Forensic Sciences from the University of Florida in 2016. Lisa manages more than 60 technicians in a specialty and emergency hospital in Delaware, also working on the floor in the Emergency Service and ICU. She also provides CE lectures to local technicians on various topics, including RECOVER based CPR training. Lisa also serves on the Board of the Delaware Veterinary Medical Association as the technician representative. Author portrait courtesy of Marlene Waeltz Photographie.

Animal cruelty carries legal consequences that veterinary professionals need to understand in identifying abuse. Learn how to document and report cruelty.

Compliance: A Team Effort

Compliance: A Team Effort

Debbie Boone BS, CCS, CVPM | 2ManageVets Consulting

Debbie has 23 years of hands-on veterinary practice management experience. She is a speaker, writer, consultant, and avid champion for animals and their healthcare providers. Her focus is developing the communication and client service skills of veterinary teams. She is Fear Freesm Certified and a member of the Fear Free advisory board and speaker’s bureau. She is also a member of AAHA, the VHMA, and VetPartners, where she chairs the Practice Management Special Interest Group.

Debbie presents at major conferences and is the instructor for Patterson Vet Supply’s Communication and Customer Service Class. She spends her off time at the beach with her husband of 38 years and her 14-year-old shelter pup Rocky.

Does your practice struggle with low compliance rates? Debbie Boone shares some tips from her 23 years of veterinary practice management experience on how to boost client compliance.

Stuck. Many of us can relate to feeling stuck when we continuously repeat old processes, live in unhappy relationships, or work in unhealthy environments. We may know that we are unhappy but often stay the course because we don’t know how to make successful change happen. We become comfortable with the familiar misery.

Getting Your Life Unstuck

Deborah A. Stone MBA, PhD, CVPM | StoneVPN | Austin, Texas

Deborah has been involved with the veterinary profession for nearly 30 years and has experience in specialty, emergency, and general practice management.

She earned an MBA with a concentration in business management and completed her PhD in Organizational Leadership. Deborah is a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager, accredited from the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association. She devotes much of her time to community service activities and holds memberships with several veterinary-related associations and organizations.

Deborah is a national speaker, founder of Austin City Unlimited Veterinary Management Symposium, and published author of practice management/professional development articles. She enjoys spending time with her family as well as performing with her bands, the LaxaTones and the No-Lo Prophets.

Have you ever felt that you were in a rut? Trapped? Frozen? Maybe you feel that way now about some part of your life. Read this article for an introduction to the 4 steps to getting “unstuck.”

Tips and Tricks to Rev Up Your Client Service Game

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.

Management

So You’ve Been Promoted to Management… Now What?

Sandy Walsh RVT, CVPM | PetOps, LLC

Sandy is a veterinary practice management consultant, instructor, speaker, and advisor. With over 30 years of experience in the veterinary field, she brings her “in the trenches” experience directly to you. She is dedicated to improving hospital operations through coaching and sharing appropriate practice management techniques with the whole team.

Sandy still works in a small animal practice and is an active member of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, NAVTA, VetPartners, Sacramento Valley Veterinary Practice Managers Association, Sacramento Valley Veterinary Technician Association, and the California Veterinary Medical Association. She is an instructor for Patterson Veterinary Management University and a former hospital inspector for the California Veterinary Medical Board.

If you have not been trained as a manager, it can be difficult to make the transition into a management role. This article provides tips and resources for newly promoted managers.

Career Challenges

Creating Altitude in Your Career

Jennifer Yurkon CVT | Altitude Veterinary Consulting | Wellington, Colorado

Jennifer grew up on a dairy farm in Western New York, where she quickly learned that she loved to take care of animals. In SUNY Delhi’s Veterinary Science Technology program, she discovered that she not only enjoyed being part of a nursing team, but also had a knack for leading one. Since that time, she has taken on many leadership roles in veterinary medicine.

Jennifer and her husband are owned by an Australian shepherd, Roo; a Boston terrier, Zoom; two cats, Stinger and Chewy; and a “very boisterous” guinea pig, Miss Piggy. They are both active in the Larimer County 4H program, especially with meat quality assurance and dairy cattle projects, and attend numerous continuing education meetings for veterinary medicine.

The veterinary technician profession is not only emotionally and mentally challenging, it also takes a physical toll. Many of us concentrate so hard on being a great veterinary technician that we don’t think about the physical demands until it is too late. Fortunately, there are opportunities for advancement within our profession that allow us to escape some of the physical stress, yet still work closely with clients, pets, and our team.

Keeping It Fresh: How to Rejuvenate Your Career

Jennifer Yurkon CVT | Altitude Veterinary Consulting | Wellington, Colorado

Jennifer grew up on a dairy farm in Western New York, where she quickly learned that she loved to take care of animals. In SUNY Delhi’s Veterinary Science Technology program, she discovered that she not only enjoyed being part of a nursing team, but also had a knack for leading one. Since that time, she has taken on many leadership roles in veterinary medicine.

Jennifer and her husband are owned by an Australian shepherd, Roo; a Boston terrier, Zoom; two cats, Stinger and Chewy; and a “very boisterous” guinea pig, Miss Piggy. They are both active in the Larimer County 4H program, especially with meat quality assurance and dairy cattle projects, and attend numerous continuing education meetings for veterinary medicine.

Would you like to be more appreciated for, challenged by, and rewarded for the way you take care of your patients, educate clients, assist your teammates, and build your current practice?

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