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What Moves You?

Fall 2021, Personal/Professional Development

Fostering: An Open Home and an Open Heart

Robyn Townsend CVT

Robyn began her career as a kennel assistant at a local veterinary hospital in 1992.She became a certified veterinary technician in 2004. Her career has led her from working in a general practice to managing an ER/ICU in a large specialty hospital. She is currently managing a general practice in Everett, Massachusetts. She currently lives with her 3 dogs, Emme, Merry, and foster failure Bindi; 2 cats, Finn and Griffin; and lovebird, Luigi. Robyn continues to foster whatever animals come her way. Her latest foster was a house sparrow named Lucky.

Fostering is the next best thing to adopting, and it is often an essential step in getting a pet into their forever home.

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, Spring 2021, Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

Finding Purpose in Critical Care

Andrea Steele MSc, RVT, VTS (ECC)

Andrea graduated with a BS in Specialized Honours Zoology from the University of Guelph, completed the Veterinary Technician Diploma at the Ridgetown College Campus, and received her master’s degree from the University of Guelph in Veterinary Clinical Studies. Andrea was an ICU technician at the Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Centre for 20 years before moving into a supervisory role of the ICU and Anesthesia departments. She achieved the VTS (ECC) certification in 2003. Andrea is also an experienced lecturer, speaker, author of multiple textbooks, and the executive secretary of the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians and Nurses.

A young patient with an oral and tracheal thermal injury after chewing an electrical wire is an example of some of the cases critical care veterinary nurses manage.

Winter 2021, Personal/Professional Development

Never Say Never: The Journey of Becoming a Teacher

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 who pursue career development could find new opportunities, such as teaching overseas.

Fall 2020, Personal/Professional Development

Passion Project: Going the Extra Mile for Pets in Need

Angel Martin RVT, BAS

Angel graduated from Macomb Community College’s Veterinary Technology Program in 2007. After 1 year of working in Michigan, she decided to move back home to Georgia where she now works as an RVT. She then enrolled at St. Petersburg College and earned her bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology and practice management. She joined Georgia Veterinary Associates in 2010. With a great understanding of all the positions and needs of the hospitals, she is now the Operations Manager for all 4 GVA locations. Angel helped start the CARE Fund in 2014 and was recognized with the 2019 American Humane Hero Veterinary Nurse Award, a national award that honors those behind the scenes in animal medicine.

If helping animals in need—beyond those with loving owners and disposable funds—is a true passion of yours, consider what you can do to reach those patients and give them their happy, healthy lives back.

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, Spring 2020, Pain Management

No Pain, All Gain: Becoming a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner

Tasha McNerney BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS (Anesthesia)

Tasha became a VTS in anesthesia in 2015 and is a certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner who works closely with the IVAPM to educate the public about animal pain awareness. She loves to lecture on various anesthesia and pain management topics around the globe. In her spare time, Tasha enjoys reading and spending time with her son.

Becoming a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner is a great way for veterinary nurses to be more involved patients’ pain management process and client education and compliance.

Featured, Winter 2020, Personal/Professional Development

The Art of Teaching in Higher Education

Alysha McDaniel CVT

Alysha obtained her veterinary technician degree from San Juan College in 2014. She started working in emergency medicine at the University of Illinois in 2015 and quickly found her love for teaching. Now she works at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in the Clinical Skills Learning Center as a clinical instructor to veterinary students. Alysha enjoys speaking at conferences in central Illinois and lecturing to student organizations. She is currently completing her bachelor’s degree with plans to pursue a master’s degree in education.

Veterinary medicine has evolved so vastly in recent years that veterinary nurses have many potential career paths available. One path many people in our field don’t realize veterinary nurses can take is teaching and writing curriculum, specifically in a college or university setting. This path greatly utilizes the skills and knowledge that veterinary nurses spend years perfecting and is also very rewarding.

Fall 2019, Personal/Professional Development

A Complicated Career Choice

Kathleen Morrison LVT

Kathleen is a Massachusetts native who has recently transplanted to Long Island, New York. She is an alumna and former faculty member of the Mount Ida College Veterinary Technician Program in Newton, Massachusetts (now the University of Massachusetts Veterinary Technology Program), where she was a diagnostic imaging instructor. Reproductive medicine is a passion of Kathleen’s, but imaging has always been her “home” in veterinary medicine. Currently, she works at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island in the neurology department. Kathleen enjoys spending time with her partner, Meghann, and their
5 show dogs, traveling around the Northeast to various dog shows.

The worlds of veterinary medicine and dog shows may seem vastly different, but the heart of each is the same—a love of animals.

Featured, Summer 2019, Personal/Professional Development

ASPCA and the Arms of Angels

Pam Dickens CVT

Pam Dickens, CVT, graduated from Saint Petersburg College in 1982. She worked in private specialty practice (ophthalmology) from 1980 to 2001 and worked in small animal private practice from 2001 to present. In 1999, she became a Nutrition Consultant with Nestle Purina Petcare. Dickens is a Florida State Animal Response Coalition (FLSARC) member, a Florida Association of Credentialed Veterinary Technicians (FACVT) member, a NAVTA member, and an ASPCA FIR Team Responder. She also volunteers with the Animal Balance, HSI, HSUS and Operation Catnip HQHVSN campaigns. Pam enjoys participating in pet therapy volunteering, and her hobbies include ultra running and photography.

As veterinary nurses, we dedicate our lives to helping animals because we are animal welfare warriors. Together, all of us can create an environment to help these animals gain a better life—one they all deserve. Please consider volunteering at the ASPCA.

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