Dierenkliniek Winsum | The Netherlands
Esther Klok has 24 years of experience as a veterinary technician. She works in a mixed practice that handles both small animals and horses. Most of the time she can be found working in the back, but she also enjoys the front desk and has convinced her boss she really needs to be there one day a week. She has also just started her own company, Improve on the Move. She loves giving lectures, teaching, organizing conventions, and writing and providing photos for magazines. And, because she obviously needs to do something with any leftover time, Esther and her boyfriend travel throughout Europe to compete for the Dutch team in single horse carriage driving.Read Articles Written by Esther Klok
Esther Klok, Dierenkliniek Winsum, Winsum, The Netherlands
We all know that a normal day for any veterinary technician is always crazy. We run all over the place and fly around the clinic. We have so many “jobs.” We are a nurse, an operation assistant, a cleaning woman, a front-desk superstar, a radiographer, a grunt worker, and an anesthetist.
It’s almost impossible what we do in a single day, but there are days we really go “outside of the box “and do even crazier things.
For me, one of those days occurred this past January. I drove from my home at 7 in the morning with layers of clothes piled on and my old boots and woolen hat in the back of my car. I tried to eat a little bit, but I was so excited that I couldn’t. I drove out of the big city and went to the countryside of the province of Groningen, toward the sea dike.
When my nose smelled the sea air, I felt my heart rate going up. It was still a little dark, but I saw Scottish highlander cows covering the green grass fields. MY DESTINATION!
I had arrived at a nature park called Lauwersmeer. Once or twice a year, it becomes my work space.
On that day in January, we had to get about 400 wild Scottish highlanders in a cattle bead. They had already been lured with hay into a 6-acre paddock. Now they had to go from the paddock into the corral. The rest of the team was also joining me, and the most dangerous part was about to start, where we walk with red and white plastic bands and herd the cattle in front of us. I know I’m no superhero, and the following 15 minutes made me sweat like a…well, you know! However, this year the cows went one at a time right into the corral. Lucky me!
Now my stomach was finally okay, and I ate my bread and installed myself beside the cattle box. When the cows go in, we put a specially designed “pillow “under their heads so the cows cannot put their heads down. Then 2 bars close around their neck, and we can safely treat the animals against liver fluke, take a blood and hair sample, deworm, and check or replace the ear tacks. In addition to that, we make sure the accounting is perfect. (Otherwise we get in trouble with the government!)
Every time I do this, I’m always in my element. I also look like I rolled in the mud, my feet are frozen, and I’m hungry and thirsty. (I don’t eat and drink much because there is no toilet or trees, and the boys are everywhere. So with all the layers of clothes, it’s almost impossible to go for a quick, invisible pee!) BUT, I feel SUPER. I love being a part of this team, working with the animals and the guys, and just getting to be HAPPY.
And when I climb back in my car I always think, I am so proud to be a vet tech!
The NAVC asked veterinary professionals to share their stories: What drives you? What inspires you? What moves you? Throughout the year, Today’s Veterinary Nurse will be publishing veterinary technicians’ answers to these questions.
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