Episode 012: The Stories of Our Registered Veterinary Technicians
We are extremely proud to have a staff full of people who want to further themselves personally and professionally. At the time of writing this, we have 6 Registered Veterinary Technicians (aka RVT's) in our hospital. We also have 7 of our other staff members currently in school. Here at Alicia Pet Care Center, we have always considered ourselves a highly educational facility; not only for pet owners but for anyone we hire, as well.
In this episode, we sit down with each of our current RVT's to get some background on how they navigated the path to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. Not only does this give our clients a deeper insight to the people who take care of their furry family members, but it also gives great information to anyone out there considering the veterinary field as a career that may be wondering how to accomplish that.
Each of these six RVT's has a unique story to share; which is fitting and should be encouraging to others who want to work in this field. There is not just one path that you have to take to obtain success. And the stories these ladies tell is not representative even of the only paths one can take, either. We are sure there are plenty of others out there who would also have their own unique tale to tell.
We should start by stating that our ultimate goal with any employee that comes to us without previous experience is to have them work their way up our version of the corporate ladder. That means starting as a kennel attendant: that gives us the opportunity to observe their work ethic and for them to learn about things like: pet behaviors, proper restraint for treatments and services, medications and how to properly administer some of them and what our hospital’s unique culture is and how to not only work within that culture, but to be a positive contributor to it, as well.
Successful kennel attendants have the opportunity given to them to move into our reception team. Whereas the work in kennel is 90% focused on animal-related issues, that gets flipped in reception to 90% working with those pets’ human owners. The work and tasks that got touched on previously, are now more fully saturating their knowledge-base in reception, as these staff members have to effectively communicate so many situations and topics to our clients. For those who want to make the subsequent move into our treatment area, their communication and knowledge skills are thoroughly analyzed before they are able to be looked at for that move.
Our hospital prides itself on “practicing what we preach” with this recipe for success. Currently, 4 people in our treatment staff worked previously in reception at APCC and 4 worked in kennel. Out of our 8 receptionists, 4 of them previously worked in kennel. We absolutely feel the benefits of this experience within our hospital. That extends not only to each individual’s level of knowledge with a myriad of things, but also with how well our staff works together… which is of the utmost importance to our success.
Amanda, the first person you hear from in this episode, started at our hospital as a 17 year old, still attending high school, as a part time kennel attendant. Amanda was actually one of the very few who got asked to become one of our treatment staff members without spending any time as a receptionist. She spent about 2 years working in treatment before she started going to school to further her abilities here.
Kaitlin came to us as an experienced technician from another local hospital. She knew during her senior year in high school that this was what she wanted to do. Following time at Saddleback College, she started working at a local veterinary hospital before she enrolled in a specialty school and took her state and national tests to become an RVT.
Hunter came to our hospital from working in clothing retail and made the jump to working as part of our kennel team. It didn’t take long for everyone to recognize her superior customer service skills and she moved into reception. Hunter was one of those people who got moved as a tremendous member of the reception team into the treatment team. She spent roughly 3 years as a technician before she completed her schooling and passed her tests to become an official RVT.
Cristie’s path was completely unique in comparison to the others here. She actually went to Saddleback and transferred to Cal Poly Pomona and obtained her bachelor’s degree in animal health science. While she was at Cal Poly Pomona, she completed 4 separate internships in animal hospitals. Independently, she took the state and national tests following that and became a Registered Veterinary Technician prior to becoming part of the APCC team.
Lauren also has a very unique path unlike her fellow RVT’s. We met Lauren as she inquired about completing her internship for a local veterinary university. She was welcomed into APCC to complete her required hours as an unpaid intern. During that time, the feeling of wanting to take our working relationship with Lauren to the next level was mutual. We hired her immediately following her graduation and shortly thereafter, she took and passed her tests to become an RVT.
Samantha rounds out our conversations on the podcast, fittingly. She is the longest running member of the hospital staff, outside of the Owner, Dr. Wheaton. Samantha was hired as a receptionist way back in the summer of 2005. She had already “paid her dues” as a kennel person, having worked at a grooming facility during her high school years. It wasn’t long before Samantha was forcing the conversation to look at moving her into the treatment team, based on her desire to be a technician as well as her overall fantastic work ethic and ability to work well with everyone: staff and clients alike. Nothing has changed since her move to treatment: Samantha remains an excellent example of what Alicia Pet Care Center has always stood for in its core values: providing the absolute best care for our patients while being extremely dedicated to assisting in the education of our clients on the how’s and why’s of our doctors’ plans for treatment.
You can find Alicia Pet Care Center on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Periscope with our username @APCCvet. We are on Facebook as Alicia Pet Care Center. You can send any questions and topics you'd like us to discuss on a future episode to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our hospital's website is www.mypetsdr.com and the podcast website is www.PetTalkPodcast.com.
Thanks for listening!