Monday, June 14, 2010

Creating a Plan

As a vet tech educator I see so many students arriving on my doorstep wanting nothing else other than to "work with animals". They have stars in their eyes and want desperately to be pointed to the nearest veterinary hospital NOW! If you have worked in the profession for any length of time you know how much more to it there is.

To cultivate a long and meaningful career in any facet of veterinary technology you have to dig in, hang on and push yourself beyond your preconceived ideas--not to mention your comfort zone! I have listened to so many who had the dream of this career but not the drive or the stamina. I believe that veterinary technology is big enough for whatever you dream but no one is going to plan your career for you. And the first step is to educate yourself on the career itself.

You see, as a veterinary technician YOU are the one who will determine what your path is. YOU are the one who needs to be aware enough to recognize what makes you happy (or unhappy) in your work. YOU are the one who needs to continue to honestly assess your own skill level and knowledge base. YOU are the one who needs to continue to learn about the different aspects of the profession and the laws that govern it. In teaching my students the skills necessary to safely administer anesthesia I always tell them they need to formulate their plan before they ever even touch the animal . What is your plan for your career?

First things first order to know where we are going we ought to have a pretty decent understanding of where we have been. Next time I will be writing about the history of veterinary technology. Stay tuned!


  1. Thanks for doing this Bonnie. There is a lot of negative "burned out vet tech" chat out here on the internet. It's good to have a positive realistic "voice" to listen to:)

  2. Bonnie: This is so true (e.g., ‘To cultivate a long and meaningful career in any facet of veterinary technology you have to dig in, hang on and push yourself beyond your preconceived ideas’). As Ms. Mundy has eloquently stated there is a lot of negative talk out there in the industry. In the years that I have known you Bonnie, not once have I heard a negative comment about veterinary technology. In fact, you are always a strong and resilient advocate for the industry. The same ‘negative talk’ appears to be true in the human nursing field as well. Friends that I have in that industry are always 'bad talking' their industry. I guess this must go with the turf. The history of the veterinary technology profession is so interesting and so recent. I’m just waiting for the next Bonnie's Blog........ SRRH

  3. Bonnie,
    What a wonderful thing you are doing Bonnie. Not sure where you are finding the time, but you always seem to find time for something you are so passionate about.

  4. Bonnie,
    Writing all of these different posts is wonderful. I am currently in a vet tech class that teaches about the human and animal bond. Reading about how it is up to ME to decide where I want to go and its about time that I start running my own life and reaching my own goals.
    Thank you so much,
    Ashley Reailly :)

  5. Hey Bonnie,

    You are so right, there are so many different paths to go down. Right now I, have no idea what path I want to go down. I want to work on all types of animals, and specialize in everything! It all is up to me.

    Reading your post made me so expired.

    Sincerely, Devlynn Hooker

  6. Ms. Loghry,

    From the moment we had our orientation the "vibe" was so different from the rest of the campus. I was so impressed with the energy and enthusiasm both you and Dr. Haskell had for the program, animal welfare, and the profession. Time to roll up our sleeves and get down to business because this is not going to be easy, but nothing worth having ever is. Thank you for doing what you do!


  7. I have to say Ms. Loghry, you are one of the most energetic people I have probably ever met! I love that you're so compassionate about everything, as far as we know so far, in animal medicine. It is so true what you said about loving the work that you do that makes a HUGE difference and that is exactly why I am here doing the vet tech program. I want to be pushed beyond my limits and absorb everything I possibly can in the time that I am here. I know you are an open book and I will definitely be taking advantage of that!
    Thanks for your insight,

  8. I completely agree with you that so many people get involved in a career path because of the general idea of it. I would love to be a Vet Tech if it simply meant working and being around animals all day. But, there are so many hard decisions to make and difficult situations that you will be put in as a Vet Tech that I could not handle and would not want to be a part of. Many people over look these situations when choosing a career path. This is probably why we are constantly changing our minds about what we want to do. I like that you are still so passionate and positive about your career after having practiced and taught and your field.
    Thank you so much for your insight.
    Alyssa McGriff

  9. Bonnie,

    Just as Julia Trevino mentioned, there is a remarkable energy from you and Dr. Haskell. Seeing that you are both so passionate and excited to educate us on the possibilities of this field gets the whole class pumped up and ready to go. I liked how you pointed out getting out of your comfort zone. If you stay in one spot the whole time you will never reach your goals or see your true potential. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm with us!


  10. Bonnie,
    I appreciate all the insight about what it takes to be a veterinarian technician. I'm excited to "dig in," "hang on," and push myself. I know I love animals and want to learn all I can to help them. I know its not always going to be easy, but it surely will be worth it and I am up to the challenge. Thank you for your inspiring blog.
    Heather W.

  11. Dear Ms. Loghry,
    In the beginning of your summer online course, I had briefly scanned over your blog but I just had the opportunity to spend more time reading your discussions. I especially felt inspired by the post you wrote on June 14th, 2010, titled "Creating a Plan". I agree wholeheartedly when you wrote that you have seen students with the dream to "work with animals" and I laughed out loud when you wrote about the students and how they "want desperately to be pointed to the nearest veterinary hospital NOW!"
    I appreciate all of your help, insights on this career field, experience, and much more that you offer students. I too, suffer from this dream to want to work with animals and wish that I could rush over to the nearest veterinary hospital and start work tomorrow, but I realize that I wouldn't be worth a cat's meow if I didn't put my nose to the grindstone and learn everything in school first! Thanks for the advice!
    Chelsea Bauman

  12. Your right. There is so much more to veterinary technology than just working in the veterinary clinic. There are so many different areas in the veterinary technology career and it is up to us to be open about different areas. Being in the veterinary technology program at Yuba College has opened my mind to area of veterinary technology that I did not realize existed before. It really does feel good to know that I have lots of options of what I can do as a registered veterinary technician.

  13. Hi Bonnie,
    Your second paragraph in this blog really hit home for me, especially the part about having "listened to so many who had the dream of this career but not the drive or the stamina". You are right, veterinary technology is a field that is big enough to accommodate an array of finely-tuned specialty titles and job descriptions, such as: veterinary receptionist/assistant, anesthesiologist, and laboratory animal research personnel to name just a few. I thank you for sharing your insight with us! I am going to follow your advice and formulate a customized plan for my career in this field. Sincerely, Andrea K.

  14. Bonnie,
    This specific blog means more to me now then if I would have read it a couple years ago. I love that you are writing blogs because it feels like your not only my teacher but also my mentor. I believe that what you share is important to people like me who want so bad to be a part of what you are creating in the world of veterinary technology. Thank you Bonnie and Dr. Haskell too.

  15. I completely agree with you. Many people just jump into a career because that is something they like doing. But how can someone know what they like until they have experienced it first hand. You are a very inspirational person. I am taking one of your online classes, and they way that you have it set up is wonderful. You seem to really know your stuff! Thank you for posting such interesting stuff!


    Amanda Conley.

  16. I don't think people really understand how diverse of a field veterinary technology really is. I know we have been learning about some of them in our classes, but the field really is huge. You can pick what you want to do and where you want to go with this career. I know I do not want to work in a vet clinic. I want to do something bigger than that, not to discourage others who want to work in a clinic, but I want to work with something more. I am very enthusiastic about all this career field has to offer and will specialize in what I can.

  17. It helps so much Bonnie that you seem to really LIKE what you are doing. I know some days it can makes you want to pull your hair out, but you are doing a great job motivating us! This is a very exciting profession that can be very enjoyable. However, it can also cause a lot of burnout, so it is great to explore all the options as an RVT and have plan A, plan B, and even plan C. It is great to realize that every day brings more experience that will help us be successful in the future. Changing professions has been really hard for me as well as being an “adult learner.” I realize my goals are taking me longer than I expected to achieve as well. Since I do “have a plan,” I am trying not to get side tracked, but just stay focused and positive. Being in your classes has helped me do this, and I am looking forward to becoming an RVT in the future. I really am leaning toward not being in a clinic and am excited about all the other opportunites out there for RVTs.

  18. From a very young age I was one of those “people” who wanted to grow up to work with animals. I must be honest, I really just wanted to play with them. I didn’t have a clue as to what is involved to work with animals, but I remained steadfast in my desire as I grew up. I always thought I related better to animals than I did people. Then I became a teenager, grew out of my awkward, shy stage and became very social. I didn’t loose the desire to work with animals.

    As a pet owner, I would always insist on going to the vet with my parents. Over the years, our veterinarian said I had a knack with animals, and he would always encourage me to look into veterinary technology. When I began to drive he offered me a job in his office. He said this would be a good introduction to see if I really liked animals and the work involved. The work I did and the procedures I assisted with made me more interested and eager to learn. Some parts of the job were crappy-all of the endless cleaning, day after day. I now know my boss was testing me to see if I had the stamina to put up with the not so exciting stuff in this profession. We must have had the cleanest office in three counties!

    Since that first job, I moved off to another state to go to school and got another veterinary job. This practice did small animal as well as large animal medicine. Making calls to barns is very different from being in a sheltered, dry, clean office. I will also have to add warm, because this job was in Idaho. I stayed on my career path, worked and went to school. I began to contemplate what part of the veterinary field I like the most and what I liked the least. What I liked the least was not too bad.

    I came back home to California (much to my parent’s delight) and went to work in a small practice close to home. I began the Veterinary Tech Program this past August and have already been exposed to several different career areas that have sparked an interest in me. I loved the topic of Shelter Medicine.

    I don’t know yet what I want to focus on career-wise, I am just excited to be exposed to the next topic. I know that I won’t like everything, but I am willing to try it all. I will have to push myself out of my comfort zone to accomplish things. But isn’t that what learning is all about, doing things you’ve never done?

  19. Hi Bonnie,

    I agree with your post wholeheartedly! When I first decided that I wanted to go into veterinary sciences, I too thought that it was just about following a veterinarian or veterinary technician around in a small animal clinic to "learn the ropes" and watch procedures. Little did I know that there is such a variety of environments or opportunities for a vet tech to work in! At first, I wanted to just work with small animals but now have expanded my vision to include wildlife or zoo animals.

    I started volunteering in the animal hospital at the zoo and have found it to be such an eye-opening experience. I don't get to do much other than laundry and sweeping, but all that manual labor is worth it to be able to observe the things that they do there. I do believe that it is worth it to do all of that manual labor in order to see what being involved in veterinary medicine is all about.

    After volunteering in a variety of settings, I now can see what types of veterinary fields I would want to go into in the future and am starting to plan my activities/studies around that!

  20. Bonnie, I completely agree and see what you mean. It took me a few years to get up the drive to do this program even though I always had the dream of being a Vet Tech. I can't wait to work with you and learn all there is and start a career in a few years. Thanks for all the positive advice.
    Tiffany Rollins

  21. It is funny how people always want to get strait to the "real" thing. That is a very childish thought. Of course everything you do, especially veterinary, requires time and experience till you start doing real things.
    veterinarians philadelphia