Monday, September 6, 2010

A Ripple in The Pond

“The goal is Veterinary Technology as a strong, united and proud profession which serves humanity through the care of animal populations worldwide” (Loghry, 2010). When you embarked on this career path were you thinking about serving humanity? Probably not. Most of us, myself included, just wanted to be close to the animals so off to school we went to learn what we thought we needed to get us to where we thought we wanted to go. Notice how I phrased that last sentence…yes, I did choose my words deliberately.

Veterinary medicine is constantly evolving. Veterinary technicians have come a long way in a very short time. We didn’t used to exist and now we are a force to be reckoned with. We have the capacity to use our knowledge, skills and abilities to change lives in ways both simple and profound. Hopefully, by now, you have started to realize that Veterinary Technology is a living entity. This profession to which some of us have devoted a lifetime and to which others of us only aspire, is made up of living, breathing human beings.

All those that went before us saw possibilities and then worked within productive teams to turn those possibilities into realities. It is these opportunities that so many take for granted today. Don't fall into that trap--take nothing for granted!What kind of possibilities can you envision? What kind of contribution will you make?

I just finished reading an article summarizing the results of research linking flea bites with chronic infections and possible birth defects in humans. Yes, I said humans. “But Bonnie”, you say incredulously…“our profession is about animal health. Why are you interested in what makes people sick?” Glad you asked!

Bartonella henselae is a bacteria transmitted to cats by fleas. Recently Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, professor of internal medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has discovered cases of children and adults with chronic, blood-borne Bartonella infections–from strains of this same bacteria transmitted to cats and dogs by fleas and other insects (Breitschwerdt, 2010). Flea prevention just entered a whole different realm of importance didn't it?

People interact with animals on a daily basis in so many different ways. Dr. Breitschwerdt’s work is just one example of a connection you may not have thought of; there are hundreds more. This is some pretty heady stuff, don’t you think?

So here is one possibility I see: using my knowledge, skills and ability as a Veterinary Technician to promote and protect the health of my animal patients AND the health of my fellow human beings as well. And what do I need to do to accomplish this? Simply keep learning and go to work every day, never forgetting that even in the smallest veterinary hospital in the tiniest town there are people that need veterinary technicians.

Yes, indeed, veterinary technology IS a profession dedicated to serving humanity through the care of animal populations. I recommend you access the Veterinary Technicians Code of Ethics and read it carefully as we begin to discuss more about future trends in Veterinary Technology and the power we all have within us to be a force for positive change.

Breitschwerdt, E. (2010) Research Links Flea Bites with Possible Bacterially Induced Birth Defects. Retrieved from 9/5/2010
Loghry, B. (2010) Teamwork. Retrieved from 9/5/2010
Veterinary Technicians Code of Ethics, 2007. National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America. Retrieved from 9/5/2010