Sunday, October 16, 2011

Consider the Possibilities

It has been a long time, and a bit of a wild ride, since my last entry in this blog. Over the past several months, I have completed a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology, enrolled in graduate school, travelled to Haiti to consult on an agricultural project, and spoken at a national veterinary conference. Phew! I am back now, a bit tired, but ready to share more thoughts on veterinary technology in the twenty-first century.

Recently someone asked why I started this blog and that very simple question served to ground me, reminding me why I have been working so hard. Veterinary technology has the potential, as a profession, to help create the possibility of better circumstances for our world. Previous blogs have touched upon the history of our profession and the need to recognize that we are a young, vibrant and growing force within veterinary medicine. We have physicians, nurses, pharmacists, ophthalmologists, dentists, veterinarians, social workers and host of others, all working together to improve the health of people and animals worldwide. Veterinary technicians can also take their place in this global effort.

While in Haiti, I met couple of women who work with an organization based out of Chicago. This organization, The Children’s Place Association, (, works to support the unique needs of children infected with HIV, both within the United States and internationally. These two women worked daily amid the heartbreak of families devastated by this horrible disease. Our conversations took place surrounded by the most mind-blowing poverty you could imagine, and yet the joy and enthusiasm exuding from them both, for all the possibilities of life, was palpable. The brief time spent with them left me renewed, refreshed and inspired as to what more I could do within my own profession.

We all have areas that call to us, in all walks of life. Within veterinary medicine, it could be dentistry, anesthesiology, behavior, diagnostic imaging, shelter medicine, disaster relief or a number of other fields. An area you might not have previously considered is that of public health. In reality, all of veterinary medicine is a public health endeavor. Herd health concepts are at work in everything we do, from keeping a community of dogs protected from parvo through implementation of a vaccination program, to preventing an outbreak of food-borne illness through education on agricultural safety.

The connection between animals and humans goes well beyond a purely emotional bond: it affects nearly every facet of life. After two trips to Haiti, it has become abundantly clear that human dependency upon animal populations is something that most of us, here in the United States do not really comprehend. Within our professional and personal lives, it is human nature to look for opportunities; let’s make the time to look for needs. From the answers to those needs, new opportunities will arise.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”
~Edward Everett Hale


  1. Ms. Bonnie- Your post struck a cord within me when you mentioned maintaining herd health of many different kinds. Taking responsibility for this important issue is the first step, becoming an RVT so we can be a part of the responsibility is the second step. It is all about education, whether you are in Haiti or whether we are in your classroom in Marysville. We must first take responsibility for our education and then strive to take responsibility for the education of others. Thank you for educating others and inspiring us to do the same!

  2. Hi Ms. Bonnie,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences abroad. That type of work is something I am intensely interested in and every time I learn more about it I only become that much more excited. I can't wait to finish up school so that I can contribute to the betterment of society through veterinary technology. Thank you for all your inspiration and for sharing your knowledge with us.

  3. Hi Ms. Bonnie,
    Until I enrolled in this program I had no idea the variety that was available to RVT's. It is exciting to think of all the different areas that I could go into. I had originally intended to become a Radiologic Technician, but after one vet class I was hooked. I love the thought of being able to work with animals. After hearing your presentation on Haiti, I was truly inspired. I hope to be able to do something similar as an RVT. Thank you for being such an inspiration to us all.

  4. Dear Ms. Bonnie,

    I was fascinated by your speech about your experiences in Haiti and the incredible work you did there. It has inspired me and makes me truly want to do international work with what I learn from you and Dr. Haskell in the next two years. The work you do is fantastic and I feel like I could not get a better education anywhere else in the world. I truly believe that you and Dr. Haskell are the best teachers for this program and I will be sad when I graduate. In a few short months, everything has changed for me and I have only you and Dr. Haskell to thank. Thank you so much, Ms. Bonnie.

  5. Dear Ms. Bonnie,
    Reading your blog made me realize what a great career I am starting. The adventure of becoming a veterinary technician and all the avenues available to us are infinite. The greatest thing about this career is not only helping the animals, but the human owners as well and all of society. Educating clients about parasite control and vaccinations for their pets, we as veterinary technician are taking a part in public health. The understanding of zoonotic diseases and how they impact society is part of what is so fascinating.
    I really appreciate what you do for the field of veterinary technology and the enthusiasm you bring. That not only shows what an excellent educator you are, but how much you care about society in general. By sharing your knowledge with others all around the world helps keep humans and animals healthier little by little.

  6. Mrs. Bonnie,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences abroad! I now believe that RVTs have the ability to make a greater change for the better in the world, thanks to you and Dr. Haskel. I will honestly say that I didn’t realize all the good outside the small animal clinic RVTs could really be before entering into this program, but there are so many different and wonderful opportunities. For the past few months, my eyes have been opened to everything that an RVT can do, not just for the animals, but also for their owners and people in general. RVTs have a bigger job than I could have ever imagined and I am even more excited to be one now than before. Your international work is just astounding and amazing to me and I hope to be able to do that for people one day too. Thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us Mrs. Bonnie!

  7. Starting out in the Veterinary Technology Program I had no idea of the broad range of career options for Veterinary Technicians. I still continue to be astounded by the new careers we learn about every week in the "Career Choices for Veterinary Technicians" book. The more I read about what Veterinary Technicians do, and learn about the Veterinary Technician field, the more I realize that I have a place in this field. Miss Bonnie, like previous students have been saying, truly is our inspiration to keep progressing through this program. By the end of our program, I hope that we all succeed in becoming excellent Veterinary Technicians and provide the best care and services possible to the world.

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  9. Ms. Bonnie,
    I really enjoyed your post. Congratulations on your bachalor's degree and all of your other achievments. I believe the education you have provided to us as students and to those around the world has proven to be quite valuable to others as well. Your trips to Haiti have been great examples toward RVT's serving in the global effort to provide health for people and animals worldwide. I thought your last paragraph was quite inspiring as well as the quote. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.
    ~DeVeena Sama

  10. Hi Bonnie, I have enjoyed the program so much and I love hearing about your adventures and those of Dr. Haskell. Going to another country is a great way to make you appreciate what we have back home and it is a real eye opener that makes you realize how spoiled americans are. We take lots of things for granted. Poeple in other countries work so hard for what they have and their 9-5 job is not the same as ours. Yes we do have a working class that does all the small things too but nothing like that of other countries. It is inspiring to to know that we as people and as vet techs can help in ways that I did not think about before this program began. It sounds like you enjoy doing work in other countries so much that you should do it more. Thanks for sharing your adventures with all of us.

  11. Ms. Bonnie,
    I am continuously amazed at the range of specialties that RVT's can get into. Everyday, something new pops up. Thank you very much for sharing your experience in Haiti. As always, there was something to learn from it. Keeping your enthusiasm and enjoyment of what you do with you throughout your life can be difficult at times, but it is ultimately rewarding. Coming into the Yuba College Veterinary Technology program without really knowing where an RVT license could take, I have c=gained a new appreciation for all of the wonderful opportunities that are available to, not just RVT's, but everyone in every technical field. Use your imagination and you can find your "happy place" within the veterinary medicine field.

  12. Ms. Bonnie,
    It was so fascinating to hear about your work in Haiti. I never knew that opportunities like that existed for Veterinary Technicians. It's exciting to know that when I become a Veterinary Technician there are a lot more directions you can go in, other than just working in a small animal practice. I am so glad that I picked the Yuba College Veterinary Technology Program. I can't wait to see what the next two years bring. You and Dr. Haskell make this program great! Thank you for everything you do for the program and the world. You are inspiration to me!

  13. Ms. Bonnie, I just love what you do and the passion that you have for it. I am so appreciative of the enthusiasm that you show for your career and for our future careers. You really make me want to be a veterinary technician more than I ever have. Whenever I am getting discouraged, there you are to ensure me that this is what I want more than anything. I want to have the passion that you do. Many people around me do not understand the work that a technician does and they are constantly asking me why I do not want to be a veterinarian. I want to be a technician because the work that they do is incredible. I too hope to be involved in international work as well. You presentation on Haiti was wonderful. Such a devastation to be involved with, yet there was so much impact that you as a technician had on these people's lives. That is what I want to be involved with. Again your enthusiasm and passion for this career is truly inspiring and I wouldn't want anyone else as an instructor.

  14. Ms. Loghry,
    I think that your blog post is summed up nicely by the quote you used at the end by Edward Everett Hale. It is very easy to become overwhelmed by the crushing weight of the negative aspects of this world, and it is very easy to simply give up because you are only one person, or not as skilled as some one else. It is very easy to do nothing but very hard to take one step toward helping someone else. I also liked what you said about looking for needs, and ways that we can help.I love the example seen in your blog about your trip to Haiti. You demonstrated how a veterinary technician can use their skills to better our world. As a student it gives me hope that one day I may also be able to give back to our world and those in it. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts.

  15. Dear Ms. Bonnie,
    As my other classmates have said above, it is truly amazing the impact one person can make in the world as an RVT. Your work internationally is very inspiring and encouraging, it leaves me with the feeling that no matter what I choose to do with my career as a technician I too can make a difference and hope to make our world a better place. Be it educating those effected by natural disasters on how proper use of animals can help them rebuild, or simply trimming the nails of an elderly person's companion, our work truly makes Earth a happier place. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences!

  16. Hi Ms. Bonnie!
    I relly enjoy listening to your experiences in Haiti. It is really interesting to learn that we get to use our knowlege as Veterinary Technicians to help people all over the worldnot only better the lives of their animals but better their own lives,plus you also get to meet all different types of people. I think I would love to have a similar experience someday.

  17. Hello Ms. Bonnie,
    It’s inspiring to hear about the differences that people can make all over the world. Many people don’t consider that fact because sometimes their contributions would be so small, but it’s still a difference that wasn’t being made before. It’s great to hear that us budding vet tech’s are entering a profession that makes an impact on all sorts of people, and if we choose to we can impact people that really need it overseas. I think we also forget the importance of herd health. It’s like how you want fecals on all the animals at the YCACS so that we can take a look at parasitism on a large scale, versus in a single dog or cat.

  18. Ms. Bonnie,
    I love the I am only one concept! Has been a favorite of mine for a long time. It is easy to get overwhelmed and think that you cannot have an impact in anyone's life, but it seems you only really change things for the better one person (or animal) at a time. Huge groups do not often "get it," but individuals one at a time come to understand things and change. Thanks for being one of the ones that DOES care passionately for individuals and critters. It DOES make a difference!! :) Julie