10 vet tech superstars to follow
Tasha McNerney, BS, CVT, VTS (anesthesia and analgesia), is host of the Firstline series, "Coffee on the Couch." Sick of being asked, "When are you going to be a veterinarian?" and "Why aren't you a real nurse?" Tasha set out to interview veterinary professionals to elevate the profession's perspective on veterinary technicians and identify career paths for technicians. Tasha is a member of the IVAPM. She works as a technician at Rau Animal Hospital in Glenside, Pennsylvania.
National Veterinary Technician Week is all about celebrating the great work technicians do every day. Meet 10 standout techs who are going way above and beyond the call of duty to advance the profession they love.
Thanks to Banfield for supporting our rockstar veterinary technicians!
We all know that National Veterinary Technician Week (happening right now, Oct. 13-19) celebrates the contributions of all veterinary technicians. Because every person brings something different to the table, however, it's important to celebrate each team member's unique contribution.
Every clinic has a few technician rock stars who excel at patient and client care. In honor of National Veterinary Technician Week, here are 10 technicians who are killing the career game and inspiring the next wave of vet tech heroes.
Kelsey Beth Carpenter
You've probably heard of Kelsey Beth Carpenter, RVT, or at least her catchy song “Your Dog Ate Weed.” Carpenter works in the intensive care unit and emergency room at a large 24-hour practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also runs several social media series, such as “Things Heard at an Animal Hospital,” “Bad Stock Photos of Vet Med,” and “The Fecal Files.” She is currently branching out into speaking and performing and spends the remainder of her time being a neurotic dog mom to her Chihuahua, Birdie. Follow Carpenter @VetTechKelsey.
Stephen Cital, RVT, SRA, VTS (Lab Animal), is the man when it comes to discussing new analgesic modalities such as cannabis in veterinary medicine. He is cofounder of the Veterinary Cannabis Academy, an organization that works to educate the industry on the science behind this fascinating new frontier of veterinary medicine. Cital is also an administrator of the Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds website, an accomplished author, an international speaker and a salsa dancer. Follow Cital @animalguy.
April Bays, CVT, VTS (ECC), has a passion for putting knowledge into action. For her, that means shifting the paradigm from “that's the way we've always done it” to validating and empowering the powerhouse of the clinic. She has lectured for her local veterinary technician program, mentors hopeful VTS applicants and is an ambassador for the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. She loves sharing her enthusiasm with technicians by writing journal articles, blogs and book chapters. Follow Bays @aprilbays.
Sarah Stowman, CVT, is passionate about working with other veterinary professionals to help spread awareness of the mental health issues that plague the field. Through in-hospital lectures, social media and wellness initiatives, Stowman is excited about the positive changes that are a direct result of her work in helping others. She knows that by educating her colleagues and spreading awareness through multiple platforms, the veterinary profession as a whole will be able to decrease burnout and cultivate a stronger culture. Follow Stowman @slstowman.
As the director of education for industry service provider PractiVet, Jenny Fisher, RVT, VTS (oncology), provides product and clinical support to hospital staff. One of the main areas of her clinical education focus is hazardous drug handling safety and USP 800 compliance. Throughout the past year, Fisher has also worked as a consultant with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to develop a resource guide for veterinary medicine on safe handling of chemotherapy drugs that includes an app that can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. Follow Fisher @jecrvt.
But, wait! There's more! See the next five technicians to watch out for on the next page...
Courtney Scales, RVN, is a registered veterinary nurse working in a U.K. university referral hospital, teaching and supporting both veterinary and veterinary nursing students through their anesthesia rotations. Outside of the teaching hospital, she shares her passion for anesthesia through social media; “Veterinary Anursethesia” offers easy-to-read knowledge bites with tips that can be implemented in general practice. Follow Scales @veterinaryanursethesia.
Tabitha Kucera, CVT, is the vet tech you contact when you have a cat that is driving you bananas. As a certified cat behavior consultant and an experienced speaker and writer, Kucera offers pet owners and industry leaders practical advice on common feline behavior concerns. She is committed to seeing cats thrive in their home environment with proper enrichment and owner education. Follow Kucera @chirrupsandchatter.
Elle Payne, RVN, who also works in a U.K. veterinary practice, created “The Positive Vet Nurse” blog and Instagram feed in March 2018 when she was suffering from mental illness after losing a friend to suicide. Since then she has interacted with veterinary professionals around the world, spreading mental health awareness and positivity. “I feel my Instagram page has really helped people, and I pride myself on inspiring others to reach out for help when they need it the most and to stay positive,” Payne says. Follow her @thepositivevetnurse.
Mark Romanoski, CVT, RVT, spent the first several years of his career in specialty surgery/anesthesia. Four years ago he discovered his passion for wildlife and conservation medicine and never looked back. He currently works at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden in Oklahoma. Considered the technician when it comes to zoo mammal anesthesia, Romanoski will be presenting a case study on a gorilla procedure at the 2019 Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians Annual Conference later this month. Follow Romanoski @zoomedrvt.
Tasha McNerney, CVT, CVPP, VTS (anesthesia and analgesia), is the creator of Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds, which strives to increase awareness and education of best practices and elevate the standard of care for veterinary anesthesia. She is also a certified veterinary pain practitioner and works with the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management to promote animal pain awareness. McNerney is an international lecturer on all things anesthesia and pain management. We also hear she likes pugs! Follow me @vetanesthesianerds.