Monday, October 31, 2011

Previous Life - Veterinary Technician

 Dear Pet Owners,

Most of the vet techs in your local hospitals are not college educated and we are likely more experienced than most registered techs. Does this surprise you?

I started working in animal hospitals when I was 14 years old - as a kennel assistant. I'm 36 now and have only worked with 2 registered technicians in 6 hospitals in my career. AT 16 I was learning how to administer anesthesia, placing IV catheters, using a vacutainer to draw blood, reading stool samples, running Idexx machines, looking at urinalysis results and other things I was not supposed to be doing until I was 18 by law.

Still by laws in some states, including Maryland, unregistered technicians (or assistants) are not supposed to administer anesthesia or medications - yet we do day after day.

I've spent a decade of my life on overnight shifts with no one else in the building except me. I've lost 6 animals in those years. Most of them were not a surprise though there were a couple that were.

The thing I will miss the most aside from the animal interaction is the discounted veterinary care. With 6 cats vaccines alone are a small fortune. Hopefully I'll be able to barter work for care if I should need it and for annual vaccines. With my resume I don't think it will be an issue.

The awesome thing about being an ex-veterinary worker is I still have friends in the field who can get me the stuff I need. A friend of mine is donating some small saline bags that will expire in the next 6 months for my first aid kit as well as getting me a few of the large sturdy cooler boxes that refrigerated vaccines and medications come in.

Now that I know I only have 30 days to find a vehicle before I am truly homeless I need to start selling my large appliances - the washer, dryer and fridge are going. I don't want to purchase a cooler in case I end up in a RV that has a fridge. Why spend money if I don't need to? The weather has gotten cool enough at this point that I can leave anything I need refrigerated outside in a cooler. A couple of bungee cords embedded in the thick styrofoam will keep any small critters from easily getting in. It;s a temp fix for a couple weeks until I know for sure what I need to get.

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