Nikki’s Club Vet Story

I started an internship for school here at Oakview Vet in the spring of 2014. After many school hours spent absorbing information from everyone here, I approached management to let them know if they were hiring I would be interested. It just so happened that a kennel team member was leaving to further their education and a spot was available, so I applied right away. I was hired the day before my birthday, talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

Nikki intern - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI
Nikki performing a dental cleaning during her internship

Through kennels I got to know a lot of the clients here and the pets they love. One of my favorite things was being able to send updates to the owners while pets were with us. I always sent messages from the dog; a response I will never forget was an owner who was surprised that his pet could “text” but struggled with rolling over at home. We really do look forward to responses that owners send us.

I quickly learned the routine in the treatment area, where the technicians and assistants work and was able to spend some of my time restraining animals for vaccines and appointments. I graduated with my Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology in May of 2016 and became certified as a Technician in December of 2016.

Nikki Finn - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI
Nikki and her dog Finn

I now spend my days leading the kennel team, working as a technician, managing our computer software and working on whatever projects come my way. I am looking into earning a secondary degree in Imaging, but that will be on the horizon for the future. I am thankful I get to come to work each day enjoying what I do, the people and pet’s I meet, and the team I work with.

written by Nikki Getzloff, CVT and Club Vet Lead

Nikki CVT - Oakview Vet Stevens Point Plover WI

 

Nikki started working at Oakview in July of 2014 and we are so very glad she did. She brings a smile to work everyday.
Nikki shares her life with her son, canine friend Finn and her horse Bristol.
Her interests include horseback riding and trap shooting.

Club Vet: Caring For Your Pets While You are Away

You may think working at a veterinary clinic, especially in the boarding kennel, means we play with puppies and kittens all day. However, we often have older, sick pets that need lots of medications, assistance walking, and frequent potty breaks. We comfort worried parents that are hesitant to leave their loved ones. Pets can be nervous or scared, and we have to do everything in our power to make them feel comfortable during their Club Vet vacation. A lot goes into being a great member of our team!

Kennels - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point wi

Kennels - Oakview vet Plover Stevens Point WI

 

Club Vet is the only veterinary supervised boarding facility in our area. This means the services provided are under the supervision of the veterinarians and certified veterinary technicians here at Oakview. The kennel team goes through a significant amount of training to monitor for any medical concerns, as well as monitoring eating, drinking, potty habits and weight.

While our main focus as a kennel attendant is the care of your pets while you are away, we also do a lot of unnoticed jobs around the clinic. We take pride as a team to make sure the clinic is clean and presentable each day, from scrubbing toilets and floors to disinfecting benches and washing windows. We do A LOT of laundry and often times get asked to help with various other tasks in the clinic.

Kennels - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI
Endless Laundry!

Many of our Club Vet attendants start out in kennels to work their way into the veterinary fields as assistants, technicians or doctors. Follow us over the next few weeks to be introduced to our kennel team and learn why they love what they do!

Check out Club Vet on our website!

written by Nikki Getzloff

Nikki CVT - Oakview Vet Stevens Point Plover WINikki started working at Oakview in July of 2014 and we are so very glad she did. She brings a smile to work everyday.
Nikki shares her life with her son, canine friend Finn and her horse Bristol.
Her outside interests include horseback riding and trap shooting.

It’s Not All Puppies and Kittens: Vet Tech Turnover

In the previous weeks, we have given a little insight on all the tasks that a veterinary technician does on a daily basis. We have also introduced you to our amazing team of certified veterinary technicians and assistants. With this information at hand, we want to talk about a detrimental fact in veterinary medicine. We lose certified technicians at an alarming rate! Between the physical requirements of lifting heavy animals, and the stress of feeling underappreciated and overworked, technicians last an average of 5 years in their career. After considering the schooling required and the cost of continuing education to maintain the most current knowledge, this hits us all in the field.

vet tech superhero - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI
Vet techs really are superheros! Angel and her cape are about to fly!

Some of us feel our level of skills is overlooked when we see other veterinary clinics labeling their assistants as veterinary technicians. Technicians have worked hard for their credentials, and it is rewarding to be recognized as such. So what is the difference?

A veterinary technician is either the graduate of a veterinary technician program who has passed the required exam, or one who was certified by passing the exam. An assistant provides care under the supervision of a veterinarian or a technician. They are not required to have a degree or pass the required exam. With that being said, our assistants are crucial to the team. In fact, many of our current technicians started as assistants!

Technicians are often compared to nurses with the technical skilled work they do.
However, they also need to have the skills of an x-ray technician, pharmacist technician, dental hygienic, lab technician, and a surgical technician. These are all very involved skills that often are not in the same pay grade as similar professions.

It is also difficult to maintain a balance between home and work. A veterinary technician’s job is very rewarding as we get to help animals in need. The routine exam and vaccine and skin or ear cases are the easy part of our day. Urgent cares leave us working through lunch breaks and managing several cases at once. The more challenging is the emergency right as our shift is ending. This allows us to put our skills to the test and feel like we have really made a difference, but it also leaves us several more hours away from our families.

We also spend a good portion of our time educating clients. Nothing makes a tech more elated than our advice turning into a success, but when we give out our knowledge and it gets the cold shoulder, it often leaves us feeling defeated.

All of these things can lead to a fast burnout for techs. This is where Oakview has really raised the bar! They have provided seminars for us during staff meetings to recognize burnout and compassion fatigue and given resources for us to follow up with. They have re-worked our philosophy to include a more positive atmosphere including a shout out board to thank everyone for above and beyond care. We currently have a relax and restore area with heated massage chairs. And we are ever thankful for the lift tables in our exam rooms and surgical prep area!

Break Room - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI
The Relax and Restore Area at Oakview

Oakview Vet feels like family and through our endless love of helping animals and the high reward that goes along with it, we are hopeful to surpass industry averages and keep our technicians thriving!

Read more in this article from the American Veterinary Medical Association: Technician shortage may be a problem of turnover instead

by Becca Dambroski

Becca - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WIBecca joined the clinic in 2005 after graduating from UWSP with a Bachelor of Science Degree. She became a certified veterinary technician in 2007. Becca and her husband Keith have three children, Ava, Zoe, and Oliver. Her fur family consists of 3 horses: Jet, Mr Pickles and Mariah. Her cats are Stormy and Cheetah.
In her down time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and fur babies.
Becca also enjoys working on her family’s dairy farm.

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