To celebrate the significant contributions that veterinary technicians make as an integral part of the veterinary healthcare team, the week of October 11-17 is designated as National Veterinary Technician Week. At the UC Davis veterinary hospital, we are fortunate that so many highly qualified and committed veterinary technicians are members of our team, and play a crucial role in the top-notch veterinary care we are able to offer.
In recognizing the education, experience and dedication of our veterinary technicians, the hospital plans an annual lunch for all patient care employees. This year, Dr. Michael Lairmore, dean of the school, will join the staff to thank them for their dedicated efforts, especially over the last month, caring for the 56 animals the hospital received from the Valley Fire and Butte Fire. On top of their everyday responsibilities, our animal health technicians went above and beyond giving so much care and attention to the burn victims.
One great example of what our technicians bring to the table is Robin Fisher, RVT. Fisher has been with the hospital since 2000. Primarily a technician with the Neurology/Neurosurgery Service, Robin pitches in wherever needed in the hospital, and was the Ward 6 technician during the recent wildfire crisis. Her leadership in the main ward that housed burn cats was second to none. It was an opportunity for technicians from multiple services to come together and work as one, she noted.
“It was a great example of how we always come together when needed,” Fisher said. “I worked with other technicians that I might not get the opportunity to interact with on a daily basis.”
That helps to build comradery at the hospital, she noted. Fisher emphasized how not getting emotionally overwhelmed by the influx of burn patients was crucial to the team’s success throughout the ordeal.
“It’s important how we all came together to get the job done,” Fisher said. “We were able to focus on the cats and give them the attention they needed.”
In addition to clinical care, many technicians also play an important role in the teaching process of our veterinary students, something Fisher noted as one of her favorite parts of the job.. Technicians aid students in learning animal handling techniques, catheterizations, blood sample collecting, monitoring anesthesia equipment, suturing techniques, diagnostic procedures, and much more. Technicians also play a vital role in assisting our faculty with hands-on clinical care such as administering medications, preparing surgical instruments, monitoring patient vital statistics, and client communications.
Our technical staff’s expertise reaches beyond the hospital, as well. Several veterinary technicians from UC Davis are instructors at continuing education (CE) events around the country for their fellow technicians. They have also organized and taught at the school's comprehensive CE seminars for veterinary technicians.
One look into a busy hallway at the UC Davis veterinary hospital shows that we could not deliver our world class care without our technicians. We thank them for their hard work and determination in providing our clients and their animals with the most attentive care possible.