As an extension of National Veterinary Technician's week, we will be highlighting examples of some of the many different aspects of being a tech throughout the month of October. The strength of our network lies in the sharing of knowledge amongst colleagues. The deep pool of skills and experience our techs have is passed on through training and mentoring. Many of our practices have technicians that are drawn to educate others and have stepped into that role as a natural part of their careers.
The overwhelming interest from our techs to continue learning and expanding their skill set was recognized by Sarah Farina, LVT, Goosepond Animal Hospital, who created and now runs in-person small group tech training regionally. Another one of those techs is Lexi Evers, RVT at Creve Coeur Animal Hospital who helps train new techs at her hospital.
Lexi knew that she enjoyed mentoring when she was in between being the “new kid” and a senior technician. She received acknowledgment on a particularly difficult blood draw, “It occurred to me how you hit a point in your training where words of encouragement and certain guidance from senior techs inevitably plateaus. I really wanted to be a person that made sure to keep up the ‘nice job’ comments despite a tech's seniority or skill level.” She loves how technicians are all so eager to learn.
What brings her the most joy is when a new tech’s venipuncture training comes full circle. Lexi has been an RVT for over nine years at Creve Coeur. She relies on her own experience to identify the best way people learn—she has realized most techs are visual learners! “I love setting up visual learning props and explaining the [reason] behind everything.” Lexi stresses that training is ongoing and she likes being able to provide that support and mentorship for her team.
In-person small group tech training with Sarah and her co-trainers Courtney Woodard, LVT, and Jessica Timmins, LVT/HM, was rolled out by our TechLife group and finished up the last installment of a four-part series at the end of the summer in the New York and Connecticut region. This training has received great feedback from participants such as Nydia, Tech Assistant at Animal Hospital of Berlin, “Absolutely loved everything about it. The [trainers] were super insightful and each had their own way of teaching us which truly helped. I’ve learned so many helpful things.”
This type of tech training is gaining momentum and will kick off in Pennsylvania in November. The team is also in the planning stages to expand to Virginia, giving even more techs the opportunity to attend. Sarah noted that “Until VetCor acquired Goosepond Animal Hospital I never thought that I could utilize my previous degree [Bachelor in Educational Services] and my interest in training on a large scale. VetCor has opened up that possibility for me and I am so happy to be involved with training.”
We are proud to have so many technicians willing to share their knowledge to help others grow. Tech mentoring and training are invaluable assets that our growing network will continue to support. If you are a VetCor tech and are interested in finding out more about mentoring in your practice or about the regional training initiative, connect with your teammates on the TechLife Facebook group.