Techs with Tech

By Jenny Marston

Technology. It’s a big word with a bigger track history when you think about what technology has already accomplished in numerous fields such as automotive engineering, personalized communication, and human medicine. Innovative technology is what the Veterinary Innovation Summit focuses on each year, expanding our knowledge with new gadgets and software.

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To doctors, this new ‘innovative’ technology makes their job more efficient: find the right diagnoses the first time. What about who helps run the lab work for them to make the diagnoses? Veterinary nurses and technicians are in the most empowering time where they witness technological change right before their eyes. This change is one that comes with great welcoming, but can also cause exceptional nurses to fear their job position in the clinic.  What if robots take our jobs? With this new tool the veterinarian doesn’t even need my help.

Technology should be the farthest thing from scary since it is a tool to save lives! As a veterinary technician who has moved from a small practice, counting out my drip rate on my IV line per minute to transitioning into a practice with full digital x-rays, ultrasound, and telemedicine with www.myairVet.com (previously known as www.LiveDVM.com), I realize how much more efficient and effective I am at my job.

Working with Dr. Melissa Webster, at Tampa Veterinary Hospital, we use telemedicine to help our guests with their fur babies- check this out…

This makes me proud to be a technician using technology.

Innovative technology has cut my time in half, which allows our practice to make life saving decisions faster. Technology isn’t just inside the practice for technicians – it’s all around! Today technicians have applications that accurately calculate CRI’s, calculate fluid volume to give a dehydrated patient (and administer it much quicker than spending five minutes or more calculating by hand), and even access valuable continuing education (CE) platforms that get top notch research in your hands. Case studies, trials, and CE can be researched in seconds and answers can be found faster to speed up how quickly technicians can assist the veterinarian in taking care of patients.

One of these platforms is VETgirl, an online veterinary CE platform offering RACE-approved CE for veterinary professionals. Dr. Justine Lee, DACVECC, DABT* is the one of the founders of VETgirl.  I asked Dr. Lee, who aside from running her CE platform is a double boarded veterinarian in emergency critical care and toxicology, what advice she would give to technicians and nurses that may struggle or feel threatened in the practice due to technology. When I asked her, “Do you have an advice for nurses that may be apprehensive to technological change?”, Dr. Lee responded, “When in doubt, realize that it may take an initial learning curve to "get" technology. But as technology isn't going away, it's best to watch and learn from your younger staff (who may be more tech-savvy) and ask for help to get to learn it quicker. The quicker you learn it, the quicker it'll improve your efficiency in the veterinary hospital.” I couldn’t agree more - there is always someone younger or wiser that has experience in the game and will help guide you when you feel like you just don’t have the knack for technology.

I also asked Dr. Lee, “What do you feel the veterinary nurses’ role will be in innovative hospitals? Innovative being with software or equipment?” Dr. Lee agreed that veterinary nurses should take the chance to embrace technology. “Even though it may not feel like [you’re embracing] it, when adjusting to electronic medical records or other types of technology..I promise that down the line it will save you time.”

Technology is here! It IS the now! I, as a veterinary nurse, am here to stand with innovation and I hope other technicians will visit the Veterinary Innovation Summit booth at VMX 2019 and join us in College Station, Texas in April 2019 to have a well-rounded understanding of how technology is going to help you better serve clients, patients, and the community!

Footnotes:

*Personal communications, Dr. Justine Lee, DACVECC, DABT, CEO, VETgirl, LLC, September 2, 2018.