Q&A with Samantha Cassie, RVT
- How long have you been working at RAH?
- I started in November, 2013, after graduating from Oulton College.
- What time does your shift usually start and what do you do when you first come on shift?
- I work four consecutive 12-hour shifts. I start at 12pm and finish at 12am. When I arrive at noon, an available tech or doctor brings me up to speed on the patients in hospital and those currently in and awaiting surgery. If I’m not needed to help with something right away, I will take the dogs out for a walk. I then check patient treatment sheets to see if any hospitalized patients need medication or any other type of treatment. Once that is done I help wherever I’m needed and relieve the other techs for lunch.
- What tasks are you responsible for carrying out throughout the day?
- Vet techs are responsible for a lot of tasks throughout the day. We provide patient care, which includes treatments, dog walks, kennel cleaning duties, feedings, monitoring things like IV fluids, and ensuring patients are comfortable. We also prepare patients for surgery by sedating, putting in IV catheters, getting patients safely under anesthetic and monitoring their vitals; sometimes we even scrub in to assist with surgeries. As the outpatient tech, we take x-rays, perform dental cleanings, collect blood samples, give medications, fill prescriptions, analyze samples in the lab, and discharge animals after surgery. We also handle reception duties -answering the phone, booking appointments, doing follow up calls after surgery patients go home, and processing payments.
- Which task(s) do you enjoy most? Why?
- There are many tasks that I really enjoy doing. Patient care is at the top of my list. Making sure our patients are comfortable and have all their treatments is important to me and it’s pretty satisfying to me when their stay with us is as stress-free as possible.
Taking blood, putting in IV catheters, and monitoring patients under anesthesia are tasks I enjoy because they can be challenging and so they keep you on your toes. I also like doing lab work, helping the doctors diagnose what’s wrong is rewarding. But, most of all, I really enjoy scrubbing in for surgeries. You can be hands on and learn new things and see really cool things!
- Do you play a specialized role at RAH? If not, is there a particular area of interest you would like to specialize in?
- I will soon help with the responsibility of keeping our controlled drug log up to date. Legally we must keep careful track of all of the controlled substances we use in hospital, which can actually prove fairly challenging and a bit time consuming, but is of utmost importance. I also find ultrasound very interesting.
- Does working at an emergency hospital make your role as VT any different?
- I find that working at an emergency hospital we see and deal with a lot of different situations which non- emergency hospitals aren’t likely to come across. It doesn’t change our roles any, it just makes for a fast-paced environment, so we need to be on our toes, think ahead and be prepared.
- What part of your role as VT do you think clients would be most surprised to learn you are responsible for?
- I feel as though people are usually quite surprised by all that we do! When I tell people I know about my job they are generally amazed at how many varied tasks I’m responsible for. In human medicine people specialize in one certain area, such as radiology, dental hygiene, anesthesiology, etc., but in the veterinary world it’s all the responsibility of one person: the vet tech! Our priority is of course taking excellent care of our clients and their pets but it certainly doesn’t stop there. We take care of reception duties and even janitorial duties to make sure our hospital is nice and clean.
We do so much to ensure our patients and clients are cared for and I am very proud to say that I am a Registered Veterinary Technician.