Alternative Ways of Working as an RVT

Jul 1, 2018

The Alternate Route

People are attracted to the veterinary field because, well, they love animals! But did you know that the veterinary profession also includes endless job opportunities that are available, both in direct animal care and in non-clinical roles? Some RVT’s are just looking for a change of pace and want to use the knowledge they’ve gained in new and interesting ways. Others have the passion and drive it takes to strike out on their own to become an independent contractor. Regardless of your reason, here are a few alternative non-RVT jobs for RVTs:

Clinic Manager: Veterinary clinic managers are responsible for making sure the animal hospital runs efficiently. As a clinic manager, you are responsible for taking care of the administrative and marketing duties, HR and finance, while the veterinarian concentrates on providing services to the animals in their care.

Meet Tracy Ruzicka, a Clinic Manager at Bow Bottom Veterinary clinic in Calgary. When not managing the clinic or when things get busy, Tracy has no problem returning to her skills and working as an RVT, ‘cause after all, this is where her passion is.

Education and Professional Growth: If you love to teach, stay on top of newest research and technology, and excel in communication, you can become a college instructor or even write and publish your own academic work.

Meet Becky Taylor, who has recently completed her Master of Arts in Professional Communication degree focusing on the communication practices of RVT’s in practice settings. She also holds a certificate in Veterinary Hospital Management and has completed extensive training in leadership and communication. Her passion is working with people in our profession and teaching them communication and leadership skills.

Locuming: Locum is a Latin term that refers to the use of a substitute to replace staff who are absent from their practice due to vacation, continuing education, or illness. As a locum, you will be an independent contractor who provides RVT and other veterinary services to clinics that are short-staffed. Locuming is becoming more and more a lucrative career path to many RVTs as it provides the ability to not only stay ‘on the floor’ helping animals, but also help people who need rest or time to recover…”helping people who help animals.”

“What makes [locuming] awesome is the people and pets that I get to see from all walks of life. From specialty surgery and anesthesia to emergency and critical care. I get to see patients and clients at their best, and their worst. It’s a humbling experience to be able to interact with people from a completely different perspective each day”, says locum, Dillon Scott.

Spay and neuter clinic manager: This type of clinic manager works manages the workflow of the clinic, including that of the spay and neuter surgeons. Typical duties include routine administrative correspondence, and scheduling spay and neuter appointments.

Meet Jackie Lind, the Alberta Spay and Neuter Task Force Medical Manager who says that her “job is awesome because [they] are able to help people and animals across the province and get to work with amazing volunteers with the same passion while still being challenged as a vet tech”.

Drug reps: Veterinary pharmaceutical representatives are responsible for marketing animal health products directly to veterinarians, clinics, and other businesses working in the field of animal health. Sales representatives must stay on top of industry trends and new advances in the animal health field.

Erin Livingstone is the Southern Alberta Territory Manager at Zoetis. She says “a large portion of my position involves teaching vets and techs about brand new innovative products that are changing our pets lives and improving quality of life. An added bonus is I get to see all different areas of our beautiful province, as well as different parts of Canada!”

Adoption Clinic Manager: Working at an adoption clinic, you will manage shelter medical operations including animal admissions and fostering of hundreds of animals, wellness and medical care, adoptions, as well as customer service. This job requires a high level of service, development, and implementation of strategic life saving and nurturing initiatives.

Meet Ariana Lenz, a Medical Manager at the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), who says that on top of all these duties, what she loves most, “is all of the hands-on anesthesia, surgery and medical care for each patient requiring care.”

Research: A key part of working in research is preparing technical and scientific reports, then communicating your research findings to the scientific and public community. Although sometimes undeservingly seen in a different light than other veterinary professions, being an RVT in research requires a lot of skills, strength, courage, and compassion.

This article has been written with passion by Lexi Wright and Ivana Novosel (RVT) from IMLocum who are granting ABVTA & ABVMA the right to publish the article in their member magazine. As a property of IMLocum, this article can be reproduced and republished by IMLocum in the future.

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