October is Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) Month across Canada, a time devoted to recognizing and appreciating veterinary employees across the country. This year, two local clinics took to social media to celebrate the work their techs do.
Clinique Vétérinaire Dr. Suzanne Marcil has spent the month highlighting each of its vet techs and receptionists individually. It even changed its Facebook cover photo in honour of the month and included the hashtags #RVTMonth and #ThankanRVT. The Ormstown Veterinary Hospital also took to Facebook to post a photo of its employees, thanking them for their work. It then shared a video of the techs performing some of their daily tasks and listing some of the responsibilities that vet techs take care of on a daily basis.
Marie-Soleil Labonté, an RVT at the Ormstown Veterinary Hospital, explains, “The veterinary profession is a passion; it’s intense and demanding, both physically and mentally.” She has seen how vet techs are often overlooked or their roles misunderstood, and she says that “The objective of this month is to show off the value of the profession. It’s a profession that is not super well-known in Quebec, and so it’s nice to take a moment to recognize all the tasks that RVTs do.”
There are different areas within the veterinary field where vet techs take part. Labonté explains that some work in clinics, some work in labs, and some work more in sales. She notes that working in a clinic is a team effort and each employee is needed to take the best possible care of each animal. “We’re sometimes neglected, and people know the veterinarian, but they don’t know what we do. But we’re a team, and one without the other doesn’t work,” she says.
To become an RVT, a three-year training program at the CEGEP level is required. This program is offered in English at Vanier College, and in French at multiple CEGEPs such as Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe, Collège Lionel-Groulx, and Cégep de Sherbrooke. Tasks performed by RVTs include administering anesthesia, vaccinations, pharmacist tasks, radiology, urgent care, and more.
For Labonté, “It was the passion for veterinary sciences, animal care, helping animals,” that inspired her to choose this profession. The science aspect of the job drew her in, and she loves that one can keep up with the latest ways to treat animals as new techniques are developed. “I am a curious person so I am gaining as much information as I can. It’s a never-ending world, and I can find new things and I can learn every day,” she says.
The best part of Labonté’s job, she says, is “seeing animals more comfortable after our care – animals that will be able to live their regular life or have the proper accommodations.” She hopes that RVT Month will help people become aware of what vet techs do and celebrate the services they provide.