Looking for support and respect with little to no results - page 2

Hello. I am a RVT in GA. For those of you who do not know what this means ... I am a registered veterinary technician. I graduated from a 2 year degree program that covered the many different... Read More

  1. by   Fiona59
    I can hold the hand of a dying human, but taking our dog for his final visit was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Holding his paw at the end of well lived and loved life is a very hard thing to do. With any luck I won't have to do it again for at least a decade.

    In my homeland, you are called a vet. nurse and its well accepted. You nurse a patient that cannot communiate and (I believe) has emotional, spiritual, and psychological needs. Keeping your patient calm and at ease cannot be easy. (But at least you can put a muzzle on some of them, something I'm sure every nurse in the human arena has probably wished they could do at some time in their working life)

    If animals don't have souls, well lets not even go there...
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    (But at least you can put a muzzle on some of them, something I'm sure every nurse in the human arena has probably wished they could do at some time in their working life)
    LOL!!!!!!!!!
  3. by   dougRN2BE
    Quote from TiffyRN

    I think to help you understand why you get such a lack of respect from Nurses please peruse some of the threads here regarding ADN vs. BSN, LPN vs. RN, Wars with the floors (ER nurses vs. floor nurses); so on. Nurses can show a significant lack of respect amongst ourselves if one group feels their education or experience is superior to another's.
    :yeahthat: Lots of people, regardless of the profession, are trying to assert dominance over others...try not to let it bother you becaue we all have unique and special tasks in this world and quite frankly, we wouldn't enjoy the kind of lives we do if we didn't have so many diverse fields and professions.
  4. by   mrparhamrvt
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    While I can place some "human" characteristics on my own little Yorkie, who does feel emotion/pain etc., it is not the same as human emotion and thus would be addressed differently in the nursing sense. I do not think that RVTs are similar to nurses in the nursing realm of care.
    I agree with you on this, somewhat. However, I think to say that our "nursing skills" are any less because our patients are not human would be incorrect. I can not tell you how many times I have sat with a patient recovering from anesthesia who is in painful and possibly dysphoric from the meds used. Not only must we quickly decide whether more meds would benefit the patient, we often have to climb into their cage and soothe them. Often it may be easy, other times all we can do is sit back and pray since some of our patients can be quite vicious. I have seen many in the field end up in the hospital because our patients unfortunately come to us in pain with no way of telling us what could be going on and often the pain incites fear which becomes aggression in many. I know all of you have experienced some of what I am talking about ... I am a very needle phobic person and often when I was younger, required heavy physical restraint. I guess my point is ... just because our patients do not exhibit the same human emotions that yours do, that does not mean we don't feel the same spectrum of feelings or deal with the same amount of emotional trauma. Please remember that often we deal with our clients ... trying to be advocates for our patients, their pets ... kind of like dealing with parents of small infants at times and yes I have kids so know how bad I can be on that front too - I apologize to all for the neurotic mother episodes).
  5. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from mrparhamrvt
    I agree with you on this, somewhat. However, I think to say that our "nursing skills" are any less because our patients are not human would be incorrect. I can not tell you how many times I have sat with a patient recovering from anesthesia who is in painful and possibly dysphoric from the meds used. Not only must we quickly decide whether more meds would benefit the patient, we often have to climb into their cage and soothe them. Often it may be easy, other times all we can do is sit back and pray since some of our patients can be quite vicious. I have seen many in the field end up in the hospital because our patients unfortunately come to us in pain with no way of telling us what could be going on and often the pain incites fear which becomes aggression in many. I know all of you have experienced some of what I am talking about ... I am a very needle phobic person and often when I was younger, required heavy physical restraint. I guess my point is ... just because our patients do not exhibit the same human emotions that yours do, that does not mean we don't feel the same spectrum of feelings or deal with the same amount of emotional trauma. Please remember that often we deal with our clients ... trying to be advocates for our patients, their pets ... kind of like dealing with parents of small infants at times and yes I have kids so know how bad I can be on that front too - I apologize to all for the neurotic mother episodes).

    I don't want you to misunderstand my position as thinking that "RVTs are less than Nurses." I just think they are similar in medical ways, and distinctly different due to the care administered to the complex human spirit. I am glad you feel comfortable and welcome here to post and encourage you to continue! My advice to you is to draw support about respect for your particular profession and not focus so much on the similarities to nursing. As someone said, we have protected legal titles, professional standards of care, nurse practice acts, NANDA approved nursing diagnoses and interventions, etc. etc. specific for the scope of providing nursing care to our human patients. Perhaps you should advocate for your own profession to put forth such definitive standards that sets you apart as an RVT! What you do is very unique, compassionate, and skilled and should shine in its own respect
  6. by   mrparhamrvt
    Thank all of you again for the replies. I am very active in my profession on the state level. There have been many changes in our laws on who can legally do what and what titles can or can not be used and by whom. Now we are at the point where unfortunately we just can not get compliance. While the state has set the laws, it is up to the vets to adhere to them. As long as our clients don't know or care who does what with Fluffy behind closed doors, there will never be a change. That is one of the biggest reasons I came onto this board some time ago. I was looking for innovative ideas and ways to get the public more aware of what we even were to begin with. I guess I also thought that even though we are vastly different, that perhaps with enough similarities, nurses would feel some sort of compassion towards our struggle with recognition and perhaps be willing to help ... even if it is as simple as asking "who is running anesthesia on FiFi today", "does your 'tech' have the credentials to call themselves such" etc.
  7. by   Jules A
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    Perhaps you should advocate for your own profession to put forth such definitive standards that sets you apart as an RVT! What you do is very unique, compassionate, and skilled and should shine in its own respect
    This is where I was trying to go but you said it much better.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    And quite honestly, there's not many webplace for an RVT to go to, so why not create one? If you build it they will come.
  9. by   Pat_Pat RN
    I thought about being a vet tech a few years ago. Purdue has a completely 'online' program. You video tape all procedures, 'clinicals', etc. Someone then watches the tapes and grades them. But to do that cost nearly $22K. I am going to nursing school cheaper than that.
  10. by   rach_nc_03
    I am so sorry you've been disrespected by anyone who cares for others as a profession. Personally, I'm not one who thinks one living creature is more valuable than another, and I'm closer to my pets than I am to most of my two-legged family members. My beloved cat of 14 years passed away this past March, and I literally felt like I was dying. I have been with many patients while they died- both adults and children- and I can't even watch the emergency vet shows for more than three seconds. I get woozy when I see an animal in pain.

    I think, as an earlier poster said, you're seeing the nastiness that occurs when someone tears others down to build themselves up. That happens when a person is insecure about their own worth, and it happens far too frequently in healthcare, I'm afraid.

    I have tremendous respect for what you do- I recently moved to another state, and I'd been taking all my critters to the same vet hospital for 12 years; I cried when we went in for final vaccinations, as the techs and my pups had clearly formed a bond. No one can tell me that's less important than a bond I develop with a human patient.

    Thank you for everything you do. If my dogs and cat could speak english, I'm sure they'd thank you, too!
  11. by   Tweety
    We've had a couple of threads about this over the years. Most posts were unsupportive.

    You have my support to call yourself a nurse, because in my mind that's what you are. Just as I consider a Vet a "doctor", I consider you a "nurse".

    As you've said in your thread almost universally, you've received negative feedback, so don't expect things to change soon.

    ADN's scream "we are not technical degree's" and I afford the same respect to your degree.
    Last edit by Tweety on Sep 25, '06
  12. by   Fuzzy
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    Although what an RVT does may be medically similar to that which a nurse does, they are distinctly different. The nurse administers care to a human which involves emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual elements which are not found in veterinary medicine.

    Edited to add: I should say that I have an extreme respect for what you do...I love my puppy like he is a family member, and I don't have a strong enough heart to work with sick animals.

    Actually I do administer emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual care to to humans as part of my profession. I'm a CVT (Certified Veterinary Technician) which is essentially the same as an RVT as far as training goes. See not only do I treat animals, I also treat and educate people. In fact the human componenet is a very large part of my job. The nurses who work with infants and small childern understand that the child is only one-half of the equation. The parents are the other half.
    Likewise it is the same in my job. The animal or patient is the easier part of the equation. The client or the human part can be a little more difficult depending on the situation. I have comforted small childern when they have had a treasured pet die (usually the death of a pet is a child's first experience with death). I have held the hands of the eldery woman while her 17 year old dog is euthanized. This dog was her last tie to her deceased husband. She is now alone. I have consoled clients while their animal is in surgery. I have taught clients how to give their diabetic pet insulin and educated them in diabetes management. I have counselled clients on the importance of keeping their pet slim (obesity is a big problem in companion animals just as it is in people). Heck some of our clients have even given up smoking when they found out that second hand smoke is dangerous to their pets. I have prayed with owners that their pet will live and I have helped them decide when they will have to make the euthanasia decision. Like nurses, I have dealt with angry, depressed, drug crazed, dangerous, happy, crazy, frightened, guilt ridden, sad, and difficult people. In fact, I have found the people more unpredictable at times than the animals.

    Tonight was especially hard. A six month old kitten was brought in by a local RN and her two childern. The kitten had been given three doses of childern's tylenol over a 48 hour period because she had been caught in a recliner and was in pain. The kitten was comatose. While the other CVT and doctor worked on the kitten, I consoled the clients. The mother had so much guilt because she didn't realize that tylenol was toxic to pets. She had figured the correct dose as if it had been for an infant and everything. She thought that she was doing right by the animal. All three were in tears and so was I. The kitten couldn't be saved. I was not judgemental because this person was an RN. Just because she's an RN doesn't mean that she knew that tylenol was very toxic to cats. ( There was an MD who had the same result when he gave his young hyper dog ritalan several years ago). There are people of many professions that don't know this fact. She was just another human who was concerned about her pet. She had so much guilt and sadness that I worried about her and her childern. I called her friend so that she would have some help.

    I saw another discussion on this board concerning, "What would you be if you weren't a nurse". Many nurses mentioned that they were interested in veterinary medicine and in other animal professions. So see we have alot in common.

    Fuzzy
    Last edit by Fuzzy on Sep 25, '06
  13. by   Logan
    Hi,

    Welcome to this website! Glad we could have this conversation! See, I didn't know beans about RVTs --- untill today!

    Quote from anne74
    Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with the ignorance about your profession.
    I think this alone accounts for half the problem!

    And I don't mean to derail/distract from the topic of the thread - but honestly, nurses sometimes face this from the general public. People are so completely unaware of the true extent and scope of nursing practice.

    The oft-called "handmaiden of the physician" perception still persists and aggravates many a nurse! Maybe you guys are seen as "handmaidens to vets" ?


    Thanks,
    Matthew

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