A week of celebration for thousands of Veterinary Technicians across the nation. Known as the unsung heroes of the animal care industry, Vet Techs are honored every year for one week in October. The industry thanking them for their commitment to compassionate, high-quality Veterinary care for all animals. While the majority of Vet Techs are employed in private practices, many also work in specialty areas like military service and food safety inspection. It’s a growing industry that is seeing more and more employment opportunities. Here’s Franklin Morales…with more on how Vet Techs are critical to the day to day function of a veterinary practice.
AMBI: Sounds from the front office: pet owner talking to receptionists, dogs barking, typing from computer keyboards, Veterinary Technicians talking/organizing the day, and people moving in and out of the front office.
The day has just started at Northshore Animal League, but it’s far from being a slow morning. Many of them typing vigorously on their computers as the sound of dogs barking in the back pierces the morning quiet. The back door is continuously flying open from technicians walking back and forth. Many rushing to help with morning appointments. (Scooby nats) According to Alex Bab, this is not unusual and not as busy when compared to smaller practices.
So here we’re a very, very large clinic compared to most. So, for most Vet Techs in smaller practices, which I have worked in, you do everything. You are part of the surgery team, you are part of the pharmacy, you do everything in those kinds of places. Here were more compartmentalized because we have such a large staff.
Bab has been a licensed Veterinary Technician for one year, but he has nine years of experience in the animal care industry. He started as a security guard at Northshore and then decided to start working in the kennels. He was quickly promoted to Assistant Kennel Manager and then transitioned to Foster Care Manager. After working with many special needs animals in the foster program, he gained an interest in the medical side of the industry.
I actually left Northshore and moved upstate for two years. So, I got a job as a Vet Assistant because the foster care job is very specific to this place only, but I knew enough about veterinary stuff that they took me on, and I started doing my Tech licensing school online while I was living there.
The online course usually takes two years to complete, but for most people like Bab, who took the course while working, it takes three years to finish. Now as a Vet Tech in the Clinic department of Northshore, Bab says he does a little of everything. He typically works 40 hours a week and often finds himself working four ten-hour days. He considers himself lucky since hours can be longer for Vet techs in other departments.
My fiancée is also a tech and she’s scheduled for 40 hours a week, but she’s in an emergency department. And she is scheduled for 40 hours a week – she usually works 48 to 55.
Bab’s typical workday starts off with basic housekeeping. Checking the schedule, looking over the appointments for the day, making sure everyone’s prepared for what’s to come. Once the pets start arriving, the day quickly takes off.
Just like when you go to the doctor the technician which is the equivalent of the nurse – we take basic vitals like heart rate, temperature, and then we relay the information to the doctor, and we’ll help them as they need. On a typical day we will have 3 doctors working, so we just kind of bounce around helping each doctor as they need. It’s a lot of restraining, when the doctors need blood work very rarely does the Veterinarian draw the blood, it’s pretty much always us.
Despite the long hours for Bab working with animals is a labor of love, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. He says the hardest days are the ones where he has to end a patient’s life and the stress that comes with helping pet owners understand why it’s necessary.
Sometimes it’s a good thing, cuz at that point, it’s a mercy for the animal. But nobody, you know, enjoys that part of the job. The other thing is it can be difficult sometimes dealing with clients. A lot of people don’t realize that vet bills seem very high compared to what you might pay when you go to the doctor yourself. But that’s typically because you didn’t get any form of health insurance for your animal. So, if you had to go get an x-ray it’s going to cost you, maybe a hundred-dollar copay. Where it’s going to cost you at least twice that at any vet hospital because there is no insurance subsidizing what you’re paying. And a lot of people don’t understand that, and we get a lot of push back from clients, a lot of haggling over prices, and also a lot of accusations that we’re in it for the money.
Money can also be a hard part of the job. According to ZipRecruiter.com, veterinary technicians in the United States make an average of 31 thousand dollars a year. But for Bab, money isn’t what made him want the job.
I do x-rays on animals. You could be a radiology technician for humans and that’s the only thing you do. I have a thousand other things I’m responsible for every day. But a human x-ray tech makes drastically more money than I do. So, vet techs are absolutely not in it for the money. We could make a lot more in human medicine, we choose not to, because we like doing this.
One of Bab’s biggest pet peeves with his profession is the public’s misconception with what he does on a day to day basis. He says many people think his job is fun and stress free because he deals with animals. In reality, Bab says he often wears many hats. He can start as an animal restrainer, serve as a dog walker, act as a nurse, a pharmacist, and a grief counselor. Each day he risks getting bit and goes home covered in animal hair and animal body fluid. It isn’t a pretty sight.
I think people don’t understand that we do it all and we do it with multiple species. I have a cousin who’s a human nurse and sometimes we’ll be talking, and she’ll be telling me about a patient, “I just couldn’t hit his vein,” and she was getting very frustrated and I will laugh at her and say Karren your patient has no fur and he is not trying to bite you, I don’t feel bad for you for having a hard time hitting a vein.
The call to become a veterinary technician isn’t for everyone, but for those who have a deep appreciation and love for all animals and want to help them in their time of need… Bab recommends this…
Get yourself into a Vet clinic even if they don’t have a tech type job for you at the time. Even if you have to be a receptionist because the best way to learn this stuff is to just do it. I’m sure it is easier to go to a regular traditional school than what I did, but I was able to do it because I have the experience and just any opportunity that is given to you take it. When I wanted to come back here the only job they had for me at the time was a pharmacy technician, which I had no interest in doing, but I have much better pharmacology knowledge than I ever would have if I hadn’t done that – so any opportunity you can get to learn something new take it.
For Baruch College, this is Franklin Morales in New York.
A VICTORY FOR THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION.
THE SUPREME COURT GIVING THE WHITE HOUSE A GREEN LIGHT TO ENFORCE A NEW NATIONWIDE ASYLUM POLICY.
IT’S A DECISION THAT COULD DRASTICALLY AFFECT IMMIGRATION FROM CENTRAL AMERICA.
OUR CORRESPONDENT FRANKLIN MORALES TELLS US MORE ABOUT THE CHANGE AND SPEAKS TO FRESHMEN CONGRESSWOMAN, ILHAN OMAR, ON THE ISSUE.
THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION TO OVERRULE A LOWER COURT BLOCK ON THE NEW POLICY REVERSES DECADES OF U-S POLICY.
UNDER THE NEW RULE, THE GOVERNMENT WILL PROVIDE ASYLUM ONLY TO IMMIGRANTS WHO HAVE BEEN DENIED ASYLUM IN OTHER COUNTRIES THEY HAVE PASSED THROUGH FIRST.
THIS WILL MOSTLY AFFECT CENTRAL AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS WHO HAVE TO PASS THROUGH MEXICO TO REACH OUR SOUTHERN BORDERS.
DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN ILHAN OMAR FROM MINNESOTA, KNOWN FOR BEING CRITICAL OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, IS CONDEMNING THE MOVE.
OMAR says: “I- I believe that decision is morally and legally wrong. Seeking asylum is a legal right that people have and we know that the Supreme Court has been wrong before.”
OMAR IS JUST ONE OF MANY DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS MEMBERS CRITICIZING THE SUPREME COURT DECISION.
SHE WANTS TO CREATE IMMIGRATION POLICY THAT IS HUMANE AND JUST.
MEANWHILE, THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SAYS THEY HAD TO CREATE THIS POLICY DUE TO CONGRESS NOT DOING ITS JOB AND PASSING IMMIGRATION REFORM.
OMAR DOES NOT AGREE.
SHE SAYS THE HOUSE HAS BEEN DOING ITS JOB SINCE DAY ONE.
OMAR says: “People have to understand that the immigration crisis that we have is one that we could avoid. And many of the policies that we’ve been advocating for, many that are currently sitting at the doorsteps of Mitch McConnell, will create a positive impact on how our immigration system is carried out.”
OMAR’S REMARKS CAME DURING An INTERVIEW WITH MARGARET BRENNAN ON CBS’ FACE THE NATION.
FOR BARUCH COLLEGE, THIS IS FRANKLIN MORALES, IN NEW YORK.
For my first podcast, I would like to interview/have an open discussion with my friends Chris and Jamie. Both Chris and Jamie are Baruch students who joined the military at a young age, and from their experience, they both acquired very different overall opinions on the military and what it means to them.
Chris was part of the U.S. Army for a little less than a year and was medically discharged due to needing intestinal surgery. However, he is still very pro-military with strong opinions on the matter and would have wanted to continue his service. Jamie, on the other hand, is very anti-military and he served a little over 2 years in the U.S. Navy. Jamie is the only person I know who was successfully able to appeal his service and was able to leave the military without being discharged for misconduct or infractions.
My podcast will be a fresh new take on military life and how it changed these two guys for better or worse. We will breakdown each of their processes into the military, from how they decided to join, Bootcamp, service, and their overall feelings when leaving the military. Furthermore, we will discuss some major recruitment issues that the military is facing as well and what their opinion is on the topic. Hopefully, by comparing and contrasting their experience we can understand both sides and possibly find some middle ground. From this podcast, I hope to give young people interested in joining the military a new perspective and understanding of what to expect from the experience of two people who underwent the process.
“Ear Hustle,” is a podcast that talks about the daily realities of life inside prison shared by real inmates living within the prison system. Prison life has always been a popular and interesting genre for movies and TV Shows. Some examples are the movies “The Shawshank Redemption (1994),” “Shot Caller (2017),” or TV shows like “Prison Break (2005),” and “Orange Is the New Black (2013).” I’ve actually seen all these movies and TV shows, which were super entertaining, but the fact is that it’s made that way to keep viewers interested. “Ear Hustle” takes away theses overly dramatizes story plots that are seen in most moves and TV shows and tells the true stories and problems that most regular inmates face while serving their time.
This podcast was co-founded by Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, who have partnered up with Nigel Poor. Poor is a Bay Area visual artist who works with incarcerated men in San Quentin State Prison, she is the co-host and co-producer of “Ear Hustle.” Earlonne Woods has since been released from San Quentin State Prison after serving 21 years of his 31-years-to-life sentence for attempted second-degree robbery in 1997, he is the co-host and co-producer of “Ear Hustle.” Antwan Williams is currently still serving a 15-year sentence for armed robbery with a gun enhancement, and he is the sound designer of “Ear Hustle”
The format of this podcast is a combination of conversation, interviews, storytelling, and education. The co-hosts will introduce a topic that may seem pretty normal or basic to most people, but for people in prison, it’s serious. For example, in episode 1, they talk about finding the right cellmate to share your space with. Although this may seem boring, the podcast does a great job of illustrating the reality of being an inmate where your room is the size of a closet and you’re supposed to share that with a second person. Furthermore, other inmates are brought and interviewed on the show, where they are given the opportunity to share their story, experience, the reality of their situation and how their life got them there.
Many of the stories that the inmates speak of are serious and they are not acting like in the movies or TV shows. Some of these people know what it’s like to kill or physically harm someone close to death, and they have to deal with those memories every day. Although these people share a serious past filled with violence and crime, the podcast now shows them in a time where they can talk about it and how far they have come through reflection and reform. The podcast even sometimes gives the overall genre of prison life a lighter tone because even the inmates know you can’t do anything but laugh sometimes at the reality of dealing with prison life.
I believe the audience of this podcast can be those who are just coming out of prison and reforming back into society. This subject is something they know, and it can be comforting to hear that other people have gone through those experience as well. Also, it can be for fans of the prison genre who are curious and looking for a new realistic take on what it means to go to prison without actually going to prison. In addition, it can be for people who have family or loved ones in prison and are looking for a way to understand and connect with them more, without overstepping or overwhelming the person in prison with a thousand questions.
The podcast is called “Ear Hustle,” because just like in any community knowing the news, drama, or trends that are going on within your community is important. In prison, this is especially important because it can help you find opportunities, regardless if they are positive or negative ones, and avoid any unwanted trouble that might find your way.