Happy Heart Month!

Blog Author: Harold Davis, RVT, VTS (ECC) (Anesth & Analgesia)
NAVTA Treasurer

It is not uncommon that, as veterinary technicians, we talk to clients about the importance of preventative health care. We discuss the need for regular visits with the veterinarian, the importance of vaccinations, dental health, nutrition, and exercise.  Well, it shouldn’t be any different for ourselves.

Recently, a couple of my doctors retired, which caused me to locate new doctors.  In looking for the perfect fit for me, I start by reviewing my HMO’s list of available doctors. Next, there are certain experiences and training that I look for in my doctor and check to see if their approach to medical care matches mine. Finally, I’m looking for a doctor that I am comfortable with as a part of my health care team, which consists of my primary care physician, ophthalmologist, and dentist. I see my primary physician as frequently as dictated by my health; I see the dentist annually with teeth cleanings every three to four months, and I see my ophthalmologist for eye exams every six months.

In addition to exams, I get regular vaccinations and annual colon cancer screening. I have fallen off a bit, but I try to walk 5 – 6 miles a day, about 4 – 5 days a week.  At a minimum, I like to get in 10,000 steps a day.  Walking is good for my physical health and good for my mental health, and well-being.  I can clear my mind during walks and relax; it’s my “me” time.  I like to walk early in the morning, about dawn, as the day begins. I see the ducks and geese take off from the local lakes and the coyotes return to wherever they go for the day.

Given just the everyday challenges of being a veterinary technician and now compounded with practicing during the pandemic, we must make sure that we care for ourselves both physically and mentally. If we care for ourselves, we can be better veterinary health care team members and care for our patients and their families.