Meet the 2022 Executive Board – Member at Large

Mariel Hendricks – NAVTA Member at Large
Credentials/Certifications: BS, RVT
Number of years as a Credentialed Vet Tech: 12 years

Why/how did you decide to become a Credentialed Veterinary Technician?

I attended Purdue University with the intent to continue in their veterinary program post-graduation. However, while attending an introductory class on veterinary careers, I learned about veterinary technology. The nursing, hands-on side of veterinary medicine really called to me, and I applied to Purdue’s Veterinary Technology Program the following year.

Why did you volunteer to serve on the NAVTA Executive Board?

I feel very strongly about moving our profession forward and educating the public and our peers about how much a registered veterinary technician goes through to become educated in our field. We are strong, confident, capable individuals that are a vital part of a veterinary team. I would like to continue showing the public how awesome we are in veterinary nursing! The VNI and ideas being created through NAVTA are a way of accomplishing this goal.

What do you feel is your greatest professional/personal accomplishment to date?

To date, my greatest professional accomplishment was being entrusted by my employer to set up, order supplies, and train other veterinary nurses to create a fully functioning soft tissue and orthopedic surgery department at our new specialty facility that opened in 2017. My ideas for building design and flow were implemented, and my suggestions for quality, state of the art equipment were ordered and installed. As a result, asepsis, surgical efficiency, and quality nursing care post-operatively were kept to a high standard, and our success as a surgery department grew quickly.

How do you balance your work/volunteer/home commitments?

A work/volunteer/home life balance is a must in this profession. One must keep their mental health in mind and lay strict ground rules for yourself and your employer. It’s ok to say no!  I’ve been fortunate to have a strong, positive relationship with my upper management, and they listen to my needs not only as a technician but as a mother as well. Mental health is so important in this field, and YOU have to put YOU first sometimes!

If you could have one superpower for a day, what would it be and why?

I definitely wish I could fly for a day! All of my “superpower” dreams have been of me flying, so clearly, my subconscious isn’t afraid of heights! I’ve skydived and am a big roller coaster junkie – that’s as close as I can get to my superpower for now!