What a year!!

Blog Author: Ashli Selke, RVT, CVT
NAVTA President-Elect

Man, what a year! I don’t know about you guys, but 2021 was definitely crazy for me, especially after experiencing severe burnout last year. I set out to make changes for myself in 2021. I started the year by accepting a job opportunity in a different state and moving my entire family. I chose a job that would ultimately fulfill what I was looking for in work/life balance, and I don’t think I will ever leave. I decided to pursue a position in academia at Purdue University, and it has been one of the most rewarding roles I have had to date.

Not only did I set out on a new adventure at work, but I also set out on a new adventure with NAVTA – taking my seat on the executive board as the President-Elect. I have had some amazing experiences this year and learning what it takes to step into my role as president in 2022. What I think most of our members do not know is just how much NAVTA fights for this profession and maintains the standards of the veterinary technician field that are being threatened all the time all over the country. In each of these cases, NAVTA worked with the State VTA’s and AVMA to speak out and speak against issues that could lower the standards of our profession. Unfortunately, some of these are still going on.

I also have met some amazing people this year. I absolutely loved talking with the RVTTC (The Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada) and learning how they were able to unite under a national credential. I asked if they had advice for our organization, and they let me know that unifying 50 plus states would be quite an enormous task compared to their six provinces, but they were there to lend a hand whenever we needed. I attended the AVMA House of Delegates Summer Session. I spoke to a room full of Veterinarians who had questions regarding veterinary technicians and what to do. Still, there were no veterinary technicians to answer their questions (here I come up to the mic…*tap tap*). After I spoke up about technician burnout, low wages, and the importance of title protection and proper technician utilization, many individuals and organizations thanked me for my bravery to speak my truth in a Ballroom full of nations leading veterinarians. They invited me and others to continue those conversations to answer the difficult questions that hinder veterinary technicians.

There are so many more experiences that I have had throughout this last year that I cannot wait to share and have an open, engaging format with the membership in 2022. I truly believe that all of the sacrifices and struggles that our profession has endured, especially during this pandemic, are finally coming to the forefront. The veterinary field knows that they are in a crisis without us. They need to do whatever is necessary to protect and empower our profession, and they need to do it now.