From “What Moves You: Changing Animal Welfare on Native Reservations”:
Prior to joining RAVS, I had done some lecturing and training in my hospital and liked it, but it was RAVS that made me realize this was my passion. Watching a student place their first IV catheter or correctly assess their patient for the first time gave me a rush that made me remember how much I love veterinary medicine. It is immensely satisfying to watch a student—who on their first day at a RAVS clinic was on the verge of tears and barely able to assess vital signs, never mind record them accurately—develop confidence and skills as an anesthetist. Education became my passion. I went on to earn a Master’s in Education and changed jobs to teach in a veterinary technology program.
Education wasn’t the only thing I discovered, though. Until participating in a RAVS clinic, I had always worked in private practice—primarily in emergency medicine—in an area where most clients could at least afford some treatment for their pets. Working in underserved communities gave me a new perspective on my life and, more importantly, the human-animal bond. Further, I learned that I really like working with the people!
The community members are so appreciative that we give their animals much-needed care. Over time, I made a slow transition from a veterinary nurse who was solely focused on the patient with little patience for animals’ owners to someone who embraced the human-animal bond as crucial to treating the patient.