Renewal Season

It is renewal season for RVTs and it can be extremely daunting to know what you need to do and get those deadlines straight between both the SAVT and the SVMA.  Also, why are all of these steps required?  Let’s break it down.

You should have received a Green Form in the mail from the SVMA.  This is your renewal with the SVMA for 2020.  The Green Form has all the current information that the SVMA has on you.  You need to review that Green Form and cross out anything that is incorrect and supply the new information right there on the form.  That form then needs to be returned to the SVMA via email, fax, snail mail, leg-power, or however you see fit as long as it is with the SVMA on or before December 15, 2019.  Done that, check the first thing off the list.  Moving on to the second.

Secondly you will need to log into your account on the SAVT website.  On the website on the main page you will see a link that you can click on and follow.  That link will take you to a form that asks for your first name and then asks you some questions.  These questions make up your Code of Ethics.  If your clinic is renewing your membership on your behalf you are still responsible for completing the form with the questions.   You need to complete that form and press Submit.  Code of Ethics – check!

When you press Submit it will take you to your cart where you will then need to complete the checkout process.  This payment total should be $326.25 which includes both your SAVT and SVMA fees.  If you are paying for your membership yourself, please do so then.  If you employer is paying, please select Pay Later by cheque.  It is still your requirement to make sure that the invoice for your membership is paid on time so please ensure that you follow up with your employer about the payment.  This step must be required by December 15, 2019. Third step – check!

Continuing Education Credits – don’t forget about those.  If your CE term is 2018/2019 then December 31, 2019, is the deadline to submit all your CE and documentation.  You are required to have 20 CE credits in that two-year period.  All CE is required to have documentation with it for it to be counted towards your total.  Is your CE term 2019/2020? You don’t have specific requirements however it’s recommended you upload what CE you’ve done already.  Fourth step – check!

Green Form. Code of Ethics. Payment. CE Credits.

Renewals in a nutshell. 

From the desk of the SAVT Executive Director.

My actual desk right now.

BCVTA Greetings

The British Columbia Veterinary Technologist Association sent their greetings via video. We want to share it with everyone! Check it out!

We always look forward to hearing from our fellow associations. Learning from each other and sharing our knowledge only makes all of our associations stronger!

Membership Renewals

It is that time again – time to renew your membership. Renewing your membership now will be for 2020. There are some changes to the renewal process and the fees collected. To cover these changes the SAVT has created a video to guide you through how to complete the renewal process. Check it out!

SVMA Fees and What That Means for SAVT Members

Submitted by Tamara McLoughlin, RVT, SAVT President-Elect (for another two weeks)

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of hearing that the SVMA has “the right” to set a fee for us and to be in charge of our registration because they are “our regulatory body.”  I’m tired of having licensing seminars thrown at us, and now a $40 fee on top of it?!  What gives?  Personally, if I’m going to pay $40 a year to the SVMA, I want to know what I’m getting for that fee.

As the incoming President of SAVT, I’d like to give you some more insight into those statements.  This year, I had the opportunity to get more of a first-hand look at what I myself previously viewed as a hostile takeover by the SVMA. 

In our profession and our association, historically change has taken years and we have always been in a positon where we’ve had to fight long, hard battles to work towards our goals.  In the last 2 years there have been more changes to the SAVT’s relationship with the SVMA than we have ever experienced before and that can be really overwhelming. 

My recommendation is to not only focus on the details, the licensing seminar, the fee, etc. but to really look at the big picture, at the advancements in our association and profession as a whole.  Around 8 years ago, as SAVT President I met with the new registrar, Dr. Judy Currie, to determine if the SVMA would be willing to present an award at our conference; and I tell you, it was nerve wracking and so exciting to be “granted” a meeting with the SVMA Registrar.  At that point we had very little contact with the SVMA office.  We were supposed to have an SVMA liaison position on our board, but for years it was never consistently filled by a DVM because they never had time for us.  At the same time, I was still explaining to the general public what a vet tech even was and constantly feeling like I needed to justify my position in the veterinary-medicine hierarchy. 

Fast forward to now where I actually find it very rare when I have to explain to someone off the street what my profession is. I feel like we have progressed a great deal on being viewed as a recognized and valued part of the veterinary team and now the SAVT and SVMA office representatives talk on a daily basis! 

This is where I go back to the big picture.   The SAVT Mission is to Promote and Advance RVTs; the SAVT vision is Professionalism and Excellence in Animal Care.  This is what we wanted.  For SVMA/DVMs to take us seriously, for the public to know who we are and what we do, and for this to therefore increase our wages and improve our jobs (and while there are still strides to be made there let’s not open that can of worms on this post), we have come SO FAR in a relatively short amount of time.  In the grand scheme of things a collaboration with the SVMA will only increase our opportunities to keep pushing forward with our mission and vision.   

As someone who does pay their own fees and who does not work in a vet clinic, believe me, I understand how people feel like we’re just getting stuff piled on top of us—green forms and licensing seminars—and it is hard to see but these are actually ways in which the SVMA is trying to help us take pride in our registered status and to know what that means and what it entails.  The SAVT and SVMA offices are working diligently together to streamline and refine this process over the next couple years.  Which brings me back to what the $40 fee is for.

We now have a VOTING RVT council member representing all RVTs on the SVMA council.  We have an SAVT/SVMA liaison that speaks at every meeting on the SAVT’s behalf. These two people were instrumental in ensuring that the SVMA fee was a reasonable and affordable rate and they will continue to advocate for us to keep it that way.  We have access to all of the same CE that the DVMs do, we are invited to the SVMA conference for the same CE but at a reduced rate, we have access to a wellness plan, to health benefits, and to all SVMA opportunities because we are full-fledged SVMA members.  The SVMA is now coming to us instead of the other way around, but we still seem to have an “Us vs. Them” mentality where it feels like we only have two options: Option A, be the SAVT, keep everything the same; or Option B, get overtaken by the SVMA.  There is a third option, and in my opinion it’s the only option: to cooperate and to collaborate as colleagues while still maintaining our identity as distinct professions and to present a unified front as a veterinary team, both inside and outside the veterinary clinic.      

This is not a perfect system, and it won’t be for some time.  Do both associations still have areas to improve on regarding communication and presentation to our members?  Absolutely.  Are there going to be growing pains?  Most likely.  Which is where I remind you how important it is to have good board members working on your behalf.  You have to be able to trust that the decisions we’re making are keeping in line with the SAVT’s Mission and Vision statements. This is utmost in my mind, and I’m sure on every board member’s mind, every time we’re at a board meeting, or when someone from the public asks us a question or when we’re out there representing the SAVT and our ever-evolving profession.

In this time of big changes we need strong leaders/advocates on the SAVT board and if you feel like this is something that you want to be a part of, I strongly encourage you to come to the AGM and put your name forward.

In the meantime, we want to hear from you!  If you have any questions, comments, concerns, please let’s hear them.  My email address is president.elect@savt.ca; Breanne, our current president, is at president@savt.ca; or Jasmin (our Executive Director) is at savt@savt.ca.  You can also reach out to us on the Facebook groups “SAVT Member Communication” or “Saskatchewan Association of Veterinary Technologists” or in person at the conference.  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the AGM in a couple of weeks! 

Pictured from left to right is Sue Gauthier, Coordinator, Communications & Member Services & Tamara McLoughlin, RVT, SAVT President Elect

Favourite Part of Being an RVT..

We asked RVTs to share what their favourite part of being an RVT is..

My favourite part of being a RVT is working with the doctors and coming up with a plan to help sick patients.  Working as a team and then getting to send the animal home to very happy owners makes my job very rewarding.

My favorite part of being an RVT is the education I can provide to kids and adults! I love speaking with Pony club groups, the Pre Vet club, Riding groups and at other venues. I enjoy the teaching aspect of my job. The response is always great when they can interact and dissect or ask questions.

One thing I discovered I love about being an RVT is pulling quills. Grab some gloves, a stool and settle in for a nice relaxing pull session.

My favourite part about being an RVT over the last 10 years is, witnessing the magic between pet and owner. Call it love or bond but when I see a cat purring and rubbing up on their owner when just 5 minutes prior to the owner arriving they were trying to attack me, is just humbling to see.

To enter into our next contest comment with what your favourite part is on the blog or by emailing savt@savt.ca. Winner gets chocolate, swag, and a heartworm!

The Buzz on Bees

Submitted by Marlayna Morgan, RVT

A few weeks ago we had a rather unusual visitor come into our clinic. About an inch long, 6 legs, 4 wings, and a whole lot of fluff. I named him Bernard. Bernard the bumblebee. The first time we found him, he sent a staff member screaming to the bathroom! He wasn’t something to be scared of, though, especially in his state. He was flying low and was very easy to catch, so I scooped him up and brought him outside to the bush in front of our building. The next time Bernard came to visit he was doing much worse. Not flying much at all and seemed out of sorts.  I didn’t want to just send him on his way again, he needed help! So I grabbed the raw honey off the shelf and decided to give that a shot. Well he lapped it right up! In the picture you can see him on my thumb licking up the honey. That evening I posted this same picture to social media where it blew up. People were fascinated by this little guy, and apparently with saving the bees.  (article continues below the picture)

Research suggests that 1 in every 3 bites of food we eat is made possible by bees. Bees pollinate our crops and our orchards, they bring us the snacks we all enjoy every day. From apples to almonds, our precious coffee, and of course honey. Bees are the only insects that produce food for human consumption, not like those good-for-nothing pesky mosquitoes. So, now we know why we need to #savethebees, but how do we do this?

There are many ways to help our fuzzy buzzing friends! Firstly, bees enjoy diversity, which is why many prefer urban settings. Planting bee friendly flowers and plants like daisies, peonies, lilacs, as well as herbs like mint, thyme, oregano, and chives can help give them the variety they crave. Next, if you have a bee problem, call a beekeeper instead of pest control. Beekeepers will relocate the bees safely rather than use harmful insecticides to kill them. Speaking of insecticides, consider using other alternatives like barriers, crop rotation, or companion plants in your garden. If nothing else, try a low toxicity pesticide. Another bee saving tactic, and a neat craft to do with the kids, is build a bee hotel. There are many different blueprints online for these home away from homes. I’ve included a link to one article below. Finally, keep informed and get involved. Remember these bees can’t speak for themselves.

In the veterinary profession we have recently seen an increase in bee clientele. This is in part because of the new antimicrobial resistance bylaws. Bees are food animals, and as such they need veterinary care. Bee diseases such as American Foulbrood are widespread and can have a devastating effect on hives. American Foulbrood is a bacterial infection that is regularly thwarted by use of preventative action using Tetracycline.Keepers will mix Tetracycline powder with sugar and dust the tops of the hives giving access to the bees below. With the recent bylaw changes, beekeepers will need a VCPR to access these antibiotics. This means we can have a greater role in both getting rid of antimicrobial resistance, and the sustainability of bees. It’s a lot of work, but the bees deserve it! 

Links of interest: 

https://www.canadianveterinarians.net/documents/treating-honey-bees-and-pollinators-what-veterinary-medical-professionals-need-to-know

https://www.cheerios.ca/bringbackthebees/

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/the-nature-conservancy-of-canada/bee-our-guest-how-to-build-a-bee-hotel_a_23189810/

RVT Month!

Today is the first day of RVT Month.  RVT Month is all about celebrating and recognizing the work that RVTs accomplish every day.  RVT month used to be RVT week but that just wasn’t enough and with Ontario leading the way this is the second year we’ve had RVT Month.  Every clinic in Saskatchewan will have an RVT Month Kit delivered to them via WDDC.  A shout out to WDDC for their continued support of RVTs and the SAVT.

SAVT will also have eight contests on our social media platforms throughout the month of October.  These platforms include: Facebook, Instagram, eblasts, our blog.  Keep a keen eye out for them.  The RVT Month ends for the SAVT with our conference November 1-3 – have you registered yet? Since June the SAVT has also been working with cities throughout Saskatchewan to ask them to recognize the work that RVTs do.  We are pleased to share with you that the following cities have declared a period of time in October as RVT Week: Ministry of Agriculture, Meadow Lake, Melfort, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, and Warman. 

We encourage every clinic to celebrate their RVTs and we encourage all RVTs to celebrate themselves and their colleagues.  There are many ways to celebrate and we would love to see your celebrations.  Share them with us and tag us in them so we can celebrate with you.