Q&A with Monique LeBlanc, RVT
- How long have you been working at Riverview Animal Hosptial?
- I started soon after graduating from Oulton College in 2014.
- What time does your shift usually start and what do you do when you first come on shift?
- I work two day shifts followed by two overnight shifts, then I get four days off. On my day rotation I am in from 9am to 9pm and on my overnight rotation I work from 8pm to 8am. The first thing I do when I start my shift is check to see how many patients we have in hospital then get caught up on each case by doing rounds with the doctors and technicians. I then check all treatment sheets to see which patients are due for treatments, whether any require feeding and check that the dogs have been taken out for a walk.
- What tasks are you responsible for carrying out throughout the day?
- My tasks vary depending on whether I’m working a day or night shift. On my day rotations I am the in-hospital technician, meaning I’m responsible for administering treatments and ensuring all hospitalized patients are comfortable. When we have very sick animals in our care it is critical that their treatments are delivered on time. I also ensure that dogs are taken out regularly and that all patients are offered food and water. If I have some down time between treatments I am usually asked to help prep patients for surgery or assist the doctor with his or her outpatient cases. If I’m not needed then I clean up around the hospital.
During my overnight rotations I am still responsible for patient care but a major priority is ensuring the hospital is reset and ready for the next busy work day. We’re open 24 hours so there is never time to devote solely to organizing, restocking, laundry, sweeping, mopping, etc so it is very important to get these tasks accomplished overnight when it tends to be less busy with appointments and there are usually no surgeries. However, many clinics across New Brunswick have selected us as their emergency referral hospital and as it is only myself and one doctor in overnight we have to be prepared for all possible emergency cases which may arrive at any time.
- Which task(s) do you enjoy most? Why?
- I love educating clients on pet nutrition. This topic has been a passion of mine ever since high school. I’m not sure where it originates from, but something tells me it has something to do with my brother who has always been a nutrition buff. Apart from nutrition I absolutely love nursing care. Ensuring that all of our patients are comfortable and have everything they need is very important to me.
- Do you play a specialized role at RAH? If not, is there a particular area of interest you would like to specialize in?
- I am the Nutrition Specialist at the hospital, which is wonderful as I am very passionate about this topic. I am very excited to announce that we will be implementing a Weight Loss Clinic at RAH in the near future. I’m very excited to introduce this to the public so stay tuned for more news!!
- Does working at an emergency hospital make your role as VT any different?
- The role of an RVT is generally the same in the sense that we help with outpatients, we prep animals for surgery, monitor anesthesia, do lab work, and ensure patient care. However, emergency medicine takes these tasks to a different level. We work long hours and are on our feet all day ensuring that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Sometimes we skip our lunches and eat on the fly but we do it all because we love what we do. So the role of an RVT is more or less the same wherever you go but it definitely takes a special kind of technician to work in emergency medicine.
- What part of your role as VT do you think clients would be most surprised to learn you are responsible for?
- I think they would be most surprised to hear that we are responsible for prepping patients for surgery as well as monitoring their anesthetic throughout the surgery. RVT’s have a multitude of important roles and are a vital part of the medical team.