Career Spotlight of the Month (May 2019)
Name: Christine Torres, RVT
Current Job: RVT at an alternative veterinary practice
Q & A with Christine
OAVT: Where did you go to school, and what made you decide to take a Veterinary Technology program?
Christine: I was the transition class - first year at Centralia College, second year at Ridgetown College. I worked at a small animal practice prior to college with three "technicians" that encouraged me and inspired me.
OAVT: May is Healthy Vision Month. You worked and specialized in ophthalmology for more than a decade. What interested you so much in the eyes?
Christine: It was not so much the eyes at first…..they grew on me. It was the specializing in one area that interested me. The eye is such a complex structure that can tell us quite a bit about what is going on in the rest of the body. The eyes truly are the window to the soul.
My advice for any RVT that wants to pursue ophthalmology is to become a member of the Veterinary Ophthalmology Technicians Society (VOTS) and, if they can, attend their annual conference for both CE and networking.
OAVT: You made a huge career change in the last year. What is it like to be an RVT working the same job for 15+ years, and then to work up the courage to completely switch things up?
Christine: To be in the same job for that long….you get comfortable, you are reliable, you are dependable and you are confident. The courage to completely switch things up…..two words…terrifying and enlightening.
I must admit, I do not like change but I needed it. I opened my heart and my mind to accept the changes that lay before me on my new path. I decided to embrace this new journey of mine and I have no regrets.
OAVT: Now you work at an alternative veterinary practice. What do you love about your job?
Christine: I love the compassion, the freedom, the open mindedness and the positivity this workplace offers and promotes.
OAVT: What other jobs have you had as an RVT?
Christine: I have worked in small animal practice, emergency medicine, ophthalmology referral practice and a very brief stint in research.
OAVT: Do you have advice for other RVTs who have been in the field for a number of years who may be looking to extend the longevity of their careers?
Christine: Being an RVT is a hard career path, physically and emotionally. It is mentally and emotionally draining. Find a creative outlet to channel your feelings, whether they are positive or negative, into something that is totally representative of who you are as a person. Creativity allows you to just be.
OAVT: You have found an outlet for yourself in pottery. Tell us about it!
Christine: Handmade ceramics has always been a passion of mine but the creative process did not show itself until 2015. I dove right in and I do not come up for air too frequently. Within 1.5 years I had a full studio in my home and started a small part time business selling my work. (Schnortzy's Pottery - a nickname my father had for me. He passed away and I wanted to keep the nickname alive in his honour.) I have recently started teaching beginner pottery classes as well.
OAVT: RVTs are passionate people, and every RVT has an area they are most passionate about. What is your passion?
Christine: My passion/interest within this field is the human/animal bond and the influence that this bond has on our emotional, physical and mental health. Also, how this influence affects our behaviour, the animals' behaviour, and the dynamics these bonds have in the family and the quality of our lives. Our relationships can be very complex and not to be judged at face value and perhaps in fact not to be judged at all.