Amy Richardson, B. Sc (Agr), RVT
Where did you go to school and what made you decide to take a Veterinary Technician program?
I attended Ridgetown College, taking the alternative delivery course so that I could work in my chosen profession while receiving my education. I, along with so many others, had a love of animals from the very beginning of life and wanted to work with them in some capacity. Science was a subject that I excelled at in school, but still wanting to be hands-on with animals led me to the profession of Registered Veterinary Technician. Following Ridgetown, I completed my Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture at the University of Guelph.
What is your current job(s)? When did you start it? What are your primary responsibilities?
My current position is Technical Foreperson at the Ontario Dairy Research Centre. I started in this role in October of 2020 and have loved every second of it! Although I’m using less of my technical skills in the sense that I’m not drawing blood, putting in catheters or giving vaccines every day as I might be in private practice, I’m participating in operations management, logistics, staffing and herd care, which provides a platform for research to happen at our facility. I also ensure that our facility exceeds standards for animal care and welfare, requirements set out by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario and proAction for responsible milk production in the province of Ontario.
What do you love about your current job?
There’s a lot of things that I love about my current job. I love working with the cows every day, of course, but I also love working with my team and being a part of the amazing research that contributes to the dairy industry and consumer benefit.
What other jobs have you had in the RVT field?
I have previously worked in mixed animal private practice, small animal private practice, large animal Emergency and referral, patient care and service delivery, and ophthalmology.
What or who has had a significant impact on your career as an RVT?
Looking back on my career so far, I’ve had a number of great professionals who have had a positive impact on me and helped me realize what I did (or did not) want for my future. Anne O’Donnell, a fellow RVT, co-worker, and at one time my manager, is a person who I can single out who made a huge, positive impact on my career. Anne has taught me many things: she’s been tough on me when I needed it, she’s been a mentor, a listening ear, and a teacher for practical life skills. Anne has retired from practice now, but I’m sure I’m not the only one grateful for her presence in my professional life.
If you could encourage other RVTs to focus on ONE thing to improve their skills, or overall wellbeing, what would it be?
I would encourage RVT’s to take whatever it is that makes you love this field, and find a way to make that your work. Be passionate about the role you show up to everyday, teach and guide others about what inspires you, encourage learning, and be positive in your leadership. This will not only be rewarding for you but for everyone around you.
RVTs are passionate people, and every RVT has an area they are most passionate about (nutrition, research, spay/neuter, dog bite prevention, education, etc.) What is your passion? Does your current job allow you to fulfill your passion?
I’ve had a few passions in my career, but I think all of them have led me back to being someone who is a teacher, a helper, and an advocate. Whether I’m advocating for animals, teaching clients or the public about our industry or how to care for their own herd/pet, or helping others achieve their goals or learn something new, my current role provides me with so much opportunity and variety. It makes me feel fulfilled, knowing that I’ve done my best work.