Meghan Longley RVT, PGCE, BSc
Where did you go to school and what made you decide to take a Veterinary Technology program?
University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus.
I had an undeniable attraction and need to care for animals. I grew up with cats and dogs and riding horses. Animals have always been in my life and played an important role. I had tried a few career paths since completing university, including teaching overseas, but returning to school to become a Registered Veterinary Technician was the most satisfying direction I chose to take.
What is your current job(s)?
Full-time Clinical Services Manager for the Kim and Stu Lang Community Healthcare Partnership Program, as well as a part-time Registered Veterinary Technician at the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Waterloo Region.
COVID-19 has amplified stress and uncertainty in everyone’s lives. Do you find that you are incorporating this into conversations with students? And if so – what specific tools are you focusing on when helping them prepare for the stresses of an RVT career?
I personally struggle with the need to please everyone, and with the increasing demand on our personal and professional lives, I need to constantly remind myself that I am only one person, and that I need to take care of myself in order to be able to properly care for those around me (personally and professionally). Specific tools that need to be implemented are setting up healthy work-life balances (total work in progress for me!!!). Take the time to reflect on what you need as an individual to feel healthy (mentally and physically) and devise a plan on how you are going to make that happen. Set realistic goals and expectations professionally in order to not overwhelm yourself and get discouraged. Start small and make the goals attainable. Build on your progress until you feel like you are being successful in both your personal and professional life and have achieved a maintainable balance. No one is a better advocate for yourself than you!
What other jobs have you had in the RVT field? / What made you want to pursue this position?
Various full-time and part-time positions in small and large animal surgery, large animal wards, ICU and emerge work.
Pursuing my current job fulfilled my one missing component of being to help those that would not normally have access to veterinary care. That it wasn’t just about helping the animals, it was about helping people help their animals.
Tell us about your career path and how one role helped open doors for another role. Was it scary making a change? What advice can you give other RVTs who may “want a change” and they just don’t know how to turn it into a reality?
Spending my entire RVT career at the Ontario Veterinary College has definitely opened many doors for me professionally, allowing me to experience many facets of veterinary medicine under one roof. I was only able to experience all these avenues because I chose to take every opportunity that was presented to me. Taking part-time contracts in several locations throughout the hospital, or working multiple jobs at one time. By having these experiences I was able to find a focused skillset that I enjoyed. Change is never easy. With change comes the opportunity for personal and professional growth. Through growth with each of my previous experiences, it has provided me with the foundation I have today to be successful in my current role.
What are your goals as an RVT? Not just your immediate goals, but long-term goals.
Continue on my journey to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Create awareness to implicit biases (what they are, what they mean) and how they affect us and others. Continue the conversation about access to veterinary care and how to bridge the gap to those affected with this challenge.
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?
I feel like I have several areas that I feel passionate about. I love patient and critical care, as well as teaching. However what I love most is being able to provide access to veterinary care to those folks who would not normally have the option. Empowering clients with the ability for their pets to see a veterinarian and receive the necessary care is so fulfilling. Clients are always so grateful for the services. They finally get a sense of peace and relief that their pet is taken care of. I love hearing stories about the roles these animals play in their lives, and how for some, they wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for their four-legged family member.