Celebrating Veterinary Technician Week with a case report challenge

Associates at BluePearl Veterinary Partners are gearing up for a competition during Veterinary Technician Week, and it’s not about who can buy the most cinnamon rolls or bring in the best homemade chili.

Veterinary technicians and assistants have been invited to participate in BluePearl’s first company-wide case report challenge, and five finalists will present their reports in a live webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Afterward, a panel of veterinary technician specialists will select an overall winner.

It’s a different way of recognizing the contributions of veterinary technicians and assistants. Anyone at the more than 50 BluePearl hospitals in 20 states can watch the webinar and see firsthand the depth of their colleagues’ expertise, said Amy Newfield, BluePearl’s national technician training manager.

“We’re giving technicians and assistants a voice to share their knowledge about a case they worked on,” Newfield said. “We’re also showing that we view them as an equal part of our patients’ care.”

The five finalists were selected by a team of judges from 22 total entrants. In addition to reports on diseases and trauma in dogs and cats, the reports also included one on a rabbit and one on a wallaby.

The titles of the reports by the five finalists are: Vital Pulp Therapy with Crown Reduction Patient; Y to U Pyloroplasty: Stopping the Regurge;  Acute Anaphylaxis; Urinary Stent Case Report; and Fight or Flight: Finding the Pheo. The finalists are from BluePearl hospitals in Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Utah.

“I was just so proud because you can look at those case reports and see the high level of medicine that we’re performing, Newfield said. “It’s mind-blowing, really.”

The competition is similar to case report challenges offered at national veterinary conferences such as IVECCS, but this one is only open to people who work at BluePearl. The overall winner will receive $250 from the BluePearl uniform store, which offers scrubs, clothing and other goods to the company’s staff.

Newfield said the competition makes a statement about the importance of veterinary nursing care and also serves as a professional development opportunity.  Each report was reviewed by a veterinarian, and a mentor has been assigned to each of the five assistants.

The challenge was not open to veterinary technician specialists, because they already have written reports and most have done public speaking. The idea is to encourage others who may not have had those opportunities.

Newfield said the finalists also can seek to have their papers published, if interested. “It’s a great way to get into speaking, publishing and lecturing,” she said.