October 12, 2022 Vet Life

Jessica Mejia: AMC’s Tech of the Year on Being an LVT

Jessica Mejia: AMC’s Tech of the Year on Being an LVT

October 10-16, 2022 is National Veterinary Technician Week and at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center we will be celebrating these critical members of the veterinary healthcare team with educational events, luncheons and a new theme every day. Watch AMC’s social media platforms for photos of the celebrations. If you visit AMC during Technician Week and meet with one of our outstanding technicians, be sure to thank them for their contributions to your pet’s care.

Every year, AMC’s Veterinary Clinical Managers select the AMC Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) of the Year. For this year’s Technician Week, I was lucky to score a half hour of time with the 2021 Technician of the Year, Jessica Mejia, LVT and Interventional Radiology and Endoscopy Veterinary Clinical Coordinator. Here are some excerpts of our conversation.

AH:  How did you become interested in veterinary medicine?

JM: I came to veterinary medicine through a very non-traditional route. Many in the profession want to take care of animals since they were very young. Not me; I didn’t even know being a veterinary technician was a thing. My father got me Ringo, a Shar Pei mix dog when I was in high school. That dog changed my life. He transformed me from a rebellious teenager to a responsible young adult. When it came time to plan my life after high school, I found information on the veterinary technology program at LaGuardia Community College in a City University of New York brochure and I enrolled.

AH: How long have you been at AMC?

JM: I came to AMC in 1999 fresh out of school. Because I had no experience, no veterinary practice would hire me. I came to AMC and was offered a job in surgery. I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t know how I was going to do the job I had just been offered. The Head Surgery Technician assured me AMC would teach me what I needed to know. Since that time, I have worked in AMC’s emergency room, ICU, internal medicine and interventional radiology and endoscopy.

AH:  Were you always interested in anesthesia?

JM: No way. Anesthesia was scary. I graduated wanting to have nothing to do with anesthesia. Now, I love it. The fact that the Head Surgery Technician believed in me made me overcome my fear of anesthetizing and monitoring patients in the operating room. Now I have the confidence to handle anesthesia complications as they arise.

AH:  How many pets do you have now?

JM: Three dogs and three cats. And by the way, they are all animals abandoned at AMC that needed a home. When I retire, I want to have a farm with Frenchies, Pekingese, goats and pigs!

AH: I hope that is not anytime soon, AMC relies on you and your fellow LVTs for anesthesia and so much more.

AH:  I confirmed with Jackie Mavros, LVT and Chief Veterinary Technician for AMC about the anesthesia training provided to LVTs at AMC. “During their education, most veterinary technicians receive little practical anesthesia training. To turn the novice technician into a skilled anesthesia technician, AMC technicians receive training from our AMC preceptors who are experienced technicians like Jessica and also from AMC’s Board Certified Anesthesiologist, Dr. Melissa Smith. We also collaborate with our technician specialists in the Education Department to help build the groundwork for our technicians to succeed here at AMC.”

Jessica is an inspiration to early career technicians at AMC and she has inspired a veterinary career for her little brother who manages the operating room of AMC’s Interventional Radiology and Endoscopy Service. If this conversation has inspired your interest in joining AMC’s talented veterinary technician team our website lists the open positions.

Tags: national vet tech week, national veterinary technician week, pets, vet tech, veterinary careers, veterinary technician,

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