Mentoring Benefits the Veterinary Team

November 21, 2014

Mentoring truly does benefit the entire veterinary team! Yesterday I had one of those wonderful days of dawning and I am compelled to share. First, we will go back in time to the time I met Dr. Carin Smith, on the phone, none-the-less. Her and I began collaborating on our first project together, The Veterinary Technician’s Relief Manual. We worked on the book for a few months, she published it, and a few months later we finally met in person. For us, it was the beginning of a great relationship and my mentoring experience.

Fast forward a few years later where Carin and I are speaking in front of a class of veterinary technicians, managers and veterinarians while in Minnesota. Our presentation was on team leveraging and satisfaction. I told the above story and Carin firmly stated, “Rebecca, I am no longer your mentor, we are colleagues!” Even to this day, thinking about that moment is touching and brings a broad smile to my face.

Now, to help bring it full circle. Brandy Sprunger-Helewa and I met while attending a VSPN get together at a convention (I forget where….), the beginning of an inspiring relationship, for both of us. As a “vintage veterinary professionals” we have the lovely advantage of watching, supporting, encouraging and assisting new veterinary team members into the profession. Such was the case with Brandy. We met at various NAVTA meetings, experienced “mind-melding” conversations, and attended social events at conferences together. It has been a pleasure to watch her professional career morph and reach higher heights. She is currently a VTS in Emergency & Critical Care, has been a leader in both state and national organizations, is an award winning veterinary technician, VSPN CE facilitator, and a CATALYST Veterinary Practice Consultant. I am very proud of her and the career she has designed and brought to fruition.

Yesterday, Brandy and I met for a delightful, “mind-melding” lunch in Phoenix. Afterwards, she commented on a Facebook status, “Find a mentor! Keep them around! One of mine is Rebecca Rose. I wouldn’t be where I am these days without her.” I immediately responded, “Brandy, appreciate being considered your mentor, but now we are definitely colleagues, working side-by-side, on so many levels!” BRINGS IT FULL CIRCLE!

The point is this: new veterinary professionals connect with “Vintage Veterinary Professionals,” continually, and mentor/mentee relationships transform and enhance the experience for BOTH. Often times these relationships go undefined (although not unappreciated). Thus the statement, “Mentor/Mentee relationships are more profound and prevalent than we may realize.”
Share your Mentee/Mentor stories on CATALYST sites, because it feels good and may help inspire others in their role (whether they realize they are in the special, inspiring relationship or not).