Blunt Dissection Ep 27: Inside The World Of A Veterinary Technician with Nicole La Forest

On today’s show, I’m joined by Veterinary Technician, campaigner and veterinary Instagram celeb Nicole LaForest.

Nicole is a co-owner, manager and Licensed Veterinary Technician for Mayo Veterinary Services - a large mobile surgery practice in Seattle. She graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology from Penn Foster College, is licensed in both California and Washington State and spent several years working in emergency medicine as a lead technician. Her clinical work at the mayo is focussed primarily in the fields of orthopaedics and regenerative medicine.

Away from her practice, Nicole is very active in the wider veterinary community serving as the president of the Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians, and also campaigning personally to raise awareness, standards and opportunities for vet technicians around the planet. Her passion in doing so has attracted a large social media following where she chronicles her life in practice and courageously discusses her issues with mental health in the hope that others may battle their own demons.

Now, just before we jump into the episode here’s a quick word from today's show sponsor the VetX:Thrive community.

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A conversation with a veterinary technician on Blunt Dissection is long overdue so it was great to bring a different perspective to the show. In a virtual world where filters and selfies are the norm, Nicole’s brand of visceral story-telling stands out and has won her a 20,000+ fan base.

Her frequently edgy posts chronicle a journey off the beaten path, they are educational, engaging and gritty – displaying an authenticity and a rawness that scream’s “take me as I am, warts ‘n’ all”. Nicole, it’s safe to say, is not afraid to call a spade a spade. But she is also a warm-hearted and incredibly bubbly person to spend time with.

And so it was in our conversation where she left nothing on the field. We covered a lot of ground, with subjects as diverse as managing burnout, drug addiction, crazy clients, how she keeps a life working with her husband fun. So without further ado, it gives me huge pleasure to bring to you, my conversation with Nicole LaForest.

Outline of This Episode

[4:20] How Nicole’s social came about and why [8:35] The journey from 1 to 18k Instagram followers [20:18] Advice for social media [32:00] Mayo Veterinary Services [35:20] Vet Tech vs. Vet Nurse [48:26] Burnout in veterinary technicians [54:06] Nicole’s coping strategies [1:05:08] Rapid fire questions

Resources & People Mentioned VMX 2019 Conference Website: Mayo Veterinary Services Website: A.V.M.A. Website: Book: How To Win Friends and Influence People Connect with Nicole

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Be safe, be well, be happy.

Dr. D