An Interview with Tammi Lesser, LVT, Head of Sales and Marketing for Antech North America VP
Entrusted. Empowered. Essential.
We know that caring for patients requires invaluable dedication from every single member of a veterinary care team.
We talked with Antech’s Head of Sales and Marketing for North America, Tammi Lesser — who is also a Licensed Veterinary Technician — about the importance of technicians and how the role has impacted her own life.
A Veterinary Team’s Passion can Change Lives
“What I’ve focused on in my career is having technicians really operate at the full extent of their license, training, and experience,” said Tammi.
Since she was young, Tammi knew that animal care would be part of her life.
“I remember trying to do surgery on my stuffed animals and bandaging them up. I’ve been pretending to be a veterinarian since I was a little kid.”
Tammi was always drawn to the industry, but when she was 13, she knew she had to be a part of it. During this time, her dog had a really serious accident and ended up in an emergency center.
“When the veterinarian was telling me everything that day — and I was exposed to the practice and the passion of the care team — I knew that this is what I needed to be doing with my life.”
An Industry Defined and Embodied by Teamwork
“I’m a big advocate of making sure technicians are actually empowered and used to the full extent of their capabilities and credentials — making sure that technicians are viewed in that empowering way, because they have so much to contribute on so many levels,” said Tammi.
For so many practices, day-to-day success relies on every team member knowing their responsibilities and being willing to contribute wherever necessary.
“An environment where everyone knows their role but is also willing to jump in at any level — I think veterinary medicine embodies that, and specifically technicians.”
When Tammi was a technician at a 24-hour emergency referral center, a little girl, her dad, and a beagle puppy (who just ate a scrunchy) rushed into the practice.
Exploratory surgery was not an option financially. The team began to worry about the prospect of euthanasia if there was an obstruction. They decided to give the puppy hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting.
“The team’s passion was incredible. We came together knowing what this dog meant to this family, knowing that they couldn’t afford this surgery. I’ll never forget all of us rallying around this puppy — all of the technicians, the veterinarian, all of the assistants, and even the receptionist — watching him heaving and cheering him on.”
The puppy threw up a sunflower scrunchy — a great outcome that does not always turn out this way.
“It was such a joyous moment when that happened — we all cheered. The care and the commitment from the team went way beyond the clinical care. It was about how we actually help people by caring for the animals they love. That’s the ultimate human goal, and I’ll never forget that moment.”
Create Support Systems, so You can Keep Supporting Your Patients
Oftentimes, the demands of this profession can be altogether rewarding and taxing. So much emotion is involved in providing the best care possible for patients and their families — and that can take a toll.
“Sometimes you end up with compassion fatigue. I think we need better support within our industry to understand how to deal with the emotions we have on a day-to-day basis,” said Tammi.
“For me, it’s more spiritual things, being more mindful and present, and finding ways to talk about your experiences. Sometimes, simply sharing makes it easier to let go of hard situations in the clinic. Other physical activities like yoga or even meditation are also helpful to get rid of that energy.”
Motivating the Next Generation of Veterinary Technicians
“I get so excited when I think about the future of our industry,” said Tammi. “But I also think about the challenges we need to overcome. We know that there’s a veterinarian shortage. And I think creating a better partnership with credentialed veterinary technicians will support patient care and enhance the overall experience for everyone in the practice. I’m excited about elevating the role of licensed and certified veterinary technicians within delivering care.”
How do we motivate the next generation of veterinarians and technicians? VetSetGo.com is a platform that is making huge strides to engage with the next generation of animal caretakers, and platforms like these can help motivate individuals who have a heart for animal care.
Veterinary medicine is always evolving, and it’s important that those in the industry are supported and empowered to evolve and grow alongside it. We know how essential veterinary technicians and nurses are in this industry, and we will continue to support the efforts to entrust them with more opportunities to grow and thrive in the practice setting and in their careers.
“What’s helped me most in my career is the fact that I was a licensed technician. I understand what our veterinary teams go through, what they contribute, and how partners like Antech can support them. And I know how essential each and every technician is to the success of this industry.”