Q&A: Veterinary Nursing Development Programs at Compassion-First

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Oct 07, 2020

In our latest podcast, Stacy Burdick, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), Chief of Staff at Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals and Clinical Advisor for Compassion-First, interviews two key members of Compassion-First veterinary nursing development programs: Janet McConnell, CVT, Director of Veterinary Nursing Development (VND) and Karen Norton, CVT, Clinical Training Manager of VND.

In the podcast, they discuss...
The importance of certified and trained veterinary nursing staff.
Give a quick overview of our numerous VND programs.
Announce details of an exciting new scholarship program.
Highlight our new VT that holds a seat on our new Specialty Advisory Board.

They also express their gratitude for veterinary technicians and assistants in honor of National Vet Tech and Assistant Week. We are honored to have such an extraordinary staff of technicians throughout the Compassion-First network. They work so hard and have sacrificed so much during this unprecedented time, and we cannot thank them enough for all they do.

You can learn more about our VND programs here.

Did you miss our recent podcasts? You can listen here.

Hosted By:
Stacy Burdick, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)
Chief of Staff, Red Bank

Veterinary Hospital & Clinical Advisor, Compassion-First Pet Hospitals

Stacy Burdick, DVM, DACVIM serves as the Chief of Staff for Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, as well as the Clinical Advisor of Compassion-First Pet Hospitals’ executive team. She also serves as chair of Compassion-First's Specialty Advisory Board (SAB), and heads the Medical Directors Advancement Council (MDAC). Dr. Burdick obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2003, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Illinois in 2009. After veterinary school, she completed a rigorous one-year small animal medicine and surgery internship at VCA Norwalk, followed by a three-year residency in small animal internal medicine at The Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York City.  Dr. Burdick became a board-certified veterinary internist in 2013.  She then went on to complete a one-year fellowship in interventional radiology and endoscopy at The AMC in order to gain valuable experience in minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Burdick joined Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals in 2014. She never stops pursuing growth and personal development, and is currently working on a master’s in business administration degree from the University of North Carolina.

Janet McConnell, CVT
Director of Veterinary Nursing Development
Compassion-First Pet Hospitals

Janet graduated from the Veterinary Technician Program at Harcum College in 1981 and has enjoyed 39 years in the veterinary profession as a CVT in various roles.  She started her career at small general practices in NJ, followed by 10 years in general/specialty medicine at Oradell Animal Hospital, then 24 years at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in clinical, supervisory and management roles, followed by education and team development.  Janet joined the Compassion-First Shared Services team in 2016 and launched the Veterinary Nursing Development Department, to develop programs and resources to elevate veterinary assistants and technicians to their highest potential for patient care and career development in the Compassion-First network.

Janet has a strong passion for education and empowering veterinary nursing teams.  She co-developed the NAVTA Approved Veterinary Assistant Program at Brookdale Community College in 2010 and continues to fill the role of Program Director.  She is also a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim Tech Champion Team and has spoken at major conferences and tech fests around the country, to empower veterinary technicians to become better educators to their clients when discussing preventative care. She has also spoken at various in-person and online conferences on the role of the Approved Veterinary Assistant and their positive impact on the Veterinary Healthcare Team.

Janet is also an active advocate for the veterinary profession and has served in multiple roles with NJVTA and NAVTA for many years. She is currently the President of the NJVTA, NJ State Representative to NAVTA, is a member of the VNI (Veterinary Nurse Initiative) Advisory Board and has served on the AVMA Veterinary Utilization Task Force.   Janet is also a member of AVTE, AAHA, a Fear Free Certified Professional and was named NAVTA’s Veterinary Technician of the Year in 2015.

Karen Norton, CVT
Clinical Training Manager, Veterinary Nursing Development 
Compassion-First Pet Hospitals

Karen Norton is a CVT (NJ). Growing up in California, Karen decided early in life that she wanted to work with animals and has been a veterinary technician for35 years. She has worked at several large emergency and referral practices in, including 23 years at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, NJ. Karen has had roles as CCU supervisor, blood bank director and clinical trainer and served on hospital committees to help provide the very best care to patients and their owners. She spent 5 years as an instructor for a NAVTA-Approved veterinary assistant program and continues to contribute content. Currently the clinical training manager for Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, she supports the training and education of veterinary nursing team members across the country.

Karen is a member of NJVTA, VECCS, AVTE and VHMA and has presented at NJVMA, NJVTA and AVTE conferences. She is a RECOVER certified instructor and is FEAR FREE certified.  She is passionate about providing innovative training methods to help veterinary nursing professionals to develop their knowledge and skills to provide the highest level of care to pets and their owners.

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