Smart Flow Blog

We are revolutionizing the way veterinarians care about in-hospital patients.

Samantha Toy, RVT

Growing up in Southern Ontario, Canada, Sam thrived on James Herriot books and attending dog shows. After deciding that veterinary nursing was where it's at, she graduated from the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus and became an RVT in 2006. She spent 9 years in general practice and is now helping veterinary teams everywhere as part of the Smart Flow team.
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Recent Posts

7 Things Sports Can Teach Us About Vet Medicine

Samantha Toy, RVT Jul 27, 2018 3:03:00 PM Topics: Veterinary

It's a little ironic that I chose this topic to share with you all, because as anyone who knows me would tell you, I've always been planted firmly on the academic side of the science vs sports scale.

That being said, I do think there are some good lessons to be learned from sports when it comes to vet med, and pointing them out is my main goal (okay, go ahead and groan). Here are 7 things sports can teach us about veterinary medicine.

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Yes, I said it: New grads are underrated

Samantha Toy, RVT Jul 13, 2018 4:30:39 PM Topics: Veterinary, Vet Tech, Teamwork

“Everybody starts somewhere.”  We’ve all heard it, but how often does it actually sink in?  It seems the longer you’re in a career, the the easier it is to forget how it is to be a newbie.  Many people view it as a negative to have a new grad in their practice.  Personally, I think new grads are grossly underrated.

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6 Reasons Vet Techs Don't Last

Samantha Toy, RVT Jul 5, 2018 5:05:00 PM

Getting into the veterinary field as a technician isn't an easy feat. Between the competitive entry into the program, challenging courses, and practical exams, the schooling alone is demanding. Despite this fact, thousands of brave souls enter into this career because of one thing: a genuine passion for animals.

The sad part about this? The majority of these people do not stay in the field past the seven-year mark. In the end, that passion for animals and time, money, and effort spent on earning the diploma are not enough. Here are some reasons we believe contribute to technicians leaving the veterinary world behind.

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Patient care: more than just cuddling puppies

Samantha Toy, RVT Jun 22, 2018 11:58:00 AM Topics: Veterinary, Vet Tech

When people picture life in a vet clinic, we all know what comes to mind.  Happy puppies bouncing around in one pristine exam room while playful kittens chase a toy on a string in another. And some (very rare, very precious) days, this is true. But guys, the truth is, veterinary medicine is HARD. 

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Veterinary teams: Take a lunch break and change your life

Samantha Toy, RVT Jun 15, 2018 1:42:06 PM Topics: Veterinary, Vet Tech

Question for you: do you get a regular lunch break every day?  Did you just actually LOL?  It’s more common than not to hear our veterinary colleagues say they do not get a chance to take a break for lunch (or even to use the bathroom) on a daily basis. 

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My Message To All New Vet Techs (Or Those Thinking of Becoming One)

Samantha Toy, RVT May 31, 2018 7:30:00 AM Topics: Vet Tech

A high school student recently told me that she was thinking about becoming a vet tech and she asked me what I thought of the choice. I found myself surprisingly tongue tied and I didn't know why. Part of me wanted to say "That's fantastic, welcome to the club!". The other part of me wanted to talk her out of it.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I love it for so many reasons, most of which are intangible. After almost a decade in vet med, I often look back wistfully at my early days in this career and think about what I would tell that new tech fresh out of school. It hasn't been an easy road. We all know the path this career takes is an emotional, under-paid, and often challenging one. Knowing what I know about the industry now, what would I say to someone wanting to be a vet tech? 

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6 Reasons Vet Appointments Run Behind (And How to Prevent It)

Samantha Toy, RVT May 23, 2018 2:36:00 PM Topics: Veterinary, Vet Tech
If you work in a day practice like I used to, I know that you will understand my former frustration with appointments running behind. In my time as a receptionist, it meant struggling to schedule accurately, dealing with understandably annoyed clients, and at times a sense of chaos trying to keep up with where things were at. The reason appointments get behind can vary, but here are some of the most common (along with some ideas of how to deal with them!).
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Your Vet Techs are Being Wasted, and Here's How

Samantha Toy, RVT May 17, 2018 8:42:00 PM Topics: Veterinary, Vet Tech
Anyone who's been to veterinary technician/nursing school knows how much work it is. We learn so many new skills but when we get out into the "real world", many of us get stifled. So I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that a huge reason vet techs don't last in the field is that they feel they are under-utilized. I hear about this more and more and it got me thinking, why?
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8 Ways Technology is Helping (and Hurting) Veterinary Medicine

Samantha Toy, RVT May 10, 2018 4:44:24 PM Topics: Veterinary, technology

Technology: some people welcome it with open arms, and some fear the change that comes along with it. In veterinary medicine, technology has certainly made its mark on our daily lives, both in positive and negative ways. How is technology helping (and hurting) vet med?

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Should I leave vet med behind?

Samantha Toy, RVT Apr 17, 2018 11:08:00 AM Topics: Veterinary

Throughout my time in vet med, I've heard countless fellow technicians (and admittedly, the voice inside my own head) say that they don't know if this career is for them anymore. Most of us do the same things every day in practice. It's easy to get bored if you don't have the opportunity to test yourself or learn new skills.

Whether it's the desire to experience another avenue of veterinary medicine or go back to school and strive towards another career altogether, the thought of abandoning post has crossed many minds. And yet, most people continue on at their practices, caught in a vortex of wondering what else is out there and a looming sense of guilt for even allowing this option to be a consideration. 

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