A Day in the Life of a Roo Relief Vet Tech

Reyna Ramos
June 20, 2023

We recently sat down with Roo vet technician Reyna Ramos to talk about her experiences as a relief tech, what led her to choose relief work, and all the amazing experiences she’s had traveling around her home state of Texas practicing veterinary medicine. 

Describe yourself and your journey as a relief vet tech

I originated in the lovely Caribbean, Honduras, where I first learned to appreciate mother nature. With many agribusiness men in the family, it was natural to fall into the veterinary field. As a child, I traveled back and forth from the USA to HND. Going back to my native country, I studied closely with my family members to learn more about agriculture. I then began to study veterinary medicine, and my passion for the profession grew exponentially. I started as a kennel technician and worked my way up. I was working at a general practice that saw about 10-15 appointments in a day. It was fairly small, but the team and DVM were awesome. 

Out of curiosity, I began to do research as I felt a desire to keep growing. I then found out there was a platform that allows technicians to travel. I currently live in Houston, TX, where I work as a relief veterinary technician traveling all around the state. I have a very eco-friendly vehicle that allows me to go further out of my home radius to explore veterinary practices. I have acquired skills in multiple departments in vet med. 

What do you love most about being a vet tech? Which appointment types are your favorite? What has been your favorite location and shifts to work?

Honestly, I am truly passionate about my job. I’d say I love every aspect of being a veterinary technician. I enjoy a variety of appointments, but mostly emergency cases. I love seeing the progress patients go through under our care. Although I am open-minded about all of the locations I have worked at, Southeast Texas Animal Emergency Clinic is by far on the top of my list. I appreciate the flexibility to be able to sleep in and work a 2p-11p shift. Even if I am an early bird, I manage to run errands before a shift. 

Walk me through a typical day in your life: What kind of cases do you usually see? What animals do you treat? What makes the day a good day for you?

It varies by the practice that I attend. I reside in the city; therefore, many of the patients I see are typically small animals like dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and even rabbits. On a daily basis, the cases may vary from severe dermatology concerns to awful animal attacks. A good day will consist of strong teamwork. While relief staff may come for just one day, it is important to have effective communication. This will allow for us relief veterinary technicians to feel welcomed as we all communicate about our patients and flow for the day. A day full of puppies and kittens will of course always make it a great day! 

What’s the biggest challenge you face as a relief vet tech? How do you overcome these challenges?

One of the biggest challenges is having a bad vein day on your first day at a clinic. There are many skills we have to present while being in a new environment. Although I know that my work is exceptional, I am not perfect. Being judged by everyone at a clinic can be a tough first impression. I personally believe that remaining calm and positive allows me to overcome this uncomfortable situation. I then become more mindful of my surroundings and perform to the best of my ability. 

What motivated you to first try relief work, and how has your experience been so far? How does it compare to working at a single clinic full-time?

I was working at a general practice and overheard our home veterinarian speaking about relief work. I was then enthusiastic to learn more since I am a travel fanatic! My experience working with Roo has been awesome! While working at a clinic full-time may have benefits as far as your personal life, it does not allow flexibility to work when you desire. Working as a relief technician has allowed me to spend more time on the road exploring. I am able to pick up shifts as needed, and I am not required to work full-time unless I need to. Working at a single clinic full-time may become stressful if you are an individual who evolves around change. Relief work allows me to expand my mindset and learn from a variety of professionals in the industry versus seeing repetition working at a single clinic full-time. 

Walk me through a day when you decided to explore a further location to take your shift. How does that work with Roo?

I was navigating through the Roo platform via desktop and noticed a map feature. I was astonished as I began to course around different areas in the state of Texas! There are so many open shifts everywhere. I personally love exploring new parks as one of my favorite hobbies is taking my Kindle, hanging my hammock in a peaceful park during my lunch breaks, and reading. I downloaded the Roo app on my phone and accessed the map. I surprisingly found a clinic near a park about 90 miles from my home that I had previously visited. I then requested the shift at the click of a button, and I was off on a mini road trip to work. 

Where have you practiced as a traveling relief vet tech? What was the experience like? Tell me about your most unique travel experience. 

I have practiced at several practices from specialty clinics to even working at shelters. My experiences have been a rollercoaster. I generally have an amazing time with the fulfillment of helping out clinics while being short-staffed. During my lunch breaks, I am allowed to catch up on many other tasks outside of work. My most unique travel experience was going down to the coastal side of town where I visited the beach during my lunch break. I was then able to visit the beach as soon as I got off and spend time with my loved ones. 

How does Roo make it easy for you to pick up relief shifts on the go?

Roo has definitely simplified life with the mobile app. I can be sitting in a restaurant with my family discussing our goals and then feel encouraged and decide to book a shift. All I have to do is open my app and browse, then click a request, and wait for an approval. I then receive notifications that will inform me my shifts are confirmed.

How do you spend your free time when you’re not working? What do you wish you had more time to do? 

During my free time, I enjoy my top 5 hobbies, which are the following: 

  • Reading informational text on my Kindle at nature parks
  • Playing video games and setting up my gaming area
  • Practicing martial arts at several gyms with Jeet Kune Do being my favorite form of practice
  • Learning on several online platforms; continuing education is so much fun!
  • Spending time with family, dancing, going on hikes! 

I believe my time is well-managed with the flexibility Roo provides to make my own schedule. I would say I’d love to go out of state more often as I have not explored all 50 states yet! 

What would you say to someone who is new to relief tech work? 

I would encourage you to create an online calendar. Staying organized with dates and plans will simplify structure in your life. I’d advise you to take it step by step. Start off with basic research and gain as much knowledge as possible. Ask around what life is like for others, and see if it fits your criteria. Relief work is awesome; always remember to stay consistent as it will allow more job flow.

Always dress to impress, you may not remember everyone’s name, but they will remember yours! Be confident in who you are, never be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions will take you to another side of the world. Growing opportunities will always appear easily if you remain genuine and sincere.

Book only a handful of shifts in the beginning, then gradually work your way up. Create established work relationships with veterinarians and hospital managers as they may request you to work more shifts with them. Overall, don't forget to have fun!! 

How has your life changed with Roo? 

My life has taken a 180 turn to the best life I could’ve asked for. Once I began working in the veterinary industry, I always wondered if there was a job position that would allow me to travel. Then, I met Roo and loved every bit of it. As I am a student, I was overwhelmed working full-time to pay college tuition. Working with Roo has taken all the pressure off, I am managing my mental health incredibly well. Not to mention there is someone on the live chat 24/7 that can assist with any concerns you may have. Feeling cared for while having your own schedule is definitely an improved way of living. 

What do you like the most about Roo?

The CEs that are offered via email are great. I love how they facilitate learning opportunities for you online. You can RSVP easily to a special CE whether it is local or in another city. They even offer webinars!!! Roo is evolutionary to the veterinary industry as it is growing every day. They allow professionals to improve themselves 110%. Roo is always there for you in good days and bad days, you can always count on them! 

Anything else you would like to share about your experience with Roo as a relief vet tech in Texas?

I’d encourage every single veterinary technician in the state of Texas to join Roo. It is a stepping stone into the life you truly desire. I have expanded my network and gained so many opportunities. Better yet, I never thought I’d step out of my personal comfort zone. Roo has taught me to flourish in an outstanding way. Thank you for being an awesome company for veterinary professionals!

Interested in joining Reyna and becoming a relief vet tech with Roo? Join Roo today for free and start picking up shifts across the country!

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