passion, spirit, and soul: Jessica Mccray, RVT

Jessica Mccray brings an extraordinary blend of dedication and inspiration to work and to life. She’s a Registered Veterinary Technician on the Banfield Pet Hospital team in Las Vegas, NV, and it was awesome to connect with her for this Banfield blog interview. The roles, training, and even titles of veterinary technicians differ from state to state, but their passion for petcare is universal.

What or who inspired you to get into veterinary medicine?

I have the classic answer: I've always loved animals. But I also always knew that I wanted to make a difference. And really, my grandmother Rose inspired me. She was always just so caring and passionate, and always encouraging. She inspired me to make her proud, and I wanted to be at least half of the compassionate person that she was.

I felt like veterinary medicine was a career that joined my passion and my drive to want to make a difference. Animals don't have a voice, or a way to say they’re hurt or something's wrong. I wanted to be an advocate for them and speak up for them.

I wanted to have a career that was fulfilling and rewarding, and my grandmother is always in the back of my mind, driving me to be a better person. She was an inspiration on so many levels, and that's basically what kept me going, just having that thought that I was going to do something that was going to make her proud. And working with animals is how I can do that.

What are your days like as a Registered Veterinary Technician at Banfield?

A lot of people think that a veterinary technician just holds pets or just talks to clients. But I closely assist veterinarians in surgical procedures, I monitor anesthesia every day, and provide pet dental care. My job involves a bit of everything in pet medicine. From pharmacology to radiology, dentistry to anesthesia, you name it. 

I’m also one of the few people at my hospital who helps the doctors with the reptiles and other smaller animals. It’s rewarding for me, that's one of the things that I really enjoy doing.

How do you build relationships with clients?

I work in a lower income city, and I’m actually from there, too. I commute an hour to work because I want to specifically work in the city that I was from. It drives me to do quality work, provide good care, and try to get on a more personal level with our clients.

I’m the shift lead in the hospital. So I'm kind of the go-to person for questions and advice. We're a busy hospital and we see a lot of pets that need help. Being from San Bernardino definitely helps me be more compassionate towards the people I work with, because I’m from here. Every day, we see some pretty awesome people, awesome clients.

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I love art, and I always challenge myself to learn new crafts, anything from sewing to drawing. I taught myself how to sew masks for COVID, and I recently started painting pictures of coworkers’ dogs that have passed on – I’m working on one right now that's almost finished.

My co-workers are like a family. So I like to create something that is memorable for them, something they hang on their wall, and when they look at it, good memories come back to them. It’s something that helps fill my soul and makes me happy, because it brings happiness to other people.

If you weren’t working in veterinary medicine, what might you be doing? 

I think that medicine just trumps anything else I like. So if I weren’t in veterinary medicine, I might be interested in human medicine. But veterinary medicine is nonstop, and it’s always evolving, you’re always learning. There's just so much to take from it. And it's changing people's lives and pets’ lives. It’s fascinating.

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