Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital has a team of experienced and skilled licensed veterinary technicians like Sarah Huston dedicated to supporting our veterinarians and providing compassionate care to patients.
Sarah, who earned an associate degree in veterinary technology from the Pima Medical Institute in Renton, joined the hospital’s emergency and critical care team in November of 2016 after she moved to Pullman from the west side of Washington. She was accompanied to the Palouse by her Newfoundland and best friend, Larry (who happens to be a volunteer blood donor).
Sarah recently took the time to discuss her experiences at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and other thoughts.
What is your typical day like at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital?
Every day in the emergency room and the intensive care unit is different. Each patient is unique, and I get to see such a wide variety of cases, diseases, and conditions. I do a lot of critical patient care and treatments. An intense day is where I am sitting in front of one kennel most of my shift, monitoring vitals, coordinating with the doctor about adjusting medications depending on how the patient is doing – essentially keeping the patient alive. An easier day could consist of seeing incoming emergencies, helping triage cases, and teaching students and interns hands-on skills.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I think focusing on really critical patients and getting the opportunity to teach hands-on skills are my favorite parts of the job. I also love getting to interact with the patients – they all have their own personalities. It’s a lot of fun getting to play with them when I can and taking care of them how I would want Larry taken care of if he was in the hospital.
What are your career goals?
My only career goal is to keep learning every day and keep wanting to learn every day. Emergency and critical care can be a hard place to work. It is important to keep a positive headspace while at work. Working in academia is like a never-ending learning opportunity. I want to continue to learn and continue to love what I do day after day.
What do you like to do outside of work?
My life outside of work is amazing. Having a good work-life balance is so important to me, especially in this field. I love to get outside and explore. I am an avid trail runner, and I am currently training for my first 50-mile race. I love to spend as much time as I can down in the Wallowas, reaching all the high peaks where I can see mountains for miles. It’s truly life changing. The rest of my free time, I am with Larry. I have recently retired him from his long mountain hikes. He now loves shorter hikes around the local trails, as well as swimming. He is my world, and I make sure he knows that every single day.
What advice would you give to pet owners?
If I could give pet owners one piece of advice – pet insurance! You never know. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have something happen to your pet and have to make decisions on their care based on finances. When money isn’t a part of the equation, we really can give your pet the best chance. Veterinary medicine is really advancing, and it is amazing when we get to practice the gold standard of medicine for our patients.