Weekend Coffee Share; What I do for Work!

I have some freshly brewed coffee which I drink with a splash of Italian sweet cream. I also love Earl Grey tea and have some for you if you so desire. Can I get you a cup of either with a donut or muffin? I thought as we visit I would tell you all about my work and how I got involved in what I do for a living. I’ve been wanting to share and thought why not over a cup of coffee. So here goes nothing, as I’ll start with a little history.

Growing up I loved two things, horses and the medical field. I got my first horse when I was 10 years old and was with several English horse trainers and rode Hunter/Jumpers. When I graduated from high school I worked full-time for two different horse trainers grooming and showing year round. I thought I wanted a career in the horse industry but after 4 years of dedicating my life to horses I felt like I was missing something. I thought to myself, is this what I am going to do for the rest of my life? That’s when I decided I wanted more and thought I need to go to college. I wanted to be a nurse!

I decided to head to college and while talking to our equine veterinarian at my trainers he told me about a Veterinary Laboratory where he drops off his blood work for testing. I told my horse trainer (my boss) that I could not work full-time and go to college and so I needed to find a new job. He understood and had other grooms and other girls working for him so he continued as my horse trainer until I sold my horse. My show horse Chester my trainer convinced me to sell him which I did to a nice lady who was learning to ride. So he was retired and went to a good home. Before I left my trainer and started college I had bought a young show horse that my trainer wouldn’t let me ride! I couldn’t believe it and I was rather annoyed, so it made it much easier to head out in another direction and I sold that horse and stopped riding for awhile. I felt like it was the right decision at the time. New goals, right? I did miss the horses though…..

Can I get you a refill? or another muffin? I was able to contact the veterinary laboratory that the equine vet recommended and went for an interview and was hired on the spot! I started working there in 1982 and never looked back. It was cutting ground in the veterinary laboratory industry back then and we were using instruments that you use in the human laboratory. When I think back it is amazing how we use to do the testing compared to today. There were no computers – NONE! A lot of the testing was very old school, chloride testing by titration for example, (anyone remember chemistry in school?) a lot of manually testing that is now all 100% automated. I was hired into the Chemistry department. I was just starting college, and it was such a fun job and still is believe it or not! I Love my work!

To this day anyone can open a veterinary laboratory. There are vet hospitals and vets who have tried, and there are many smaller vet labs around that are growing but there are now two GIANT vet labs competing against each other and I worked at one and left to work at the other. The veterinary lab work is not regulated by the state. There is some federal regulations which would be for special tests that are not routine like rabies testing which I believe is done at Universities. The federal government also regulates an Equine test called Coggins which is for a highly contagious disease that the federal government has complete control over. You have to go to “Coggins” school in Iowa and be trained on how to perform this test. It tests EIA which stands for Equine Infectious Anemia which is transmitted by bloodsucking insects. Anyways, I’m going off on a tangent here and what I am trying to say is no one needs to be licensed or degreed to work in a veterinary laboratory. It is helpful but not a requirement!

It is all really complicated to explain how these huge giant chemistry analyzers work but they are completely amazing. These are used in human labs as well, all our instruments are used in both settings. I have been to training at the manufacturers on many occasions on generations of analyzers over my 40 years of working in the laboratory field. I didn’t take photos but there are two more instruments called Immulites that run endocrinology testing. I have many certifications of my training which gives me expertise in this field. I did attend college but did not get my degree. I ended up getting married and had my 3 beautiful children which are all wonderful grown adults. In the beginning, when I started at that vet lab, I just thought it a job to help me get through college. After 4 years at the vet lab I quit and went to work at a human lab which was a great experience. I was there for about 12 years and without making this too long of a story I quit to move and live in our local mountains and be a full time Mom. That only lasted one year and so we decided to move back to suburbia and I contacted friends back at the vet lab and became the supervisor of the Chemistry department. I actually love helping animals through my job and veterinary science has come a long way and is just as good as we get for ourselves! 😀

As the supervisor for 20 years I learned so very much. I realized that my job was really my career. Moving back to town and getting into this position really pushed me to learn and be a leader. I am very proud of my department and all I did for those 20 years but they were all working grave yard shift (night shift hours). Last year I decided to look for day shift employment. I knew being in management for the last 20 years that there were no viable jobs to stay with this company and so I looked elsewhere and landed a job working swing shift hours with almost the same rate of pay. I now take care of 4 instruments full-time, run blood work and prepare another 9 instruments for the night shift run. I just run quality control on those 9 instruments with a little bit of daily cleaning. It is all doable and I really enjoy this new job, with these great new hours! 😀

I hope this all isn’t too boring and sorry for the techy language which I didn’t want to over explain. If you have any questions, please ask as I’d love to share! I so appreciate you having coffee with me today. I’ll end with this photo!

It’s only fitting since I found my career because of my love of my horse. I know I am helping all those with furry friends as I run their blood work through the analyzers to see if their kidneys are working or if they have diabetes for example. There is so much more, but working in the medical field has been very rewarding. I hope you enjoyed and thank you Natalie for hosting our #weekendcoffeeshare!

Keeping animals healthy, with Love!

~Diana ❤

24 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share; What I do for Work!

  1. Great photos of you and Chester/Norwegian Wood. I think it is interesting that it is mostly unregulated. I hate over regulation on some things, and licenses that seem to be only a new way for a state to collect revenue, but it does seem odd. I’m glad you love your work – always a plus! I don’t know if I could have lasted 20 years doing midnight. I did swing shift for a while when I was in ATC, but love my “bankers hours” now!
    I hope your weekend is going well and that you have a great week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much Trent! I thought of you when I remembered Chester’s show name because I also really Love music and thought the name Norwegian wood was such a cool name. I had to mention the unregulated situation because the medical field for humans is very regulated of course for the safety factors. It’s been somewhat of a roadblock for me because I’m not licensed nor have my degree (I often felt trapped because I was paid well but couldn’t just look for the same exact job elsewhere easily) I could never be a supervisor in a human lab in the chemistry department. But it’s okay, and I’ve thought of going back to school. I’m happy now especially with swing shift hours!! I honestly don’t know how I did it for so long (nights). It just became normal for me in so many ways. So happy for the change!! I’m having a great weekend, have a great week ahead! 😀

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    1. Haha, after I wrote that first comment I got to thinking I’m also grateful for the fact the vet lab business is unregulated because I have had wonderful opportunities! Thought I would share that too. It’s been a great business to work in all these years!!

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    1. Haha, does give those instruments some character!! When I was at my other job I tried thinking of names for those instruments but couldn’t come up with anything! Lol 🤣
      Yes, I’ve shared Chester before but they fit so perfectly in this post I had to reshare! And definitely dangerous (love gangster! 😉) I can tell you it’s such a thrill to be on these amazing animals flying through the air over the jumps! I miss it but I’m much older now and don’t bounce as easily!! 🐴🤠

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  3. Thanks for this history. I am familiar with the Coggins test as it is required to travel and also for shows. Have you had any experience with EHV1? There is a neurological form that has been the cause of death of several horses in Europe all stemming from a show in Spain and then some of the horses left and took it with them to infect more horses. The FEI then shut down all FEI level shows in Europe. The vaccine, as you know I’m sure, does not protect against the neurological form. But I have heard it does lessen the severity of the virus. All this in a year with Olympics? Not good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anne, we do not run any testing for EHV1 but any blood work that comes in gets sent to the Universities for testing. I listen to a podcast called Horses In The Morning and what is so great about this podcast is they keep us horse people up to date with all horse news around the world. Have you heard of them? They have been giving us updates when the first outbreaks happened with EHV1 the origination news in Spain, the FEI shutdowns etc. It is very scary, and can’t believe we had a pandemic of sorts in the horse world. It is really unfortunate this neurological form has surfaced in an Olympic year, DEFINITELY not good!

      This podcast is educational, entertaining and all around wonderful podcast that has been in production for over 10 years. They have had some AMAZING guests and I get to listen to trainers from so many disciplines. They offer on Horse Radio Network 20 different podcasts to listen to including Dressage Radio, Retired Racehorse Radio, Stable Scoop to name a few and all of this is for free!! I have learned so much and Love keeping up with equestrian news all over the country and world!! I’ve been listening to HRN podcast for about 3 yrs now, it helps keep me connected to the horse world. I just Love it so much, and if you know about it, sorry for the lengthy explanation! I just Love to share ~ maybe other readers will check it out too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Diana, I enjoyed reading this post very much. It’s not boring to me at all. So wonderful that you’ve had a career that’s aligned with your love for horses and horse riding. Have you read the novel Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami? It’s the novel that made him a celebrity in Japan. Thank you for sharing your photos and story with #WeekendCoffeeShare. The ones of you and Chester/ Norwegian Wood are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Natalie for visiting and phew, so happy it’s not boring! I have not read the novel Norwegian Wood, something I’ll have to check out. Thank you for the recommendation! I’m so happy you enjoyed my show jumping photos from my youth. It was such an amazing time in my life showing and riding my horses!!

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing the story of what you do. So fascinating. I loved the horse jumping photos too. I’ve always loved horses though never owned one. There’s just something both powerful and peaceful about them.

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    1. You are very welcome and thank you for your kind comments. I Love your description of the horse as they are indeed so very powerful and peaceful in their nature being prey animals. They have adapted so well to intertwine their existence with humans in an incredible way as they have really been a key part of our existence too throughout history. Amazing animals! ❤️🐴

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  6. Never a bore cowgal. Love the photos so awesome to have such wonderful memories to look at & reminisce. Fun job, I wouldn’t be able to work there as I wouldn’t be able to help myself too many buttons to much fun. Love the thing 1 thing 2 characters. I felt like I was looking at photos of a secret laboratory with secret futuristic washing machines that change your clothes so that when you wear them you turn into a super hero & save the world. lol sorry.
    Are you on your feet the whole shift or are there chairs to scoot around on? Its so rad that you love your job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, you always make me laugh! Love your imagination, and if I use mine I’ll say wouldn’t it be cool if my instruments had a secret panel that if I put in a special code and stand right in front of the monitor screen it could transport me to any location (like beam me up Scotty, in Star Trek!) And I could be transported for a weekend at a time to my blogging friends all over the world!! 🤩👍❤️ That would be so FUN! And AMAZING!! Happy it wasn’t boring, and it was great fun to look back and reminisce! I’m on my feet almost the whole time. My feet do suffer a bit after all these years!! I have shoe inserts for extra support, and try and sit when I can but it’s not for long. I put in at least 5,000 steps every day according to my Fitbit!! I’m writing this on my lunch break, hehe. Got to get back to work!! Sending rad vibes your way and as always so happy to hear from you!! Cowgirl sister! 🤩🐴💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A secret starship portal is now my next project here at home. lol
        A song to sing today
        Star trekkin across the universe on the starship enterprise under captain Kirk
        Star trekkin across the universe
        Boldly going forward cause we can’t find reverse.
        hahahaha

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Diana, did you know either George or Steve Slender most recently from the Del Mar Horse Park northeast of San Diego? I enjoyed your coffee share a lot and could not help but think you you may have run into my recently passed Cousin and Uncle from that park Both were involved with horse racing and the medical needs of the animals.

    I loved hearing about the techy side of you and could feel your passion through the essay – kinda like it is when you tell us about your horses.

    I think there is a pattern forming here.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Gary,
    Unfortunately no, I did not know George or Steve Slender. Back in the day when I attended the horse shows all up and down Southern California, I was young and just attended to my horses and was not involved with racing. I also wasn’t involved with anything with the medical field at that time.

    I’m happy you enjoyed my techy side. I must say I’ve hired and trained many, many people and most are very intimidated by these giant beasts!! They are very big instruments and I just Love learning all about them and dive right in and am not afraid!! Lol 😆 you never know how or if your words when written down convey your feelings. Thank you for the kind comments that my passion shines through. Means a lot to me especially from you dear friend!!

    Thanks so much for visiting and I hope you have a wonderful week ahead! ❤️🤓

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