Conversational Spanish.

Aquarium diver.

Swing dancer.


Did I forget to mention veterinary nurse?

Already embodying the saying that “variety is the spice of life”, Tanya Camper’s veterinary interests fall right in line. Having recently moved back to California, she is looking to hone her skills as a technician and practice manager and would love to dive into urgent care, spay/neuter clinics, and possibly even international volunteering.

Alright, world, give her a call!

Bring on the passport stamps.


Everyone has a story – what’s yours? What inspired you to become a technician/nurse?

I didn’t always want to work in the veterinary field. My bachelor’s was in biology, focusing on marine science. I love the hands-on work and the fact that you’re always busy. However, because there are limited numbers of aquariums, finding a job is difficult, and you need to be willing to relocate. I ended up working at the Helen Woodward Animal Center as a veterinary assistant and loved it. The veterinary field is much more flexible, and as a technician, there are such a wide variety of animals that you can work with. And I still get to do the dirty work!


What roles have you had within the veterinary profession? How about outside of this industry?

For the past three years, I have been working as the Lead Vet Tech and Practice Manager of a small animal clinic in Seattle. I have worked in all aspects of the veterinary field – reception, assistant, tech, and practice manager, but only in general practice. As a relief technician, I am hoping to get more variety and work in some faster paced environments like urgent care or emergency. Outside the industry, I have worked/volunteered in animal husbandry with three different aquariums and have been an aquarium diver in two of those.


What made you switch to relief practice?

My boyfriend and I recently moved back to California from Seattle and are looking to find a neighborhood to settle down in.  Because of this uncertainty, I was looking for a position that allows me the flexibility of choosing my schedule while getting to know clinics in the area. I have been interested in working as a relief tech since I hired some for our clinic in Seattle when we were understaffed. I think getting to know a variety of clinics and the different ways people operate is very beneficial to my skills as a technician.


How do you feel that relief practice supports the veterinary profession as a whole?

The veterinary field is growing every day, especially with the pandemic and all the new adoptions. I think having access to relief technicians and doctors is vital to keeping a clinic running. As a practice manager, I dealt firsthand with the hiring difficulties many clinics are facing. Having the option of relief technicians and veterinarians is a very important resource for smaller private practices.


What are your favorite things about being a relief tech/nurse?

Getting to meet so many different people!  I love the variety and element of surprise.


Techs/nurses are known for their “Mary Poppins pockets” that seem to contain the world. What supplies or equipment do you bring with you on the job?

Stethoscope, an extra pen, and my planner.


What do you look for in a practice when deciding to cover shifts for them?

I would try any clinic once, but what keeps me coming back is the atmosphere. I need a healthy and happy work environment. I choose that based on personal experience and how I feel at the practice, as well as how the employees treat each other.


What states do you currently work within? Any other states in your sights?

I will be permanently working in Southern California, but I am hoping for the opportunity to work with Vet Techs Without Borders and participate in some spay/neuter clinics or international volunteering.


Aside from English, what language(s) do you speak?

I am conversational in Spanish and am always looking for opportunities to practice!


What are your hobbies/passions outside of work?

I am an avid scuba diver and sailor. I also like to dance, mainly two step, WCS, and ECS. I have a passion for traveling, and I have been to 28 countries and counting!


To learn more or to contact Tanya, click here.