The Veterinary Technician

Jean Kaseta tends and teaches at Foster Hospital
A woman tends to a cat in a clinical setting with two others looking on.
Jean Kaseta doing what she loves. [Credit: Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine]

Celebrating Veterinary Technician Week at Cummings School would not be complete without showcasing Jean Kaseta. For over 25 years as a veterinary technician at Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals, Jean has cared for both animals and people. She has been called skilled, compassionate, thoughtful, thorough, patient...the list goes on. She teaches how to teach. And she has a special way with our feline friends. 

Here are reflections by Jean’s colleagues of working with her, learning from her, and laughing with her. 


I would never be where I am today and certainly have never gotten my VTS if it weren’t for the training and motivation Jean gave me early in my career and I know many feel the same.”

Jessica Boyle C.V.T., VTS (SAIM), Assistant Director, Veterinary Nursing (Specialty Service)


“Jean trained me in the ER when I first started at Tufts 8 years ago. I would not be the technician I am today without her. She also taught me how to teach while working on the floor. This is a skill she really excels at. Every year the students make a point to comment on what an outstanding teacher Jean is. It is incredible to think that in the 25 years at Tufts she has passed her wisdom and skills on to not only the technicians who have been lucky enough to work alongside her but to hundreds of veterinarians who have graduated from Cummings School. She is truly an icon in this institution.” 

Lauren Golato, B.S., CVT, Director of Veterinary Nursing – Inpatient Services


“Over the many years I have worked with Jean Kaseta she has been an inspiration and teacher to so many technicians, students, residents and even faculty. Her skill set is second to none. I don’t think there is one person in this hospital that hasn’t encountered a difficult vein to access and hasn’t said,“Where’s Jean?” She is skilled, compassionate and always willing to help.  She has continued to work well past retirement age because of her love of the patients, teaching and the people she works with.”

Diane M Welsh, C.V.T., Clinical Trials Coordinator/Technician


“Jean is a gift to each of her patients, their owners, and all the students and technicians who have had the privilege to learn from her skills, and all the doctors who have benefitted from her wonderful caring attention to their patients. She has tremendous compassion for both the pet and their owners and is also an excellent, proactive problem-solver. She is the number one person over the many years that people consistently seek out when they have a difficult IV access super challenge - she is an IV magician. We cherish her as part of our internal medicine family.” 

Lilian Cornejo, D.V.M., Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences


“I have known Jean for probably close to 30 years now.  She is the epitome of the perfect technician. She can do everything and has probably performed every type of technician related job. She trained me as a young doctor. I have seen her walk a nervous student, training technician, intern and resident through many a technical skill with patience and confidence. She is a cat whisperer, and can calm the most scared or the most fractious of our feline patients. How has she impacted my life personally, many times. An example is when our dog Patty was fighting her losing battle with cancer. Jean would help my husband and I do outpatient transfusions in the tech office so Calvin, Patty's brother could sit with her to keep her calm and comfortable. She has given support to so many of us in our good times and more often in our bad times. She will help others in any way she can. Jean is truly an unsung hero . She is a VETERINARY TECHNICIAN - someone that allows the doctors to be able to function on a minute by minute basis.”

Mary Labato, V83, D.V.M., DACVIM (SAIM), Clinical Professor & Associate Chair, Clinical Sciences


“Jean has been enormously helpful over many years with tech appointments that take the load off the rest of the internal medicine service. She has helped my own cats that have come in for routine blood work, microchips, vaccines, etc. Her calm manner is ideal for cats and she is a dream to work with, always willing to help with anything at all.

Cheryl Blaze, B.V.Sc., M.B.A., Ph.D., DACVAA, Associate Professor Emerita, Hospital Director, Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals


‘I have been a student, intern, and internal medicine (IM) resident at Cummings School and have been so lucky to have worked alongside Jean Kaseta for that duration of time. As a student, Jean taught me basic technical skills in the ER. No matter how busy, she always took the extra time to let me try to perform a skill such as a blood draw or IVC placement and was the most patient teacher. As an intern and resident, she took care of my tech appointments. Jean knows the chronic IM patients better than anyone, and they and their parents trust her implicitly. Many of my patients continued to return to Tufts for follow-up despite driving long distances because they wanted to have Jean continue to care for their pet. I understand the feeling because my own personal cat will only allow Jean to draw his blood! As I train my own IM techs now in private practice, I realize how lucky I am to have learned from Jean and how much I miss her. I use the skills she has taught me every day and hope I can pass them on to others!” 

Lauren Carvalho, V18, D.V.M., DACVIM, Affiliate, Clinical Sciences


“My favorite Jean story comes from when she was working at Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment & Specialties. One day I was struggling with a particular patient and neither myself or the anesthesia tech I was working with down there could get a catheter in the vein. The other tech said- “I’m going to go get Jean- they call her the mosquito because she can get blood out of anything”. That is definitely a true moniker - we would always turn to Jean to save us if we encountered a particularly tricky vein.”

Emily McCobb, V00, D.V.M., DACVAA, Clinical Associate Professor & Shelter Medicine Program Director, Clinical Sciences


“I have known Jean for all of the many years she’s been at Tufts.  She’s always been so helpful to me and a pleasure to work with. One of her many skills is that she’s a cat vein wizard! It’s like magic how she can get blood from the most challenging cats with suboptimal veins – and with minimal stress to the cats!” 

Lisa M. Freeman, V91, NG96, D.V.M., Ph.D., ACVIM (Nutrition), Professor, Cardiology, Clinical Sciences


I never cease to be amazed at Jean's technical skills; how she can gently restrain a cat by herself and obtain a blood sample, not to mention her clinical acumen, ability to spot lesions, palpate lumps, and detect ketones! Jean is phenomenal.” 

Orla Wages, M.V.B., Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Sciences


Jean always puts the care of her patients and coworkers first. We talked about her years in the ER and how she never stops moving.” 

Eric Richman, M.S.W., LICSW, Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals


“Jean is always willing to help and will assist other service technicians, anyone that comes into her room for venipuncture, and even things that are beyond her typical duties such as completing forms for participation in a clinical trial. Most importantly, everyone in medicine trusts Jean implicitly, and I haven’t heard of an owner that doesn’t feel the same way. Jean is compassionate, knowledgeable, hardworking, and incredibly skilled- we are lucky to have her. This would all be enough, but what I am most pleased about every time I walk into the “tech room” where Jean works is the confidence I see growing in the veterinary students.  Students can elect to spend time with a “tech week” working with Jean. Many of the students have limited experience with technical skills like venipuncture, cystocentesis, and blood pressure measurement, but Jean trains them up and is eternally patient and effective in her technical education.” 

Claire Fellman, D.V.M, Ph.D., DACVIM (SA), DACVCP, Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences


“I've known and worked with Jean for many, MANY, years.  I will say, she is one of the best! If you couldn't hit a vein on a patient, it would be...find Jean, she can do it! She was the person I trusted to put a catheter in my old cat Alice when it came time to euthanize her. She is the one I go to now, to ask advice about my diabetic cat. She truly enjoys what she does and is great at it. She's patient with the students and one step ahead of knowing what her doctor's want for blood work or anything else. You can count on Jean to get things done right the first time no questions asked...well maybe one or two, but that's what any good tech would do right? I really hope there will be more techs like her in the future.”

Gillian Sanders, Diagnostic Imaging Technician, Hospital for Large Animals



“Jean is such a talented nurse, exceptional educator, and wonderful human being. She encompasses my vision of what clients expect when they think of Tufts. I am a better technician because of her.

Michelle Emmott, Veterinary Technician III, Emergency Critical Care


“I have known Jean for many years!  She is such an amazing technician. I always hope I can be more like Jean! She is so calm and never seems intimidated by the task. She is such a hard worker and is always willing to help out!  Jean is the person we go to when you need a hand with a difficult patient!” 

Lauren S. Heintz, C.V.T.