This summer, I was lucky enough to be selected to participate in Banfield Pet Hospital’s Summer Job Program. Back in March, I was assigned to work at a clinic in Houston. The program is designed to be a mix of working as a technician and learning alongside the doctors. While I was initially concerned that the experience would be canceled due to COVID-19, everything continued as planned!
At the start of the experience, I was asked to rank my comfort level in different areas- clinical skills, communication skills, and business skills. This allowed to me to evaluate myself and think of what I wanted to get out of the program. I was able to talk with both my assigned coach doctor and the practice manager to discuss my goals- placing IV catheters, practicing drawing blood from the jugular vein, and performing physical exams. I was eager to practice the skills I learned my first year of vet school in a real clinic!
Starting day one, I was surrounded by supportive and encouraging technicians and doctors. Everyone asked what skills I wanted to hone, and were quick to say “Tabitha, come do this!”
Not only did I perform routine physical exams, but I also got to do orthopedic and neurologic exams. I also became much more confident in interpreting diagnostic tests like fecal exams and ear cytologies. I even got to scrub in on surgeries!
Getting to put everything I learned into practice this summer really enforced that I love the veterinary medicine industry. I love interacting with clients, learning new things, and working with animals with totally unique personalities. I am already looking forward to everything I will learn this coming school year.