Day in the Life: Vet Tech Extern Shares Experience

It’s either welcomed with slight hesitation or great perseverance: Veterinary Clinical Training, or as many Globe University veterinary technology students call it, externship.

Recently, I connected with Sheryl Jones, student in the veterinary technology program, to learn more about externships  Sheryl landed an externship at UW Veterinary Care, and she is set to graduate at the end of this quarter (Winter 2014).

Sheryl Jones

In action: Sheryl monitoring anesthesia during a recent spay-a-thon on campus.

Here is what Sheryl had to share.

How did you obtain an externship at UW Veterinary Care?

I knew right away that I wanted to do my externship at UWVC. I asked Ryan (Frazier, vet tech instructor) for contact information, and he gave me the name of the internship coordinator. I went in and did an interview—like any other job interview.

What is a typical day working at the UW Vet Care?

There isn’t a typical day, and that’s what I love about it. My externship has consisted of rotating through various departments in 1-2 week periods. I practice a lot of the skills I learned at school. Because it is a university, it is heavily geared toward learning, which is great for me. Everyone is used to, and loves to, teach. I get to do rounds with the vet students, so I’ve learned a lot about advanced topics and been surprised to learn that I can hold my own when it comes to discussions. The work is very specific to each department. One thing I really don’t do is the office side.

Any huge challenges you have encountered?

I am in my absolute favorite rotation now—anesthesia. Every day brings a new challenge. I stayed with one case all day today—from 8:30 to 3:00. It was a seven-month-old Labrador pup who had a very complicated surgery. She did well on the operating table despite having basically three separate surgeries. However, her recovery was very rough. It is a great challenge trying to figure out why she’s not recovering and how to get everything under control.

Now that you are working outside of the classroom setting, do you feel ready?

I am so ready for this! I just need practice and confidence, and I can do anything.

Sheryl Jones

Sheryl Jones, vet tech student

How are the staff and other residents/students helping you? What’s the work environment like?

The vets, students and techs have all been great. I am so impressed when the vets take the time to learn my name. They treat me with respect and assume that I know what I’m doing. It is up to me to ask questions.

Can you share any advice for your fellow students who will embark on their externships?

It’s good to shop around early for your externship, as slots fill up fast. No matter where you end up, make the most of it. Ask questions, jump in and offer to help instead of waiting to be told what to do. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

Thank you, Sheryl, for sharing your experience with the rest of us. What you shared is sure to be very helpful to fellow and future veterinary technology students. We all wish you the best in your future career!