Vet Tech Student Applies Professional Communication Skills at Job Shadow

Erin learning how to insert catheter into stuffed animals.

Erin learning how to insert catheter into stuffed animals.

Erin Lynch, a veterinary technology student at Globe University-Woodbury, recently participated in an applied learning project for her Professional Communications class. Erin completed a job shadow at Animal Emergency and Referral Center of Minnesota (AERC).

Applied learning is taking the knowledge you have learned in class and applying it in the real world. Applied learning is focused on motivating and challenging students to connect what they learn to the careers they have interest in.

Read about Erin’s applied learning experience in her own words below.

Erin’s Applied Learning Experience

After contacting Stephanie Brozo from AERC, I used my elevator pitch, learned in my Professional Communications class, to land a job shadow position where I worked with two veterinary technicians, Christa and Leah.

On my first day, I was taught how to insert a catheter on an animal. I heard many sad stories of patients that came into the center, but I never expected to see a deceased cat, a maggot-infested chicken or a dog who became ill by eating raisins. It was a great experience to have for my career path.

I met and used professional skills, such as a firm handshake and networking. I even had the chance to inform a client about what the doctors would be doing to help their animal in need.

Skills Applied:

  • Interpersonal communication: By effectively communicating and also applying professional non-verbal communication.
  • Professionalism: Personal appearance is important in veterinary technology. I was required to dress appropriately for the job by wearing my Globe University scrubs.
  • Listening: Listening is important in every role within the veterinary field. I was able to communicate well, using exceptional problem solving and decision making skills under great pressure.
  • Writing: Veterinary clinics have medical forms that veterinary technicians share in order to keep track of each animal’s condition. Christa and Leah from AERC asked me to fill out these forms as I shadowed.
  • Intrapersonal communication: After learning about myself through my Insights profile, I was able to network with everyone I worked with.

Working in a veterinary clinic for two days was a great opportunity to apply professional communication and strengthen the professional skills needed for my future career. This applied learning experience enabled me to build the confidence to approach a professional with an elevator pitch and feel comfortable working in the veterinary technology field.

I have been given two offers to apply for a career upon graduation due to my excellent networking, customer service and attitude. Although I didn’t have much experience with veterinary technician duties, I was able to learn and even be a part of helping animals. I felt very lucky to have received the chance to work with these individuals and apply my knowledge of professional communications.