As the veterinary technician program chair at our Globe University campus, I enjoy keeping in touch with graduates as they establish their careers. I am excited to share some of their stories, starting with veterinary technician graduate Megan Wilczek.
Megan graduated from Globe University-Eau Claire campus in December 2011, and is now working closely with the Globe University-Wausau team as a full-time certified veterinary technician supervisor at VCA Companion Care of Wausau. I am excited to share that Megan has recently decided to pursue a specialty in behavior.
What does a specialty in behavior mean exactly? A Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in behavior is a CVT who provides expert knowledge, techniques and suggestive behavior modification in the area of animal behavior. As a VTS, Megan will train animals in order to prevent and correct behavior problems, and improve the human-animal bond through communication and leadership.
This specialty is no easy task.
Megan explains: “To become a VTS in behavior, I need to log 4,000 hours working in the behavior field and 40 hours of continuing education in behavior. Three thousand of those working hours can be working with animals to prevent behavior problems. One thousand of those hours need to be working with a pet that a veterinarian diagnosed with a behavior problem with the goal of correcting that behavior problem. I need to log 50 cases and submit five case reports. I also need to complete a list of skills under supervision of another veterinary professional, such as a veterinarian or CVT. I need to be able to train dogs, cats, and at least one other species of my choice. Once I have completed all those things, I can apply to take the exam to get my VTS in behavior.”
Megan is passionate about trying to keep pets from being surrendered to shelters. She would like to be able to provide education to clients to prevent and correct behavioral problems. In turn, this training and understanding will improve the pet’s quality of life.
For those who are interested in veterinary technology, Megan provides this advice: “There are a lot of options with a career in veterinary technology. It might seem simple that with a degree in veterinary technology you become a veterinary technician. That is only the starting point. Beyond that you can choose one of many specialties, become a hospital manager, teach at a college, do wildlife rehabilitation… the possibilities are endless. Whatever it is that interests you, there is a path you can take for it. Don’t limit yourself.”