It is my pleasure to introduce Michelle Watford, a graduate from the veterinary technology program. Shelly graduated from Globe University-Wausau in June 2013. She is currently working full time at VCA-Companion Care Animal Hospital in Wausau.
Shelly has embraced the challenge of gaining experience in a variety of settings since she began her journey. While still studying vet tech at Globe University-Wausau, she was referred to a receptionist job at an animal emergency clinic in Kronenwetter, Wisconsin, by one of her instructors.
“She rocks for referring me,” Shelly said. “Emergency medicine was a great opportunity.”
Shelly welcomed the opportunity to experience a lot of different scenarios. She worked at the emergency clinic for more than two years and was eventually given the opportunity to be a veterinary assistant.
Also while still in school, she was offered a position on a small dairy farm as a resident technician and milk hand. She accepted that job as well. She maintained both jobs and continued to attend school full time, even though the hours were exhausting.
“My experience at the farm was awesome. I learned how to draw blood, give IV fluids, place feeding tubes, give vaccines to newborns, assist in artificial inseminations, provide hormone replacement schedules for cows and monitor their heat cycles, treat mastitis, trim hooves. Really, the list could go on and on. I was so lucky to learn so many things about large animals,” Shelly said. “I did not enjoying getting up at 3:30 in the morning, though.”
Shelly has been with VCA-Companion Care Animal Hospital for three years. She began as a receptionist with the clinic, but is now working as certified veterinary technician. She enjoys working with the patients’ humans to understand the importance of preventative care.
“I feel privileged to be able to help most pets live long healthy lives and help owners understand their pets better. In a way, I am helping not just animals, but people, too,” Shelly said.
Shelly encourages everyone to pursue a career they will find fulfilling. She said, “My experiences throughout school were amazing. I had never worked in a veterinary clinic or setting before starting school, but I just always knew that veterinary medicine was something I was interested in.”
She notes that the challenge of the vet tech program was well worth it in the end, though at times it was very difficult. “I never gave up,” Shelly said with pride. “I continued to try. I always asked for help when I needed it. I worked hard, and it paid off. I truly love being an advocate for animals. We are so lucky to have these wonderful creatures in our lives.”