Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Veterinary Assistant Program

August – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
August 2014

Sinead McMahon Stuessy

Veterinary Assistance Program Student of the month - August 2014 - Sinead McMahon Stuessy

Sinead lives in Oceanside, Calif., where she enjoys being a full-time mom. She was watching TV when she heard about Animal Behavior College and its Veterinary Assistant Program, and decided to visit the website. Since childhood, Sinead has had a deep love for animals and credits her mom for it. She chose to become certified because she knew it would give her a competitive edge when looking for a position as a veterinary assistant.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

So far, my biggest challenge has been working with military working dogs. They are mostly German Shepherds and I had an extremely bad experience with one a few years ago. I overcome my fear by showing up everyday to work with those dogs, by practicing safe handling and remembering to breathe.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

Everyday has been fun and filled with smiles. Two of the Camp Pendleton Veterinary Treatment Facility’s office staff, who are from the East Coast, were getting really excited about a store that is similar to a 7-11, only better, they said. I’ve never seen someone get so excited about something like that.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment involved working with the Army veterinarians. They do things a little different but they included me in just about everything.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Veterinary Assistant Program?

My experience with ABC has been very rewarding. Everyone, including those at my externship location, has been very kind.

What skills do you want to master during the next 12 months?

I would like to be able to improve on reading chemistries such as blood work and urinalysis. I would also love to master the anatomy of common animals, especially horses.

What are your future career plans?

I want to work with large animals, especially horses. I would also like to continue my education and pursue becoming an RVT.

If you could work with any exotic animal, what would it be and why?

Wolves; I want to learn more about them. I’ve always loved wolves, I’m fascinated by them.

July – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
July 2014

Kerri Denhalter

Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month Kerri Denhalter July 2014

Kerri Denhalter lives in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where she originally heard about Animal Behavior College while watching an episode of “Animal Cops” on Animal Planet. Although Kerri’s first dream was to become a marine biologist, she had a strong interest in nursing and nutrition as well, and figured that becoming a veterinary assistant would combine all of her career choices into one. Kerri decided to pursue this rewarding career and now works as a veterinary assistant at a Best Friends Animal Hospital. She was hired on as an employee after completing her volunteer externship hours there.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

For the last 15 years, I focused on being a military spouse and raising my two boys within the challenges of military life. Stepping back into the work field was a bit intimidating and a little scary; it was the hardest part to overcome. I overcame it by retelling myself all the many tips I shared with my boys over the years, such as “Be brave, you can do this” or “Just be yourself, be honest and work hard and it will all fall into place.” I guess I started to take some of my own advice. I was also able to overcome my challenges due to my family’s support; they have cheered me on since the beginning.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

There have been quite a few at my work and during my externship; however, one that sticks out is when I had a small mix breed canine on the exam table and I was taking his temperature. I had to do quite a bit of sweet talking to this little guy because he was very scared and unsure of being at the hospital. But I finally gained his trust and took his temperature and finished up his vitals. I was feeling quite confident and proud that I was able to handle this tricky little dog. But as I went back into my scrub pocket to pull out my pen, there it was a little poop on it. He had gone a little after taking his temperature but I didn’t realize some of it had ended up in my pocket. It was all pretty funny, since now that the exam was all said and done, the little tricky dog did get his way with me, just in a different style.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Veterinary Assistant Program?

My experience has been a wonderful one. I was a bit unsure at first since it was all through the computer and online for most of it. I had worried what would I do if I needed help or was confused, but after working with the program manager and my externship coordinator they put all my worries to ease. I did have questions or needed clarifications on a few things but they were always so quick, patient and clear with all their responses. It made me feel very comfortable while I went through my learning.

What are your future career plans?

I have thought of continuing my career path and possibly going to school to become a licensed veterinary technician. But for right now, I am happy learning in my current job as a veterinary assistant, which will only help me that much more in working hard toward becoming a veterinary technician.

If you could work with any exotic animal, what would it be and why?

I am not sure if whales would be considered exotic, but they have always had a special interest and love in my heart. I think they are some of the most majestic and beautiful animals still today.

June – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
June 2014

Victoria Boone

Veterinary Assistant Student Of The Month Victoria Boone – June 2014

Victoria Boone (“Tori”) lives in Lawrenceville, Ga., and works full time at Tiger Tails Animal Hospital in Duluth, Ga. For the past 16 years, she has worked in the newspaper industry as a copy editor and features writer. In 2009, Tori began volunteering at the Georgia SPCA to give back to the community and, as a life-long dog lover, she devoted a lot of her time there. She was at the SPCA so often that she was offered a part-time position on the kennel staff. Tori loved helping animals but after about 6 months she wanted to do more.

How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?

I came across Animal Behavior College on the Internet. I liked how ABC worked (and is flexible) with students like me who are older and working full-time but want to go back to school. I also liked the lower cost of the ABC program compared to other schools. I didn’t want to go into a lot of debt going back to school in my 30s.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Veterinary Assistant Program?

My experience in the ABC veterinary assistant program was a very good one. I learned a lot about myself personally and professionally. I learned what I could handle well and what sort of things I needed to work on once I got into my externship. My externship coordinator Samantha and my program manager Penny were both very kind and helpful to me when I had concerns or questions about my externship or my tests.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

The most rewarding moment was when a client came in the hospital to pick up her dog’s collar two days after I assisted with the euthanasia of her dog, Sierra, who had cancer. When she came in she looked at me and said, “Thank you for being so nice and thoughtful during such a difficult time for me and my family.” It made me feel like I really helped this lady with the loss of her family pet.

What skills do you want to master during the next 12 months?

The skill I want to master is feeling completely comfortable and confident drawing blood from an animal; it’s been one of the most challenging things for me to master. I also want to master restraining smaller dogs because I’ve found that smaller dogs are harder to restrain than larger dogs because the smaller ones are very squirmy.

What are your future career plans?

My future career plans are just to continue learning from Tiger Tails to become the best veterinary assistant I can be. If I feel like time and money allow it, I may consider going back to school to become a registered vet technician.

April – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
April 2014

Jennifer Bergey

A born and bred Pennsylvanian, Jennifer Bergey grew up in Radnor and currently lives in Pottstown—seven years and counting. She is the proud mother of two adorable dogs: a Boxer named Birch and a Cockapoo named Noel. She also has a cat named Bell and a tortoise named Jim. Continue reading

March – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
March 2014

Eduardo Ochoa

Veterinary-Assistant-Program-Eduardo-Ochoa-Student-of-the-month

Eduardo Ochoa lives in Los Angeles and did his externship at the Pasadena Humane Society. When Eduardo first started in the program, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. However, after going through the externship, he is now ready to continue his education and become a Registered Veterinary Technician.

Was veterinary assisting your first career choice? If not, what was it?

Becoming a veterinary assistant was not my first choice. I actually had all of my classes already picked out and was ready to start Community College at Pasadena City College [before attending ABC]. Before that, my dream was to move to San Francisco and become an artist. I wanted to use my creativity [to be an] eco-friendly architect. However, as I thought about it more and more, I realized having a hobby as a career would probably interfere with my creativity. Then, when I really thought about the direction I wanted to take in my life, helping and being around animals is what made me feel more comfortable and complete. Therefore, this is the path I chose and followed through with.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

When I started my externship, I was really nervous. Reading a book is one thing, but actually doing it is another. When it comes to what was the most challenging for me, I’d say it was trying to overcome my embarrassment of asking questions. I needed to learn how to do things and had to get the courage to ask how things needed to be done. Once I overcame this, I was so relieved. This helped me grow so that I am now able to move more quickly. Also, this has brought me closer to the staff so I feel like I’m now a member of the team.

How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?

When I first decided to follow a career path in working with animals, I didn’t know about Animal Behavior College yet. I searched around and truthfully, this school seemed more inviting than others.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Veterinary Assistant Program?

Being in the ABC program has been great! It’s easy, quick and extremely informative, especially for how short of a time it takes to get certified.

If you could work with any exotic animal, what would it be and why?

If I could work with any exotic animal, it would be with penguins. I love penguins and cold weather. I find penguins to be very interesting animals. Some of the things a male does to specifically attract a female is just amazing.

February – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
February 2014

Ashley Morse

Ashley Morse lives in Jessup, Md., and works part time in Glen Burnie at the veterinary clinic where she did her externship.  She initially heard about Animal Behavior College when she saw a commercial on Animal Planet. Ashley has wanted to work in the field of veterinary medicine since she was a child, and ABC presented the perfect opportunity for her to pursue her dream.

What prompted you to become a veterinary assistant? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

I was obsessed with animals when I was a child, especially exotics. To this day I firmly believe that a home is incomplete without at least one pet. I wouldn’t say there is a specific event or person in my life that inspired me, it was actually an organization. The United States Humane Society and SPCA have always been a major motivator for me.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

There were quite a few interesting moments, patients and clients during my externship. However, I think the most entertaining was when I helped the lead tech clip the nails of a yellow Labrador. This was no ordinary Labrador, though. I am not sure what he was mixed with, but he was big and stocky, and weighed in at more than 120 lb. of mostly muscle. There were a couple of times while I was attempting to restrain him that he dragged me on my knees down the hallway and back. His leash was ready to fall apart, because he apparently had a habit of chewing on it. We were all expecting it to bust at anytime as he dragged me down the hall. It ended up taking three of us to restrain him long enough to finish the procedure. He was a very sweet dog, but he just didn’t like having his feet touched. It was definitely a little humorous to say the least.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Veterinary Assistant Program?

Overall, I have had a good experience with Animal Behavior College. My program manager Penny Derbyshire-Baldyga and my externship coordinator Serina Baerga have both been very helpful, understanding and considerate. This has made the online [portion], which was a little different for me, much easier to manage.

What skills do you want to master during the next 12 months?

I would like to master my comfort and instinct levels when handling different animals for procedures, especially those they will be uncomfortable with. It is really the only aspect of this field that I’ve discovered isn’t really learned as much as it is acquired through experience and understanding of different animals.

If you could work with any exotic animal, what would it be and why?

Honestly, big cats, namely cheetahs. They are my absolute favorite, but if I ended up working at a zoo or a wild life rehabilitation center, I would be happy working with any exotic animals; even the large, smelly ones. I love them all.

January – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
January 2014

Edith Theadora Haralampous

Edith Theadora Haralampous - Veterinary Assistant Student of the Month Jan 2014

Edith Theadora Haralampous or “Thea” is an ABC Veterinary Assistant Student from Cleveland, Ga. Growing up on a farm, Thea was lucky enough to be exposed to a lot of different animals. That is where her passion for animals started. When she was younger, her cousin and his wife started an animal rescue operation and Thea worked with them every day after school and on the weekends. This is where she learned a lot about the care of animals and it definitely boosted her longing to help them. While in the program, Thea completed her 90-hour externship at Animal Medical Care where she was hired on for a full time position as a vet assistant due to her knowledge and wonderful work. Thea is now being trained as a veterinary technician. Continue reading

December – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
December 2013

Miriam Trent

Miriam Trent - Veterinary Assistant Certification Program student of the month

Miriam Trent lives in Mulvane, Kan., and is the proud “mother”of a pit bull, two guinea pigs and a betta fish. A stay at home mom, when she’s not at the shelter working on her externship, Miriam often goes out to her Mom’s to work with her horses and other animals. Miriam’s life goal is to work for the Humane Society; she wants a rewarding job where she can make a difference. Continue reading

November – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
November 2013

Stacia Orange

Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month - November 2013 - Stacia Orange

Stacia Orange, a student from Wenatchee, Wash, knew she wanted a career in the animal industry, but was just not sure which one yet. As time went by with her assortment of animals, including dogs, snakes and an iguana, she decided a career in the veterinary field as a veterinary assistant was something she wanted to do. Following her externship, she was hired on part time as a veterinary assistant at Cascade Veterinary Clinic. She plans to continue studying and eventually become a veterinary technician. Continue reading

October – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
October 2013

Harley Haehn

 

Harley Haehn lives in Columbus, Pa., where she works at a popular restaurant known for having the best hamburgers and hotdogs in the region. When she is not working at the restaurant, Harley is pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinary assistant. Her long-term plan is to work at a zoo where she can interact with elephants, her favorite gentle giant. Continue reading