ABC Veterinary Assistant 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.
- Was vet assisting your first choice for a career?
Yes; from the time I was very small I knew I wanted to work with animals. There was a brief time when I wanted to be a shepherd, but it wasn’t long until I wanted to be a veterinarian again. I would eventually like to be a veterinary technician, but for now I’d like to finish getting my certification as a veterinary assistant so that I can work while getting my degree.
- What animal or person most inspired you to pursue a career in the animal industry?
There were two people who were crucial; the first is my mother. We lived out in the country when I was a child and took in strays. We would take them to the vet for vaccinations and spaying or neutering, and foster them until they found a home or there was space for them in Humane Society shelter. I grew up in a home where animals were part of the family; I have never known any different.
Second is Dr. Lenaburg; he was our veterinarian for more than 20 years and in time I assisted with house calls. He was always kind and compassionate, and had an amazing bedside manner. When I was able to do more to assist him, he would often encourage me to become a veterinarian. He was always there with the right thing to say when I would start to feel discouraged about whether or not this was the right field for me.
- What knowledge and experience have you gained from becoming an ABC certified vet assistant?
There were things I knew from previous experience with animals, but I still found new things to learn every day. It was incredibly easy for me to read through my textbooks and not get bored. Even now, in my externship, putting the things I learned during the last year to practical use, to turn theory into hands-on experience is very rewarding.
- What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
To people who know me I seem very loud and sometimes abrasive; however, I’m actually very, very, very shy. It is very hard for me to talk to people I don’t know. The biggest challenge I had was walking into the clinic that first day and facing all those people I didn’t know. The staff and volunteers were incredibly nice and very welcoming. It wasn’t very long until I was being kept busy enough that I forgot to be shy and set about learning what I needed to know.
- Describe a humorous moment that you witnessed or took part in while working at a vet hospital.
My first day at the clinic for my externship we had a lot of kittens. One kennel had two very playful little gray kittens in it. These kittens were not handling the stress of the clinic very well and had upset tummies. A fellow volunteer and I were trying to clean the kennel without letting the kittens out. It proved to be a lot more difficult than it seemed at first and it ended up with the two of us juggling these kittens to keep them in the kennel.