Animal Behavior College Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month – July 2013
Archie Pate Jr.
Archie Pate Jr. was always very passionate about working with pets and having a career in the animal care industry. He currently has several pets, including a 7-ft. long black dragon water monitor, an 80-lb. sulcata tortoise, and an 8-year old, female, green anaconda. He achieved his goal when he was hired on at his externship site, VCA California Oaks Veterinary Hospital in Murrieta, CA and plans on eventually becoming a licensed veterinary technician.
- What was the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges for me was accepting criticism. It was hard for me to at first, but I was able to overcome it. Thanks to the ABC Certified Veterinary Assistant program and my externship experience, I acquired the knowledge and patience necessary to listen first instead of speaking right away. By doing this, I don’t get upset so easily and gain a much better understanding of how and why things are done the way they are done. For example, I’ve learned the proper way to restrain a dog and cat in general and even during X-rays.
- Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at a veterinary hospital.
A humorous moment was when the technician was going over some things with me and I was starting to get overwhelmed. It’s a lot to take in, especially when you are just starting out in the field. She asked, with a smile on her face, “Is your brain fried yet or do you want me to keep going. I laughed and admitted I needed a break as I was so overwhelmed. It was nice that she understood and possibly remembered what it was like when you’re first starting out. I might have gone home that day with a fried brain, but I was up and ready again the next day.
- What was your most rewarding moment as a vet assistant?
My most rewarding moment was when I was with a dog who had just came out of surgery. Seeing him recover was one of most rewarding experiences I have ever witnessed. I believe it’s important to see all animals in good health before they leave the hospital. Then when they return, I love to see them come back full of energy, looking healthy as if they never came in for surgery to begin with. That to me is very rewarding. Becoming an ABC veterinary assistant makes me feel like I have and can continue to make a difference in the animal industry.
- If you could work with any exotic animal, what would it be and why?
I would want to work with anaconda snakes. I have a 13-ft. green anaconda. I just love the way she moves from one spot to the next for she is all muscle. I would love to learn more about them in general.
- What skills do you want to master over the next 12 months?
I’d love to master how to prepare a dog or cat for surgery. There are many steps and I’d love know what to do quickly and efficiently. Also, I want to master restraining larger animals. Hopefully, if I start working with exotics, I will have that opportunity.