ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
Jessica Boychuck lives in South River, New Jersey, and has three dogs, a cat and a fish. At first, she wanted to major in criminal justice. However, after rescuing a couple of stray kittens from the street, Jessica realized her true calling was to work with and help animals. Caring for the stray kittens is what helped her decide to enroll at Animal Behavior College.
What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was when I was working in the treatment area. It was a normal morning, prepping up everything for the day, which included a mass removal surgery. The dog was a 9-year-old golden retriever-lab mix. When she came in, we saw that her mass was bigger than we thought. We had to bandage it because it was hitting the floor and it was bleeding a little bit. We gave her pre-surgery meds and put her in a big cage in a room to calm her down and for her to sleep. [A bit later,] we walked passed by the room to check on the dog and there was blood everywhere. We rushed her to the table, put her under anesthesia and cleaned up the mass (she had bitten the mass while she was in her cage). The dog kept waking up because she was holding her breath so the anesthesia wasn’t going through. They told me to squeeze the bag every 10 to 15 seconds while the tech was monitoring her vital signs. Finally, after half an hour later, she was breathing on her own. She pulled through the surgery and was good to go home. I overcame it by staying calm and listening to [the veterinarian and vet tech’s] directions.
Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.
A funny moment was when I was in boarding. When we take the dogs out for a walk to go to the bathroom, we take families out at the same time. There were these two dogs, one dog was doing its business and the other one came and peed on his head. When I saw that, I started to laugh and it made my day.
How did you hear about ABC’s Veterinary Assistant Program and what convinced you to become certified?
I heard about the ABC program on television.
If you could work with any exotic animal, what would it be and why?
I don’t have a favorite exotic animal. I would like to work with every type of animal.