Student of the Month
Veterinary Assistant Stephanie Guanuna
Stephanie Guanuna lives and works in Taylorsville, UT. She has previous experience working at a no-kill animal shelter where she worked as a kennel assistant. She loved caring for the animals there, and knew she wanted to continue her education in the animal industry to become a certified veterinary assistant. Stephanie was offered a position at the facility where she completed her externship.
“The biggest challenge during my externship was getting the staff to trust me to be able to perform certain duties,” says Stephanie. “It took some time, but after getting to know the staff and proving to them I was able to work hard, it became easier. It was important for me to do well because, after all, I was representing the hospital.”
Her most rewarding moment during the externship was when the veterinary staff complimented her on her great attitude. “They mentioned that I am a great self-starter. It made me feel good that I was helping and making a difference at the animal hospital.”
Recalling a memory from the externship, she explains how one day she set a large cup of water on a counter. There were two cats that lived onsite–one of them was an orange Tabby named Mr. Fluffer Nutter. When she went to grab her cup, she realized Mr. Fluffer Nutter was already helping himself to her water. “Mr. Fluffer Nutter was dipping his paw into the cup and then licking off the water. He did that for a good five minutes. It was so adorable and I couldn’t help but laugh!”
She found out about our Veterinary Assistant Program while watching Animal Planet one morning and a commercial for the school came on. She had seen it before, but that day she decided to go on our website to learn more. “What really convinced me to become certified was the fact that it was affordable and convenient since the program is online. I was able to schedule my school work at a pace that worked best for me,” says Stephanie.
If she could work with an exotic pet, she would choose a raccoon. “I just find them interesting. There are so many things that might surprise you about them. They aren’t just the mischievous animals that get into your trash!” says Stephanie. “Raccoons actually have great memories and can remember tasks done in previous years. They also engage in gender-specific social behaviors.