One of the most important aspects Carl found out during his veterinary technician training was how important his time as an intern prepared him for real-world situations he would face once he was completed his initial vet tech training.
Internship is ‘Real’ World
Carl hopped on the opportunity to be placed on a very active small animal hospital performing various specific duty rotations once graduating from his veterinary technician training program. The internship is a highly charged learning opportunity that completes the vet tech’s education process where practical knowledge is gained. Carl said as good as the program was the internship ratcheted learning up several notches allowing an emphasis on knowledge gained to become skills applied in a daily work environment. He said performing vet tech functions during simulated scenarios in class could never reach the high-pitch, emotionally charged atmosphere experienced during daily activity at a busy small animal hospital.
“You are put to the test every day recalling just what you learned and how to apply it. The fast-pace of a busy practice can leave little time for a tech to stand idle trying to remember the correct procedure. The internship paints a true picture of what life on the line is for a practicing vet tech. It is an exciting period for personal development that I am very glad I had the opportunity to experience,” Carl said.
Need Accreditation to Participate
Only techs graduating from an AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) accredited program qualify for internships at small animal hospitals or private practices. Program counsellors should have applications and requirements to make recommendations to students seeking an internship program.
Benefits Accompany Internship Opportunities
Veterinary technicians enrolled in an internship receive an hourly wage that will include overtime. Carl said the hospital where he studied/worked was so busy at times that overtime was a given. Also, the particular internship Carl participated in included lodging in a dormitory which not only helped reduce living costs but also provided camaraderie with others experiencing what he was also living. The interns where Carl participated also received medical insurance.
How Am I Doing?
All interns are matched with a mentor who stays with the participant through the entire process. An evaluation is conducted at the end of each rotation. Mentors help program participants prepare a case study presentations. Mentors provide valuable feedback that becomes an important part of the internship learning process.
Learning the Ropes
The organized approach toward a vet tech internship program is the work-themed rotations that change every two-to-four weeks depending on the specific discipline covered that typically includes:
- Emergency and Intensive Care – After Hours
- Emergency and Outpatient Care – Regular Hours
- Intensive Care – Regular Hours
- Medicine Administration
- Phlebotomy(Blood Bank)
Elective rotations may include work experience in specific areas like avian/exotics or any species.
Carl said after successfully completing the internship, he received a number of valuable recommendations that led to his landing the vet tech job he wanted.