Veterinary Technician grad finds employment thanks to placement

Did you know that almost all Georgian programs offer a formal work-integrated learning (WIL) experience? Whether it’s co-op, internships or placements, you have an opportunity to practise what you learn in class in real-world environments.

Veterinary Technician students learn new skills in funded workshop

Recently, 29 students from the spring 2023 Veterinary Technician diploma graduating class participated in a Clinical Placement Office Innovation Project while completing their placement, thanks to funding through a Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) iHUB grant. The project helped create opportunities for veterinary technician students to improve canine care through work-integrated learning partnerships.

Students completed more than 10 hours of virtual learning workshops to enhance their knowledge of canine behaviour, including Separation Anxiety and Dog-to-Dog Aggression, with certified coaches from Canine Foundations—a local dog training business in Barrie.

Normally, these types of veterinary courses are paid by the student and usually after graduation. Students who completed the workshops online received a $1,000 cash stipend in addition to having the costs covered for the workshops. They also created learning materials for their veterinary clinic placements that staff or clients can use.

Students involved in work-integrated learning always have a unique opportunity to not only grow their requisite skills, but to also gain enriched experiences with real workplace culture. This helps guide them to success in their professions as they experience this for the first time with our Georgian teams supporting them behind the scenes.

Lisa Buchanan, Director of Clinics and Placement Office, Georgian College

Graduate finds employment in emergency vet clinic after placement

Sasha Pratt, a Veterinary Technician diploma graduate and workshop participant, was able to secure employment with her clinical placement at Huronia Veterinary Emergency Clinic. We spoke with her to learn more about her experience and the benefits of placement work.

What was it like participating in the canine behaviour workshops? What was something new you learned?

While the workshops weren’t mandatory, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I was worried about it being too much of a workload, but it counted toward my placement hours. My main takeaway was that successfully training a reactive dog is just as much about teaching yourself how to react as it is teaching your dog. You need to constantly implement the proper techniques and reward your dog only when appropriate or correct them without hurting your bond. Training yourself to be consistent and patient with your dog is just as important as the techniques your dog is learning. I’m happy to have learned concepts that I’ll be using for the rest of my life as a dog owner.

A person wearing a red and black plaid jacket playing with two dogs outside in the snow.

Can you share more about your experience in your clinical placement and how it helped you prepare for your career?

I started my clinical placement at Huronia Veterinary Emergency Clinic unsure of how much I’d like emergency medicine. After a few shifts, I fell in love. It completely changed how I saw my career path before placement, which is why it’s so important to try new things when you have the opportunity. Getting to work a month before graduation was extremely important for my growth and confidence because I’d never worked in the veterinary field before starting at Georgian. It was invaluable to learn on the job, feeling safe to try new things because the staff were always there for me and helping me broaden my knowledge before looking for real employment.

Now that you’re employed with your clinical placement, what’s next for you here?

I plan to work at HVEC for a very long time! I feel so comfortable growing my skills as a new grad with them, and the technicians are always happy to answer my questions. I’m learning how to take care of the ICU, triage, and do outpatient procedures; every day is different from the last. I’ve recently passed my VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and I’m working towards becoming a more independent technician.

A person wearing blue scrubs uniform, holding a snake around their neck in a veterinary clinic.

What’s your favourite part about working with animals? Why did you enter this career path and choose to follow it at Georgian?

For my whole life, the most important thing to me was having a career that I enjoyed. I wanted to be excited to work every day, so I knew my job had to be with animals. Choosing Vet Tech over other career paths was an obvious choice for me because I love sciences and working in a field that’s hands-on and challenges my mind.

My favourite part about working with animals is getting to make their experience as pleasant as possible. They make my day, so I want to make theirs better too. I chose Georgian because it was the best program for my interest in small animal medicine. I’m incredibly grateful for my decision, especially since Georgian is where I met and adopted my two dogs, Susie and Ariel!

Our categories