As a self-professed “animal lover,” Trent Biology student Alyssa Roberts is right where she belongs at the Jackson Creek Animal Hospital, completing a hands-on placement as part of her specialization in Health Sciences.
“I’ve always wanted to work in a vet clinic,” says Ms. Roberts, who is combining her Biology degree, not just with a specialization in Health Sciences, but also a minor in Psychology. “This was my first opportunity to do so and I love it. I clean kennels, walk dogs, check animals’ vital signs in the ICU unit and a lot more.”
With plans to attend veterinary school following graduation from Trent, Ms. Roberts says her placement experience has strengthened her conviction to follow that career path.
“My placement is really helping me see some of the more difficult aspects of veterinary work and also see how rewarding it can be,” she says, admitting her interactions with those who are distressed over a sick pet is an aspect of the work she was able to get more comfortable with as part of the experience.
“Those more challenging situations are things you get better at with the more interactions you have,” Ms. Roberts says. “I’ve learned how you can be professional and still show compassion.”
Each day of Ms. Roberts’ placement sees her confidence grow. That evolution, she says, has been enhanced by her supervisors’ encouragement and willingness to let her try new things.
“Sometimes I’m afraid I’m going to hurt an animal or I’m going to do something wrong, but I get more comfortable the more I do these things,” says Ms. Roberts. “I’m gaining more confidence.”
The skills and experience gained through hands-on work placements is invaluable preparation for Ms. Roberts as she looks to take the next step in her career at veterinary school.