Internship at Veterinary Hospital Furthers Career Direction

October 28 2016
Category: Academics

This week's ‪#‎SoaringToSuccess features Elizabeth Johnson '17. The biology major, who aspires to become a veterinarian, interned for two summers and many school breaks at the Rotterdam Veterinary Hospital in Rotterdam, New York.

Here’s more from Elizabeth herself:

I completed my internship at Rotterdam Veterinary Hospital. While I was there, I learned techniques that veterinarians use on a daily basis to diagnose and treat animals. I was taught how to run lab tests, such as ear cytologies and urinalysis, as well as how to take X-rays and how to do in-house complete blood counts. Once each test was run, the veterinarian showed me how to read them and how each diagnosis was treated.

Each morning included office appointments and interacting with both animals and their owners. I enjoyed seeing people’s reactions when you tell them that their sick pet is going to be fine. However, there were many moments that people don’t often think of being part of veterinarian’s daily schedule, and that’s emergencies. Emergencies happened more than I thought they would. I’m fortunate that a majority of the emergencies that came in had positive outcomes, however, not all of them did. These moments are important to see, though, and it is important to learn how to deal with sad moments.

My favorite part of my internship was seeing and assisting in surgeries. Surgery is one of the most important and most interesting parts of a veterinarian’s day. Many surgeries like spays and neuters are routine and are very important and interesting. However, the exciting surgeries are the ones that don’t happen all the time. I’m lucky to have observed an emergency caesarean section, the removal of a 13-pound tumor, foreign body removal, bladder stone removal and the removal of an eye. During surgery the veterinarian must be completely aware of everything going on with the animal. If the veterinarian gets distracted for even a few minutes something could go wrong with the surgery. On the days that did not have surgeries, the veterinarian taught me how to suture and when each suture was used during a surgery. She also taught me other surgical techniques necessary to complete surgeries such as, spays and neuters.

I admire the knowledge and the skill that goes into being a successful veterinarian and I am grateful to have had the amazing internship experience. I completed my internship two summers ago and I still go to the same veterinary clinic on breaks. Since I first started my internship, I have learned many valuable skills that will help me be a successful veterinarian and stand out against other veterinary applicants.