We LOVE it when our alumni find meaningful employment – and when FOUR Veterinary Hospital Assistant graduates all find work at the same place? Well… we think that’s pretty special!
If you have a look at the ‘Team’ section of Rutland Pet Hospital’s website, you may notice that four (count em – FOUR!) of the hospital’s front of house staff are graduates from the Centre for Arts And Technology’s ‘Veterinary Hospital Assistant’ program. Daryl-Lynn Landon has been with the hospital since 2016, Tori Jenkins since 2017, and Daryl-Sue Morrison and Kiara Dubois since 2019.
For this issue of interFACE, we caught up with Daryl-Lynn and Kiara to talk about their experiences.
How long have you worked at Rutland Pet Hospital?
Daryl-Lynn Landon: It will be 4 years in November.
Kiara Dubois: It was a year this June 24th, so a year and 3 months.
Was it your first job post-graduation from CAT VHA? (If not, where else have you worked.)
DLL: I came here for a school practicum and never left!
KD: It was my first job post-graduation! I was hired shortly after grad.
What is your title, and what are your daily responsibilities?
DLL: I am a Vet Assistant, glorified name for Reception.
KD: I am a Receptionist and trained in the back as a tech assistant as well. My responsibilities are to answer phones promptly, answer any questions a client may have, and to filter the calls. Take payments for visits, type out prescription labels and get medications ready for the client, hold animals for the Veterinarians and technicians, booking appointments, stocking the products, cleaning the rooms and the clinic.
How did you find your job/end up working at Rutland Pet Hospital?
DLL: I use to take my pet rat (Butters) here. After an appointment one day I asked if I could come do a job shadow and the rest was history.
KD: My friend Daryl- Sue, who was working here before me, told me they were looking for another receptionist and then I saw the ad on Indeed for the job, I applied online through Indeed and set up an onsite interview.
Eat, sleep and breathe school. Find your person and have study parties, make it fun, dance and sing while you do it. Just remember to focus.”
What do you especially like about RPH as a vet clinic?
DLL: I love our team. I work with my best friends, we laugh, cry, get angry and move on with each other. We help one another out and support each other when it’s needed. I obviously love working with the animals as well but it is our staff that make this place so special.
KD: I love the co- workers I work with, we are one big family! and as well that we are one of the few clinics that deal with exotic animals so we get to see a lot of different species. Everyday I learn something new here, I always get to expand my knowledge.
How has your program at CAT helped you in your position at RPH?
DLL: It gave me a great foundation to learn and evolve through the vet world.
KD: CAT VHA taught me a ton about this line of work, I’d say the one course that has helped the most is the Office duties course it really outlines and prepares you for being a great receptionist and >> understanding how a vet clinic works. All of the courses at CAT that I took prepared me and I loved every course. There is not one I didn’t like!
We love that four of our alumni’s are at the same vet clinic. Does having a shared background have any positives?
DLL: I believe so. Some of us remember things others don’t so we can always learn from one another.
KD: we all do our job and work together as a team.
Why do you think Rutland likes CAT alumni – what skills did you bring with you that are especially attractive to clinics?
DLL: I think being the face of the clinic you have to have the personality. You have to make people laugh, feel comfortable and try your best to ease their stress and/or grieving when they are here. You have to be able to deal with people in their most raw moments.
KD: I’d say all of our social skills are great and that we all love animals and have a huge passion for them. We are all very kind individuals and are outgoing. All of us are hard workers and for a big busy clinic that is an important characteristic to have.
DLL: I think it was the right time right place for all of us but we made connections with other students over the past 5 years. We have put in good words for one another and that has led us to all working together.
Some days are tough but every day you learn something new and can expand your knowledge. My co- workers make the tough days go by easier and we are all there for each other.”
What do you like best about your job?
DLL: That you can learn something new every day and that’s not only about the work. I’m constantly learning about how people react and behave in stressful situations and how I can grow as a person to deal with these issues – still a work in progress. Also, puppies and kittens, but that’s a no brainer.
KD: I love dealing with the animals and having a very ‘hands on’ job. As well as working with the people. Some days are tough but every day you learn something new and can expand your knowledge. My co- workers make the tough days go by easier and we are all there for each other. I also like learning or understanding more of the medicine part of the job.
What is the biggest challenge with your job?
DLL: People, they can be cruel, especially when we are dealing with their sick animals, Especially during covid. I’m really taking the time to understand why people lash out. It’s definitely helped me understand people better.
KD: I’d say the biggest challenge is trying to fit everyone in that calls for an emergency or appointment in when they need to come in. It is very difficult at times to tell a client that we are unfortunately booked; it’s hard on us receptionists as we love all the clients and we try our hardest to fit everyone in but some days we are just so busy.
DLL: Just wanted to add on to my last answer about the hardest part of the job. Euthanasia are difficult. Remember that it is okay to cry but also try to remember that it is a gift to be able to end an animal’s suffering. They do become “easier” over time when you realize this. I still have ones that get me, especially when its people and animals you’ve created a relationship with. I just try to remember that it is what the animal needs. That in this moment the owners are being completely selfless of their emotions to do what is right for their beloved fur babies. It is the purest form of love.
What top tips would you give to current VHA students to help them be successful?
DLL: I know it’s a challenging and stressful course but it’s only 9 months. Eat, sleep and breathe school. Find your person and have study parties, make it fun, dance and sing while you do it. Just remember to focus. The more you study the more you have to impress your first employer with. It is worth the stress, I promise!
KD: The biggest thing I took away from this course was all the information you learned you definitely take into your job! Use the books you get for the course and read over your notes before starting your first week on the job, as the first couple weeks is the hardest as your learn the ins and outs. We all took this course for one reason and that is that we want to help animals, and love them, so embrace that! Not all days are serious at the office, have some fun. You will love every minute of your job!