Veterinary Technology Student, Mayerli Ayala, Advocates for her Patients’ Emotional and Physical Well Being
On his farm, Mayerli Ayala’s father helped teach her about animals; his compassion and deep respect for animals inspired her to pursue a career as a veterinary technician, also known as a vet tech.
“He told me how much animals give to us and that it’s an equal relationship—we have to give back to them,” she explains.
Mayerli stood out in the Veterinary Technology program at Carrington for her perfect attendance, for taking initiative, and for having great customer service and professionalism. She was hired from her externship at the VCA Country Oaks Pet Hospital, where she worked for two years as a vet tech and is now studying for the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam).
Here, she shares more about her time at Carrington, about working as a vet tech, and the importance of fear-free veterinary care.
What did you do before you enrolled in the program?
I graduated from high school in 2020. I’d always known that I wanted to go into the veterinary field, and I gravitated toward vet tech—I always knew I would do that.
What (or who) inspired you to become a Vet Tech?
My dad inspires me; I grew up around many animals, helping my dad with them. We always had chickens, goats, horses, cats, pigs, and a lot of dogs, including Great Pyrenees. I am very comfortable around animals. Growing up on the ranch is the best thing; there is so much to do.
What about being a Vet Tech appeals to you most?
I am drawn to the mental and emotional aspects of veterinary medicine. We often get hung up on taking care of the physical aspect but not the animal’s mental health. I think it’s important to make sure they are comfortable and not afraid; I believe in not pushing past an animal’s natural boundary. Nothing is going to be forced upon them. I go very slowly because they don’t know me and don’t understand what is happening.
I worked at a fear-free veterinary practice. Fear-free veterinary care is something that is gaining importance; it is exactly how it sounds—making the entire experience of going to the vet fear-free for the animal. It encompasses everything from how the hospital and room look to what scrubs we wear. Everything that the animal will encounter has had thought put into it to make it fear-free. Fear-free vets don’t shy away from anti-anxiety medications for animals; we advocate for that because it will make the visit a lot more comfortable and often does wonders for them. We also offer “Happy Visits,” when animals can just come into the vet, hang out, and have treats to make it a more positive place.
What was your favorite part of the program? What was the most challenging?
I loved doing exotics; we played with ferrets and snakes! I’d love to get into exotic veterinary care.
The most challenging part for me was specifically the third term, before the surgery lab. It was overwhelming because there was a lot to cover.
Do you feel like Carrington prepared you for your role?
They really prepared me for the role. They gave me an idea of what it would be like. I was hired during the first rotation but felt quite prepared and had an idea of what it would be like. I had basics down because of the program and quickly went into it.
What would you say to someone who is just starting out in this program? Any words of advice or things you wish you’d known?
I would tell someone just starting that it’s going to be challenging, but it will absolutely be worth it—I would do it again! There are so many opportunities in this field, it’s fun, you meet people, and different technicians come and talk to you.
In classes, I liked that they didn’t talk about one aspect of the field but let you know different things you can specialize in; it was great that they gave me that information.
Read your books! Read every chapter, and don’t skip out on it even if you are overwhelmed—the books really help and give you a leg up in the program.
Is there anyone from the program you found particularly helpful?
I’d like to give thanks to my first instructor Jennifer Farrar and Dr. Emmett (who was going to retire but came back to help teach), and Misty Elom, who helped us out at the end of the program; I really appreciate her.