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Carrington College Blog

Veterinary Technology Student Jenna Burk Talks About How To Be the Best Vet Tech You Can Be

March 21, 2023

When Jenna Burk was a little girl, all she wanted for Christmas was a “vet set” from Santa. In high school, her interest in animals grew from house pets to exotic animals, to farm animals, even to marine biology. She joined the FFA (Future Farmers of America) and worked with goats, cows, and sheep. She was into aquatics and thought about scuba diving to explore marine life.

Eventually however, she began to have doubts about whether she could actually learn to scuba dive. About that time one of her high school friends went into veterinary studies at a regional college. She told Jenna all about the things she was learning. When her friend got a job as a vet assistant at a clinic in town, she continued to tell Jenna about her work days. Jenna thought it sounded like so much fun and decided to follow in her friend’s footsteps. Now, at 22 years old, she is well into Carrington College’s Veterinary Technology program and is preparing to graduate in August 2023.


How did you choose Carrington College?

My friend mentioned Carrington to me and said she knew they had a Veterinary Technology program. When I went on the website, I was just trying to find things out about it; but somehow I landed on the registration page – I thought this must be a sign that I’m on the right path! I eventually talked to an Admissions Representative on the phone about the program and the entrance exam. After I took the exam, I was told I was eligible and had scored high.


What is the classroom experience like for you?

I always have had classroom anxiety, so I was nervous. But I was able to make two or three friends right away which made it easier. Always having a classmate to talk to helps; and I learned the instructors are really there to help you too. It’s really important to have friends in the class and to go up to the instructor when you have a question.


Congratulations on earning the AVMF Zoetis Foundation Veterinary Technician Scholarship! What is it and what did you do to earn it?

It’s a scholarship given by the Zoetis Foundation and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF). I won $1000 to use for whatever I need – tuition, any kinds of costs, it’s my choice. To win it I had to write about what the scholarship would mean to me, what being in the veterinary field means to me, and how I would contribute to my community. I mentioned my work as a volunteer in vaccine clinics where lower income families live and eventually hoping, once I get my RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician) license, to volunteer in Africa or Hawaii or somewhere like that.


Your instructor says your “hands-on skills are very good” and believes you’ll be very successful in this career. Can you speak to that? What do you think they mean?

I put my whole heart and soul into what I do; I always try to learn more and do better, knowing that I am helping animals. I take it quite seriously; I mean, that is someone’s best friend who’s in your hands!


You’re about six months from graduating. What are you doing in the classroom now?

Now we’re in surgery, doing dentals, spays and neuters. We’re really hands on with the animals now. We work in groups of four students. Each student has a different role in every procedure, and then we rotate the roles, so every student gets to do a role twice. Like one week you’re an anesthetist for spays, the next week you’re working a dental job.


What would you say to a prospective student about the Veterinary Technology program from your experience so far?

I was honestly nervous that maybe veterinary work wasn’t for me even though I love animals so much (I love that “Awwww” feeling of being around animals). When I finally got the job at one of the clinics, my world was flipped upside down. There’s so much that goes on and you are really responsible for everything. I would say to someone interested in Vet Tech to remember you are everything and one. You’re the radiologist, the anesthetist, the lab tech, the pharmacist – you’re everything. And so – always have an open mind and be persistent. Things do get hard, there is a lot of hard work to do. It can be draining. So, know what you’re doing this work for.  If you know that, you’ll be fine.

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