In this Alumni Spotlight we caught up with Samantha Lockard, Veterinary Assistant graduate who currently works at Choice Vets in Fairview, Pennsylvania.
What where you doing prior to enrollment? What made you enroll in school?
I just graduated high school and wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do, so I took a year off from school and just worked, saving up money and trying to figure out what to do. I looked into Great Lakes because I knew I wanted to go to a trade school and it was local.
Where have you worked since you graduated and where do you currently work? What is your title?
After graduation, I got a job at Animal Ark/Kingdom and I was there for about six years. I am currently working at Choice Vets in Fairview where I am the surgical lead technician.
What types of things do you do there day to day?
There are so many tasks I do on a daily basis – create and review surgical estimates with the owner, help manage the surgery schedule, monitor anesthesia, dental cleaning and x-rays, venipincture, x-rays, setting IV catheters, running bloodwork, the list goes on.
What do you like about being a veterinary assistant?
Every day is different, maybe the same procedure, but different animals you encounter, different personalities, and different experiences. I love how rewarding the job actually is. Seeing that sick dog or cat we saw a few weeks ago and they are now doing great and back to their normal self. I like being a shoulder for the owners when they need someone to turn to or just need to vent.
What did you like most about attending Great Lakes? What did you like most about the Veterinary Assistant program?
The instructors were always supportive and discussed their real-life experiences. Even years after graduation and being in the field, Great Lakes is there to help and support you.
What advice can you give current students and new graduates that can help them be successful?
My advice would be to show up, physically and mentally. Jump in where you can and be attentive. And always remember why you decided to become a veterinary assistant.