Elina started working at Amherst Veterinary Hospital in June 2017 as a veterinary assistant. At that point she was a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia and had previous volunteer experience. She found her passion for animals while volunteering at the Wildlife Rescue Centre and The Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Elina also had an interest in science and medicine which she honed with a position as a research assistant in a laboratory at UBC.
As an assistant at Amherst, Elina was exposed to a wide variety of experiences and teaching moments. Through her duties as an assistant, for example; animal husbandry, assisting in procedures, preparing suites for surgery, animal restraint, communication with the rest of the staff, Elina was able to learn a great deal about the realities of working in a veterinary hospital.
When Elina told us that her intention was to apply to Veterinary College in 2018 everyone at the hospital was very excited for her. We hoped that she would be successful in her application and we did our best to guide and help her in her learning and preparation for this application.
There are five veterinary colleges in Canada and admissions are highly competitive. Getting into vet school is not easy but with a well rounded experience, good grades and a great application it is attainable. Gaining varied animal experience is critical and here is where the role of the Veterinary Hospital can help an aspiring vet to gain that experience. Building a solid relationship with the hospital and the veterinarians you are working with will go along way to getting that all important recommendation letter for your application to vet school.
Elina had her interview a few months ago and was accepted into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon for 2018! We are all very proud of Elina at Amherst. We knew that she could do it and it has been a pleasure watching her grow and sharing in her passion for animal care. We have no doubt that Elina will be a brilliant veterinarian and we are grateful to have been part of her journey. It is special to know that Amherst Veterinary Hospital was able to play a role in mentoring such a great person. We will miss Elina but we know that we will see her again and we are looking forward to hearing all about her studies. Who knows, maybe Elina will be back working as a veterinarian at Amherst in 6 years! Here are Elina’s own words to describe her experience working and learning at Amherst Veterinary Hospital…
‘I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to work at Amherst. I am very fortunate to have been able to learn from such highly knowledgeable, patient and caring individuals, especially as I came into the clinic with very little experience in small animal hospitals. With Amherst being a very busy hospital, it can be difficult to manage and guarantee that each animal is equally looked after. Despite these daily challenges, I saw that each patient was given the highest level of care because the staff at Amherst worked so efficiently as a team, ensuring each patient was comfortable, calm and content. The doctors and technicians, although always busy themselves, would take time to explain cases to me, answer my questions and go out of their way to teach me new skills. It really felt like being part of a family, with everyone caring about each other’s well-being and success. I am very sad to leave Amherst, but am so thankful to have gained so much experience and skills which I can take with me to veterinary school in Saskatoon. Thank you to everyone at Amherst for being so wonderful and setting the bar so high!’
Good luck Elina!