Veterinary Vocation

Sarah Shehan’s internship fulfills the role of being a complete senior project while also being a critical part of her future (Photo courtesy of Sarah Shehan).

Sarah Shehan

Sarah Shehan’s internship fulfills the role of being a complete senior project while also being a critical part of her future (Photo courtesy of Sarah Shehan).

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Few people would say that they don’t care about their pets. Whether it be dog, cat, or any other animal companion, people are ready to give them their love and care. Unfortunately, pets are not immune to diseases or injury, and when they need medical attention, there is a well-trained set of people ready to attend to them. These well-trained people are veterinarians. All veterinarians need to start somewhere, and for one, her story starts right here at Brashier.

“I am interning at the Greenville County Animal Care Veterinary Clinic. It’s always been a dream of mine to be a veterinarian and I felt that doing a veterinarian internship would be a great experience to have. I’m a big animal lover and working with and helping animals has always been my passion,” said senior Sarah Shehan.

In order to complete a senior project based on an internship, special forms must be filled out before the project is approved. Furthermore, throughout the project different forms must be completed for documenting work hours. Only a handful of internships are done each year, but each is a valuable experience.

“My internship has been a great experience, and I thoroughly enjoy going in each week. The veterinarians and vet technicians are all very helpful and support me with my learning and understanding of veterinary medicine. At my internship, I help with filling up vaccinations and assisting with post-operative care, by checking on animals that have just gotten out of surgery, and preparing surgery packs for upcoming surgeries. I also get to assist with Vaccination clinic and Wellness clinic where I aid the veterinarian by restraining the animal during an examination or while they are being vaccinated. Some other tasks include weighing animals for checkups, cleaning surgical tools, and assisting vet technicians with various tasks and emergencies around the clinic,” said Shehan.

Despite being different from regular senior projects, Shehan still needs a final product to showcase. Luckily, she has thought of a clever way to integrate what she’s learning into her product.

“For my final product, I will be writing three case studies on patients that I worked with during my internship. So far I have completed my first one on a cat who had a bladder stone and am currently in the process of writing one on a puppy who has stenotic nares. I always enjoy working on case studies because I get to learn so much about certain diseases and conditions, the diagnosis of them, and the treatment. Case studies also allow me to be much more involved because I get to do things such as study x-rays, learn how to read medical notes, read test results, and learn about prescribed medication. I would say my product differs because not only do I have to put 80 hours into hands on practice at the clinic, but I also have to put time into writing and researching for my case studies,” said Shehan.

Shehan’s experience with the veterinary clinic has become the groundwork for her future career, and without this opportunity, she would have never known if she enjoys the field until she was already in college for it.

“[I] want to go into the medical field in the future. I feel that this internship is laying a great foundation for building towards my future career. This internship has definitely confirmed my interest in medicine. I am learning and experiencing new things each time I am at my internship that I know will benefit me in the future,” said Shehan.

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