For Ken Werner, it took a big loss to make him realize he needed a change.
After losing his mother to cancer, Werner decided to pursue his passion by enrolling in Douglas College’s Veterinary Office and Animal Care (VOAC) certificate program.
“I realized life was too short. So I decided to quit my job, go back to school and follow what has always made me happiest – animal welfare,” he said.
VOAC graduates are at the front line at animal clinics, performing duties that range from booking appointments to working in the laboratory. The program also provides core skills applicable to various positions in the industry.
Werner had no problem finding work in the field after graduating from the program in 2012. He spent time working at a large practice and clinics before deciding to explore other career paths, leading him to his current position as Territory Manager for Petsecure Pet Insurance.
“My experience at Douglas was amazing,” Werner said. “The instructors took the time to ensure all of the important material was covered and they were always available if I had any questions.”
Werner notes that the program provides the fundamentals in animal restraint, nutrition, anatomy and customer and patient care – all valuable skills.
“It allowed me to explore what it is like to work in a veterinary hospital by providing hands-on experience,” he said. “Once I finished my program, I felt confident transitioning straight into a veterinary clinic.”
The VOAC certificate program prepares students for the multifaceted duties of veterinary assistants with hands-on training and real-world assignments. Like Werner, many graduates find a job in their industry within months – including Velleda Lacayo.
The Douglas grad completed the program in August and is preparing to start work at Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialty Hospital. She credits the passionate instructors who “clearly love what they are doing” and her hands-on training during her practicum for preparing her for her new career.
“I’ve always known I’d be involved in the veterinary field in one way or another and thought the six-month assistant program was a great foot in the door,” Lacayo said. “The VOAC program taught me the necessary skills needed to do the job well, right from the get-go.”
Animal lovers looking to turn their passion into an exciting career are invited to Douglas College Oct. 22 to learn more about the Veterinary Office and Animal Care certificate program.
The hour-long information session is scheduled for 6pm at the New Westminster Campus and will feature a presentation followed by a question-and-answer period. To register, call 604-527-5472 and quote Course Registration Number 31255.
Information sessions are also slated for Nov. 19 at 6pm. and Dec. 10 at 6pm.
For more information, click here.