Lorraine Tompkins

Lorraine Tompkins

Veterinary Technician Student


VCA


Once you accept that the only real failure is not trying in the first place, you can find the motivation to do what you've always wanted.

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has taken me all over.
Got my first degree simply because it was a subject I was interested in.
My first real job came about because of my degree, although it wasn't completely related to it. Worked as a systems engineer for a defense company in the UK.
Got my MBA through work because I thought it would help my career path.
Also became interested in group fitness classes and qualified to become an instructor.
Major life changes happened and I ended up moving from the UK to the US. Couldn't continue working in defense, so worked as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer.
Moved to various locations within the US and started getting more involved in animal rescue.
Eventually worked out that what I'd really wanted to do all along was work with animals, so enrolled in Penn Foster's vet tech program to enable me to do that.
Currently doing my externship and loving it, despite the many and varied challenges that it provides.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Physics & Astrophysics
Leeds University
graduate
Graduate
MBA
Kingston University
undergrad
Bachelor
Veterinary Technician
Penn Foster
Career

Career

Veterinary Technician Student

Veterinary assistant

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Medicine
Medicine
Education
Education
Learning / Being Challenged
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

It can vary a lot, but it'll almost always involve restraining animals for blood or urine draws, nail trims, anal gland expressions, taking care of borders, cleaning and disinfecting cages and the treatment area. Sometimes it involves spending the last few minutes with a pet who is being euthanized but the owner doesn't want to be present.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

The "soft skills" of communication and dealing with people are often overlooked, but are invaluable. There are so many different personalities to contend with in the treatment area and people can (and often do) have bad days and learning to cope with those really helps.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Volunteering at a shelter or rescue. Also, trying to find a job (any job) at a veterinary clinic to get the exposure to the environment and start building up the practical skills.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Physics & Astrophysics
graduate
Graduate
MBA
undergrad
Bachelor
Veterinary Technician
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"You won't be any good at that because you'll get too upset about neglected or mistreated animals and you don't deal with negative emotions very well."

I believed what was said to me and it held me back for a long time. That, and the fact that I wasn't convinced I wouldn't be able to remember the vast amounts of knowledge that I'd be required to know in order to do the job. But then I realized that all of those negative comments *might* not be true and that I'd be much more disappointed if I didn't at least try to accomplish my goals. I realized that "failure" wasn't as scary as it sounded because at least I'd know.

Challenges I Overcame

Self-Esteem Issues
Self-Esteem Issues

It can be crippling, but once you accept that the only real failure is not trying in the first place, you can find the motivation to do what you've always wanted. Learning to ignore those negative voices is challenging, but worth it in the end.