An Important World View

This co operative placement was more than cuddling kittens.

Grade 12 Student, Shelby Steefkerk knew what sort of schooling it would take to become a veterinarian, and her co-op placement at Beattie Animal Clinic helped confirm her decision that Veterinary Medicine is something she wanted to pursue.

“I learned that I love working with animals, spending time in surgery, and this is definitely what I would like to do with the rest of my life.” ~ Shelby

Beattie Animal Clinic in Ancaster offers cooperative learning experiences to students every semester. Their team enjoys showing interested youth how involved veterinary medicine is.

Sarah Marinacci, Veterinarian Technician, notes that she always tries to make sure that students are aware that this job is more than cuddling puppies and kittens.

“It’s a challenging career, and not for the faint of heart. But every student that has come through our door has handled everything very professionally and can’t do enough to help everyone in the clinic. We couldn’t ask for better students.”

Shelby learned many things at the clinic including how to clean and wrap sterile surgical instruments for the veterinarians; setting up the surgery room and preparing all the supplies needed by the doctors sterilely; the technique to hold animals properly for surgical preparation. She learned how to perform a 4Dx heartworm snap test; dental procedures and how poor some animals teeth can become, and Shelby observed common surgeries like spays and neuters.

Although many things were as she had expected, Shelby was surprised to be given the opportunity to learn so much about surgery. She noted, “they allowed me into the surgical room on my first day. I loved it so much that I would go in every time that there was surgery to soak up as much information as I could.”

Sarah Marinacci confirms that these co-op experiences benefit students by offering them a view into a world that they might never have a chance to see. “Students learn about various surgeries, the different types of vaccines, and how different breeds and species respond to different treatments. Co-op students contribute to the efficiency of the clinic by providing help to our staff when they are tied up doing something else.”

Sarah adds that the experience in the animal clinic benefits our community through increased awareness of the importance of vaccinating your pets and making sure they are spayed or neutered.

Shelby suggests that other students try a co-op placement as it has helped her to solidify what she wants to do as a vocation. “It is an eye-opening experience, as you get to learn about what is required to do a specific job. You don’t realize everything that you needs to be done until you go there and work in that field.”

Adrianne SprogisAdrianne Sprogis, Communications Specialist
Hamilton District Christian High