4 Things To Expect When Starting A Veterinary Internship Program
The day you find out that you have been accepted for a veterinary internship program is bound to be one that you remember forever. After working so hard through college, the internship is your gateway to your new career. However, as the day approaches when you are set to start, apprehension can set in. Knowing what to expect can help you through a great deal.
You won't be expected to know everything.
You don't have to walk into a vet clinic, animal hospital, or other care facility knowing everything. Yes, you likely have gained a lot of knowledge in school, but until you get the chance to apply what you have learned in a real-life setting, there will be a lot of things you do not know how to do, and that is perfectly okay. You are an intern, which means you are there to learn and the people around you will be more than willing to train and teach you.
You will be getting paid a salary.
Veterinary internships do generally come along with a salary, even though it is going to be small in comparison to what you would make as a veterinary assistant or other professional higher up on the proverbial experience ladder. Just keep in mind that the time you spend as an intern is only a stepping stone to where you will be eventually, and your experience now will help you start out with a more attractive salary later on.
You won't be practicing direct procedures alone at first.
Your time spent directly treating animal patients will be limited during your first few months as an intern. You will be working with mentors and other professionals in the field, but it will take a bit before you get the opportunity to perform direct care. All programs are different, and some will feel confident enough in your abilities to oversee treatment given by you soon after you start. However, it will likely be a rarity for you to be doing any procedures or direct care all alone.
You will be working long hours.
Full-time veterinarians can work some crazy hours. It's not uncommon for them to spend almost a total day at the office and get very little time for sleep, especially if they own their own practice without a joint vet on staff. As an intern, you will be expected to be present during a lot of these long shifts. It won't be uncommon for you to work several days straight without a day off either.
Reach out to veterinary clinics in your area for more information about veterinary internships.