Purdue Student Features
Rachel Jancso, AAS
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Why did you choose the Purdue Veterinary Technology Distance Learning (VTDL) program?
I chose this program over 2 local colleges here in town that offer a 1 year to 18 month vet tech program. I chose to attend Purdue because I knew that I would have the opportunity to learn a lot more than what these local colleges had to offer, which would result in a great education and understanding of so many different concepts in veterinary medicine. Plus, my grandpa was a pharmacy graduate from Purdue and my cousin is currently studying on campus, so my whole family are boilermaker fans. Boiler up!
What was it like when you first joined the VTDL?
I didn't expect anything different from when I took an online course while I was attending classes at IPFW. My first course was a medical terminology course, which came really easy to me. But once I started with anatomy, it was a lot different because I realized there is so much information that I need to keep up with, especially since I wouldn't be sitting in a lecture hall anymore.
What's it like to take a course?
It takes a lot of self-discipline and motivation to take any course in the VTDL program. You have to take time out of the day to make sure you study the material, otherwise you could fall behind. But just because it is online, doesn't mean that you don't have help from the professors. I have always gotten fast responses from all of my professors, and they are all really helpful and will answer any questions.
What was your favorite course?
I can't say that I have just one favorite course because I have enjoyed several of them. I'd have to say that Clinical Pathology, the Large Animal Nursing courses, Lab Animal, and Anesthesia were among the ones I enjoyed the most. I really enjoyed the Large Animal courses because I work in a small animal practice so I found the different concepts of large animal medicine to be very interesting.
Did the program's faculty and staff help you?
There is great support from the VTDL professors and other staff. Everyone is very nice and always responds quickly to emails, and will help with anything that you may need. They are available by email, phone, or discussion boards within the course website.
What challenges did you face as a VTDL student and how did you get through them?
The only real challenge I faced as a student is when I went from working part-time at my job to working full-time. When this happened, I unintentionally put my schoolwork on the back burner. That didn't last for long, especially after I took my first test right after I made this transition. It really put into perspective for me that this was going to be tough. But it also made me realize that my education and school work comes before anything else, especially if I wanted to be successful in this program. So if I have only 10 minutes during my lunch break to study, then I am going to study what I can.
If you could give one piece of advice to a prospective student, what would it be?
If you truly love veterinary medicine and want to be the best veterinary technician you can be, choose a program that will give you a great education in order to properly care for your future patients, and Purdue's VTDL program does just that.
What are two things that helped you be successful in your clinical mentorships?
The friends that I have made while working in veterinary medicine have been awesome in helping me record my videos or restraining patients for me. I am also friends with a technician that graduated from this program about 1 1/2 years ago, so she has given me a lot of pointers and advice for certain tasks.
How did you find your clinical mentorship?
I work at a veterinary clinic, so I am able to do everything at my place of employment. Sometimes if my employer doesn't have what I need, I have friends that work at other veterinary clinics so I can always go there if needed.
Any final pieces of advice?
One of my favorite things about this program is having the opportunity to go to Purdue's Vet School and performing clinical mentorships. I learned so much from the professors while down there, and it felt great to be able to apply what I had learned from a textbook and class notes to a real-life situation. I also noticed that while down there, if some students were having difficulty finishing tasks for different mentorships than what we were doing that day (ex. - radiology), they gave those students the opportunity to perform those tasks there at the vet school so they could finish. The professors and staff in this program genuinely care about the student's success in this program, which is awesome!