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Amy Long: Veterinary Technician
Written and Edited by F.D. Rogers, M.A.
Amy Long combines her interests in animals and science in her career as a veterinary technician.
Originally from Westminster, Colorado, Amy graduated from Stillwater High School. As a child, Amy wanted to be a primatologist, a scientist who researches nonhuman primates (e.g. lemurs, monkeys, apes, etc.). One famous primatologist, Jane Goodall, was particularly influential in cultivating Amy’s interest in primatology. “… I read all of her books,” says Amy. “I met Jane Goodall through her “Roots and Shoots” program for children… She gave a talk about observing and researching chimpanzees, how she came to interact with them, and their relation to humans. She inspired me to work with animals and to become a vegetarian.”
During her time at Stillwater High School, Amy volunteered at the Stillwater Humane Society, an experience that influenced her decision to pursue a career as a veterinary technician. “It was important to me that the most poorly socialized and trained animals were given a chance to find a forever home. This was difficult emotionally, and was an experience that helped me realize that I could bear the heavy emotional toll that can be working with animals,” says Amy.
A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Technician
Amy decided to become a veterinary technician because she wanted to work with animals and in science, but did not have a college degree. “Many veterinary hospitals have entry level positions,” says Amy.
An average day for Amy includes things like collecting samples from animals, running lab work, and explaining necessary treatments and diagnostics to clients. She also fills prescriptions and medicates patients in addition to preparing patients for surgery.
“My job is very rewarding when I can treat a sick animal whose health improves as well as comfort animals who are fearful and have anxiety. Helping to heal a pet also means that I’m helping their pet parent as well. The hardest days are when we see neglect or abuse cases, or when a pet dies a traumatic death. In the latter cases, we have to stay strong for the pet parent even when we feel like falling apart.”
Amy intends to further her education and work with exotics and wildlife. She’d like to work in conservation and rehabilitate wildlife negatively affected by humans.
To learn more about the Roots and Shoots program, visit: https://www.rootsandshoots.org/