Monday, May 12, 2014

Veterinary Technology graduate Bonnie Johnson has been selected for a one-year rotating internship for graduate veterinary technicians through the University of Tennessee's (UT) Large Animal Veterinary Medical Center.

Veterinary Technology Graduate One of Two Chosen for Large Animal Internship at UT


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     5/8/2014

                                                                                                (By Lisa Garrett)

            PENDLETON --- An upcoming large animal internship at the University of Tennessee will be an excellent training ground for Bonnie Johnson's long-term career goal of working as a credentialed veterinary technician for the U.S. Equestrian Olympic Team.

            Just one month after receiving her Veterinary Technology degree from Tri-County Technical College, Johnson leaves for a one-year rotating internship for graduate veterinary technicians through the University of Tennessee's (UT) Large Animal Veterinary Medical Center.  This post-graduate large animal studies internship is designed to offer the technician the opportunity to increase knowledge and gain practical experience in an educational environment. Only graduates of AVMA-accredited Veterinary Technology programs are considered.

            Johnson is one of two veterinary technology students chosen nationwide to participate in UT's paid internship program.  The University's Veterinary Technician Internship Program is the only one of its kind in the country.

            For the next year, Johnson will do a rotating internship in a large animal hospital at the university, said Dr. Carla Sommardahl, clinical associate professor, large animal medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine at UT.  Core rotations include equine medicine, equine surgery, farm animal medicine and surgery, anesthesia and equine rehabilitation.  Dr. Sommardahl said Johnson's application stood out because of her large animal experience, as well has her leadership initiatives as a student at Tri-County.  Johnson served as president of her Veterinary Technology class, as well as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) student chapter.  In her role as president of the class, Johnson served on the College's veterinary technology advisory board.

            "I will be used to the fullest extent at UT.  I will be pushed and challenged to be the best technician I can be," said Johnson, who lives in Central.

            "My expectation for this internship is to expand my large animal knowledge, skills abilities and experiences which will make me a more well rounded technician.  The exposure to advanced diagnostics and cases at the referral/university level will maximize my ability to make an impact in future possibilities through a higher level of expertise acquired from this internship.  This opportunity will be an important stepping stone not only to my professional growth, but my personal growth as well.  I am eager for the challenges that will accompany this internship," she said.

            When Tri-County Veterinary Technology Department Head Dr. Peggy Champion announced to students this large animal internship opportunity, Johnson says she immediately applied "because that's my passion.  I love the hands-on aspect of Tri-County's Veterinary Technology program and that's what I will be doing at UT, also.  I learn best that way. In the Veterinary Technology program, we care for animals and bond with them.  It gives us a different level of understanding and care of animals and we get a realistic experience of how veterinary medicine works," she said.

            "Bonnie really is a dream student, a leader in class and she is self motivated in every aspect of her life," Dr. Champion wrote in her nomination letter.  "Her method of leadership is very persuasive and encouraging and she has exemplary personal integrity.  During the course of the program, Bonnie has demonstrated skill with both large and small animal medicine.  I think anybody in large animal medicine would thoroughly enjoy working with Bonnie. I certainly wish I had someone of her quality assisting me when I was in private practice seeing large animal emergencies." 

            Johnson plans to work toward her bachelor's in the near future and to earn a certificate in equine rehabilitation from UT Knoxville.  To provide aid for disaster response and management, she plans to take FEMA's Emergency Management Institute "Animals in Disaster" training course.  Over time she will earn her specialty certification in large animal internal medicine or equine veterinary medicine. 


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