2018 Year in Review: Jess Dyer, Veterinary Technician Intern

It’s time to look back on 2018! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2018 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Wow! 2018 has been a whirlwind of a year! Before starting as the vet tech intern here at the Wildlife Center in early August, I graduated from my veterinary technology program at the end of May. I took my Veterinary Technician National Exam boards in July, and now am relieved to finally be a licensed veterinary technician. If someone had told me in January that by the end of the year I would be working my dream job, I don’t think I would have believed them! These last four months have flown by and every day I come to work where a new adventure awaits me. Since beginning my internship, I have learned so much and have had the opportunity to sharpen my technician skills with pretty much every task that I accomplish.

It’s hard to choose just one memory that stands out over the last few months, but certainly, I have experienced many firsts. In my first few weeks at the Center, I had the opportunity to run anesthesia on a variety of patients that I had never worked with before. One of the first surgical procedures I participated in was on a Turkey Vulture that was having a tiobiotarsal (leg) fracture repair. In school, I had never taken part in any orthopedic surgeries, but here at the Center, it is one of the most common surgeries we perform.


Another strong memory that comes to mind is the ice storm we experienced in November. In the spirit of being extra thankful this time of year, I could not be more grateful for fellow staff members, volunteers, and students at the Center who helped in any way possible to get us through that stressful week!

In addition to our more routine procedures and day-to-day activities at the hospital, we had a few specialized training opportunities in microsurgery and ultrasonography … and even got to take a couple of field trips along the way! I was privileged to be able to take part in our transport of one of our American Black Bear patients back in October to a specialty hospital in Richmond where Dr. Patron surgically repaired the bear’s fractured humerus.

On the horizon is a new year, filled with new projects! I am excited to begin my own research project that focus on the presence of microfilaria (heartworm) in our raptor patients. In addition to that, I will be working with Jaclyn and Leigh- Ann to start another new research project on Candida fungal infections seen in our avian patients. All things considered, it has been a very exciting year for me, to say the least! I am thrilled to begin the New Year at the Wildlife Center, performing a job that I love, and continuing to learn as much as possible before my time here ends!


Check out all of our year-in-review posts!

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