Mentorship plays an instrumental role in the success of students enrolled in the VCA Vet Tech Academy (VVTA). Mentorship is a rewarding experience for both the mentor and mentee. The bonds between mentor and mentee often last well beyond the confines of a mentorship program. Mentor relationships have a lasting impact on mentees and help to form habits and work traits that they will possess throughout their careers.
Schedule: Monday – Friday daytime hours
Paid holidays off
Weeklong summer and winter breaks
Salary: $60,000 annually
What makes a good mentor?
Willing to teach and guide students who are learning new skills
Patience for the learning process
Understanding that things may go wrong and errors may be made
Ability to use errors as teachable moments in a constructive and empathetic way
Create a positive learning environment where students feel excited to show up
Ability to give positive feedback and encouragement
Has the desire to celebrate small and large accomplishments
Can give constructive feedback in a manner that shows the student the information comes from a place of caring
Allows students to practice approved skills they have learned in the VVTA
Ability to lead by example
Willingness to show and own up to weaknesses
Shows enthusiasm for the field of veterinary medicine and wants to inspire others to feel the same way
Mentor Qualifications And ExpectationsCredentialed Veterinary Technician who has graduated from an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program
Previous experience in training and leadership
This is a hands-on mentorship which will include integration with the hospital team, involvement in patient care, demonstration of skills students will be performing, and adherence to and reinforcement of Vet Tech Academy and hospital policies.
Strong leadership skills with the ability to lead in a positive, supportive and constructive manner
Previous experience working in specialty medicine for at least 3-5 years preferred
Advanced Technical And Nursing Skills PreferredGood interpersonal skills and ability to work with the public in a professional and respectful way
Responsible for overseeing and reinforcing student technique while they perform skills taught in the VCA Vet Tech Academy.
Reports to and works closely with the Program Director to ensure the best training and education possible for students enrolled in the VCA Vet Tech Academy.
Attends in person class meetings when deemed necessary and for the greater good of the program
Assists with teaching and training on classroom days as needed
Helps coordinate and supervise clinical externships
Full time position
Expected working conditions
Ability to sit, stand, walk, bend, stoop, kneel, crouch, and climb as well as manipulate (lift, carry, and move) up to 40 pounds. Lifting higher weights requires requesting assistance from another Associate.
Requires good hand-eye coordination, arm-hand-finger dexterity with the ability to grasp, and visual acuity to use a keyboard and operate necessary equipment.
Visual acuity sufficient to complete accurate records, recognize people and animals as well as understand written directions. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision.
Occasionally exposed to airborne particles and illness from patients and chemicals related to animal care, cleanliness, and office equipment.
The noise level in the work environment is normally moderate to high; hearing must be sufficient to hear coworkers and pets (growling dog, etc.) in a moderate to high noise level environment.
Environment where pets are present. Any allergies to animals must be controlled by medication.
The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an Associate to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
VCA Shoreline Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Shelton, CT will serve as the host hospital for this Academy Mentor’s class of students three days a week when students begin their 2024 session.
Travel to VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, CT is required on student classroom days, up to two days a week with the exception of the on-boarding and training period.
The Academy Mentor will be responsible for overseeing up to 20 students in varying levels of experience and skill at a time.
The Academy Mentor will receive training through shadowing and instruction prior to taking on their first class.
The Program Director and Student Supervisor/Mentor will provide guidance and support through the training process.
The Academy Mentor will train and work with current Vet Tech Academy students who are based in Norwalk, CT at the VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center until the beginning of their class in January 2024.
The Academy Mentor will work with students enrolled in the VCA Vet Tech Academy in their home hospital so that they can practice and gain confidence in their clinical skills. The Academy Mentor will work side by side with the students to ensure a smooth integration with the hospital team while overseeing all activities the students are involved in. This may require multitasking, thinking on their feet, the need to adapt quickly to ever changing situations, and the ability to remain level headed and calm in the face of stress. Leading by example while guiding and offering constructive feedback in the moment is crucial to the success of our students.
In addition to interactions on the treatment floor and teachable moments, the Academy Mentor and students will meet one-on-one at least bi-weekly off the floor. Meetings can take place in person, virtually, or over the phone, and will consist of verbal dialogue rather than written email exchange. There is no minimum requirement of meeting duration. Meetings will consist of a check-in for the mentor to get a sense of what the mentee has learned in the two-week period and what areas they feel they need more focus on. If time permits, mentors will discuss pertinent topics with students such as client communication, euthanasia, compassion fatigue and burnout, time management, conflict resolution, work/life balance and effective communication and teamwork. Taking the time to discuss these topics will allow the students to voice concerns, gather advice and ultimately manage these situations with a feeling of support.
The Academy Mentor will serve as the site supervisor for the clinical externships completed by the students at their home hospital while supported by Penn Fosters predetermined clinical requirements, and guidance from the Program Director. If multiple externship sites are required, the Academy Mentor will coordinate and communicate with site supervisors chosen at the additional locations to ensure all students are integrating well and are able to complete necessary skills for submission to Penn Foster. The Academy Mentor will be the point person for the students and the additional site supervisors during the first and second externships.
The Academy Mentor will assist the Program Director in teaching and training during classroom days when necessary. This may require full day teaching/training on classroom days.
Mentor/student meeting expectations summary
Meet off the floor at least bi-weekly
Will occur in person, virtually or over the phone
Should be a verbal exchange
No time minimum or maximum
Summary of meeting should be written up by mentor and sent to the Program Director within one week of the meeting date
Levels of supervision** defined by the NAVTA Model Rules and Regulations for Veterinary Technicians
Immediate supervision – A licensed veterinarian is within direct eyesight and hearing range.
Direct supervision – A licensed veterinarian is on the premises and is readily available.
Indirect supervision – A licensed veterinarian is not on the premises but is able to perform the duties of a licensed veterinarian by maintaining direct communication.
- For the purposes of the VCA Vet Tech Academy we ask that the Academy Mentor, the Program Director, an experienced credentialed veterinary technician or DVM provide the proper level of supervision for skills practiced by students in the program.
If you are a current associate, you need to apply through our internal career site. Please log into Workday and click on the Career worklet on the landing page or search for Find Jobs.
Benefits: We offer competitive compensation along with a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision and paid vacation/sick days, 401(k), generous employee pet discounts and more!
The information in this position description indicates the general nature and level of work to be performed. It is not designed to be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of associates assigned to this job. Management reserves the right to revise the job description or require that other tasks be performed when the circumstances of the job change (for example, emergencies, change in personnel, workload, or technical development)
We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer - Veterans / Disabled. For a complete EEO statement please see our career page at vcacareers.com