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Veterinary Nursing Student Receives Scholarship

Veterinary nursing student holding a horse by the bridle.
Rebecca A. Eckland

Recently, TMCC Veterinary Nursing student Shyanne Adams received the Doyle L. Shugart Scholarship from the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories (IAOPCC). Adams was awarded not only due to her passion for this challenging but rewarding career in Veterinary Nursing but also her application essay, in which she described the importance of not only caring for animals but for keeping the feelings and well-being of their human caretakers in mind. 
 
“No matter the situation, compassion in the veterinary field is essential when an owner has to say goodbye to their cherished pet. Today most pets are considered members of our family; their loss feels like losing a family member. It is our job as a veterinary nurse to support owners once their pet has passed. One of the most important ways veterinarian nurses can offer clients support is by taking time to discuss passionate care and aftercare of a lost pet,” she wrote.  Adams will receive a check for $1,000 from Steve Woods, Director Region III and Co-Chairman of the Ethics and Standards Committee for the IAOPCC, and the owner of the local A Beloved Friends Pet Crematorium.
 
In order to be considered for the scholarship, students must be enrolled in an accredited veterinary nursing program and be in their second year or greater. Additionally, applicants must submit a 250-500 word essay about the value of dignified and compassionate aftercare, assisting clients as they deal with the loss of their pet. The winning essay will also appear in their quarterly magazine News and Views. 
 
“I was so honored to have been chosen to receive the scholarship,” said Adams, who will resume her studies in the Veterinary Nursing program in Spring 2021. “I was planning on graduating in May 2021, but when COVID-19 hit, I thought it best to take a semester off for my health and safety.”
 
Yet, working with animals is a big passion for Adams, who admits the career ahead of her will be challenging. “Not everyone knows the extent of what veterinary nurses do,” she said. “[We] do a lot more than people think. For example, most nurses in the human medical field  [have a specialty] like a scrub nurse, a surgical nurse, an ER nurse or they become a phlebotomist. Human hospitals also have a separate cleaning crew, lab specialists, and floor managers. However, as veterinary nurses, we take on all of these jobs every day. It can definitely get tiring, but it’s also rewarding knowing we can help animals and people when they need it most, and we can make a difference in the world.”
 
Adams speaks highly of the Veterinary Nursing Program at TMCC, which she said helped her on her journey of working toward a degree in a field that is critical to the health care of animals. Her favorite class so far?  “Definitely Animals Nursing, which was taught by Julie McMahon, LVT and Michelle Kulchawik, LVT. This was my favorite class because not only do you get to learn subjects like companion animal diseases, critical care, and physical exams, but you actually get to physically apply and practice what we learned,” she said. 
 
Although Adams plans on working as a veterinary nurse in a regular veterinary clinic following the completion of her degree, she eventually hopes to work in a zoo or wildlife sanctuary. “I want to help protect wildlife and exotic species, whether that means working abroad or close to home. TMCC has helped and supported me through this journey by being there for me when I decided to take this semester off due to the pandemic,” she said. 
 
The scholarship will enable Adams to continue her education by helping her to secure transportation so she can attend in-person class sessions. 
 
At the heart of Adams’ chosen professional path are compassion, respect, and care. “It is vital as a veterinary nurse to be compassionate and respectful,” she wrote. These, when paired with a love of animals, made veterinary nursing a perfect choice for her next career. 
 
For students who share Adams’s passion for helping others and their animal companions, TMCC’s Veterinary Nursing program is the perfect place to begin your professional journey.  “While you should be prepared for hard work and a lot of information to learn, the faculty and staff of the Veterinary Nursing Program are there to have your back and make your learning experience a positive one,” she said. 
 
For more information about the Veterinary Nursing Program at TMCC, contact the department at 775-824-8660.