Chief Instructional Technologist in
There's nothing Mindy Anderson loves more than learning new things about veterinary medicine, sharing such knowledge with young minds, and helping animals and their owners.
As chief instructional technologist in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Anderson pursues all three endeavors — and that makes her feel like she has the best job in the world, she says. Anderson's work sees her spend three-quarters of her time teaching veterinary technology and veterinary medicine students. She spends the rest of her time working in the Small Animal Hospital, where she learns cutting-edge techniques that she then passes along to her students.
What are some of your teaching duties?
Each fall, I teach four courses, and in the spring I teach three courses. I teach all the college's first-, second- and third-year students. To veterinary technology students, I teach small animal nursing and health management. To veterinary medicine students, I teach animal husbandry and diagnostic courses, and I coordinate the medical diagnostic lab.
Across the board, I teach my students things such as how to obtain blood samples, place catheters, conduct physical exams, and master restraint techniques for small animals. I also teach veterinary technology students how to administer anesthesia and how to monitor patients while procedures are taking place.
What is the difference between veterinary technologists and doctors of veterinary medicine?
Veterinary technologists are roughly the equivalent of a human nurse, but they also do anesthesia, radiographs and dentals. A veterinary technology degree is a four-year bachelor's degree.
Doctors of veterinary medicine are equivalent to human doctors. They're called veterinarians, and a doctor of veterinary medicine earns a four-year graduate degree.
What do you do at the Small Animal Hospital?
I help our fourth-year veterinary technology and veterinary medicine students with various procedures. Being involved in this work is very important because it helps keep me up to date on the latest clinical techniques in use. I then take that knowledge back to my students and accurately tell them the many ways in which veterinary medicine is changing.
How did you become interested in veterinary technology?
I've always loved animals and known that I wanted to work with them in some way. I worked as an assistant in a veterinary clinic all throughout high school, but when I came to Purdue, I began pursuing an animal science degree. Later on, I decided that veterinary technology was really my passion, so I got my degree in that field from Purdue.
Previously, I worked in the Greater Lafayette Cat Hospital, and then I was hired here at Purdue as a veterinary ophthalmologist technician. I found that I really loved the academic setting because it presents more challenging clinical cases and because it's a constant learning setting.
When I was an ophthalmologist technician, I taught while on the clinic floor, but I realized that I wanted to do more classroom teaching. So, two years after I took my first job at Purdue, I took my current job.
What's the best part about your job?
I feel like I have the best job in the world, honestly. Every day is different, and I get to meet so many people of different backgrounds who take different approaches to veterinary medicine. As a teacher, it's incredible rewarding to see the look on a student's face when they're able to draw blood for the first time or when they successfully complete a procedure we've taught them.
My goal has always been to help as many animals and their owners as possible, and I'm able to affect so many more animals through my students. Knowing that I'm making a difference in the lives of our patients and students — that provides me with a great deal of satisfaction.