Fulfilling a Purpose
Posted on Apr 28, 2020
Christina Moody, a graduate of Fort Valley State University's veterinary technology program, is a veterinary technician for the University of Georgia.
Christina Moody is living out her dream of caring for animals.
Moody, 25, graduated from Fort Valley State University in fall 2019 with a degree in veterinary technology. A native of Rome, Georgia, Moody works as a veterinary technician at the University of Georgia’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
“I triage incoming patients, obtain vital signs, restrain animals for doctor examinations, pull blood, run blood work, place intravenous catheters, monitor patients in our care and administer medications,” the FVSU alumna said.
Working with animals was always an objective for Moody.
“I have loved animals all my life and all that anybody said to me was that I needed to be a veterinarian,” Moody said. After graduating from high school, Moody enrolled at Oglethorpe University to pursue a degree in biology with the intention of going to veterinary school after graduation.
While working at her first veterinary clinic as a kennel technician and veterinary assistant, she discussed pursuing a career as a veterinary assistant with some of her coworkers.
“I explained to them that I really enjoyed what I was doing. They were the first to suggest that I could make a career out of being a nurse instead of a doctor,” Moody said.
Likewise, Moody discovered she enjoyed the hands-on aspect of her work. She also discovered she would get more hands-on opportunities as a veterinary technician rather than a veterinarian. A coworker who also attended Oglethorpe told Moody about FVSU’s Veterinary Technology program.
After graduating from Oglethorpe in 2016, Moody immediately enrolled in FVSU’s program with the goal of becoming a certified veterinary technician.
“I enrolled at FVSU because it was the only university in Georgia that offered a bachelor’s program in veterinary technology. I selected veterinary technology because it was the major required to obtain a license as a registered veterinary technician,” Moody said.
While taking classes at FVSU, Moody also worked full time at Hudspeth Animal Hospital in Macon from March 2017 to July 2019 to help pay for school. As a full-time student and employee, Moody organized her busy lifestyle by relying on to-do lists.
“It helped keep me on task and it was satisfying to cross off each item on the list as it was completed. It was a great mental push when I was fatigued and feeling unproductive,” she said.
Indeed, it worked well for Moody as she graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.75-4.0 GPA) from FVSU.
As a full-time student, Moody relied heavily on advice from her instructors for guidance. She considers FVSU associate professor Dr. Saul Mofya and lead veterinary technician Karen Capps-McMullan as mentors. “Both of their doors were always open whenever I needed to ask questions about my academic and professional experiences. If you are willing to put in the work, they are willing to put in the time,” Moody said.
“Christina was an exemplary student, who set standards for her classmates to follow,” CappsMcMullen said. “Her work ethic was as focused in the classroom as it was on the exam table. Christina is on her way to becoming an excellent veterinary technologist and possesses the potential to be a leader and future educator in the field,” she said.
Moody’s advice to students seeking a degree in veterinary technology at FVSU is to get as much practical, hands-on experience as possible.
“I would highly advise getting involved with a veterinary clinic as an employee, intern or volunteer. It makes a significant difference when you can see the concepts you are learning on paper in a real-life situation,” Moody said.
The former FVSU student also discussed the many opportunities a student has with a degree in veterinary technology.
“You will get to see all of the various opportunities that are possible with this major. You can become a behaviorist or nutritionist. You can specialize as a nurse or doctor in anesthesia, surgery, dentistry or emergency care,” Moody said. “Get into this field, find out what you enjoy, and I guarantee you that there is a career option for you. A major in veterinary science is the perfect first step,” she said.
Moody’s future plans include taking the board examinations for veterinary technicians. This will allow her to perform certain procedures without supervision. After that, she hopes to continue in the emergency room at the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital as a registered veterinary technician specializing in emergency medicine and critical care.
She said the road to her success was not easy, but in the long run it paid off. “I would not be in the position I am today without the education I received at FVSU,” Moody said.
For more information about the veterinary technology program at FVSU, contact Dr. George McCommon, DVM, chair of Veterinary Science and Public Health at (478) 825-6424 or Mccommog@fvsu.edu.
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