Amy Newfield ’98, Animal Care (A.S.); Veterinary Technology (A.S.)
When Amy Newfield ’98 read about a new federal veterinary team dedicated to helping animals during times of disaster, she knew she needed to get involved. Sixteen years later, Newfield describes her involvement with the National Veterinary Response Team one of the best experiences she has ever had.
“The team is my extended family,” said Newfield, who earned associate degrees in both animal care and veterinary technology at Becker College. “I have been deployed to such disasters as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy,” said Newfield, noting that deployments can be difficult because they are physically and emotionally demanding. “You meet people and their pets during the worst moments of their lives, and you work with some pets that have been displaced from their owners. But the deployments have given me much more than I could ever give to the people and pets I meet. Being able to help someone reunite with their pet, or assure them their pet will be okay is a gift to everyone on the team.”
Newfield knew she wanted to work with animals from the time she was young; her father imparted his love of nature to her and instilled in her a love for animals. Newfield first attended the University of Maine at Orono, but when they cancelled the veterinary technology major, she transferred to Becker to continue her education.
During her time at Becker, Newfield gained hands-on experience through two internships—one at a wildlife rehabilitation on Cape Cod, and the other in the emergency room and intensive care unit at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University in North Grafton, Mass. “I felt I was very prepared for the job market when I graduated from Becker,” said Newfield. “I truly knew I had a wide range of skills and knowledge to enter the workforce. My internships prepared me well for the real world.”
For Newfield, that real world has included working for the past 11 years in the emergency department in a specialty hospital recently renamed BluePearl Veterinary Partners, in Waltham, Mass. “The nature of what I do allows for surprises every day,” said Newfield. “Just when I think I have heard and seen it all, something new comes in,” she said, adding that clients can also be a challenge to deal with in the ER because of the amount of stress they are under. “Their pet is very sick, and to be a good veterinary technician I need to communicate quickly and effectively so the client is aware of what is happening and allows me to work on their pet.”
Also important in the real world of veterinary technology is continually improving and building on the skills and knowledge she gained at Becker. “There is so much to learn, and veterinary technology is always changing, so it’s important to continually work toward improving yourself,” said Newfield. “I also work to enhance the skills and knowledge of others by lecturing around the world and writing articles and chapters for books. I hope that my enthusiasm is infectious to those who sit in on my lectures, and that they leave having learned something valuable.”
Newfield hopes to continue to share her enthusiasm and knowledge with others through her work, lecturing, writing, and serving others—much like, she said, the professors at Becker do. “I think their words speak every day to the students who leave Becker, simply because of the knowledge they have imparted to those students for life,” she said.