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Banfield Pet Hospital Extern Researches Methods to Reduce Practice Errors

Nicole Schimmel is a second-year veterinary student at the University of Illinois where she serves on the Illinois SAVMA Wellness Committee and the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative. We caught up with her to chat all about her research and her experience externing at Banfield!

Why did you choose Banfield for your externship?

I chose to extern with Banfield because of their drive to improve veterinary medicine—not only for their clients and patients but for their veterinarians and veterinary support staff. I love how Banfield uses data to guide their decisions and encourage an uplifting, inclusive, and equitable environment for all. I also enjoyed traveling to the west coast to work at the Banfield Head Quarters.

What have you been working on for Banfield?

While at Banfield, I analyzed and discovered trends in route and frequency errors through Banfield’s Safety Event Reports. I then used this to increase awareness and create strategies to minimize these errors. I also researched methods to reduce “Sound-Alike Look-Alike Drug” errors across human and veterinary pharmacies. I also collaborated and discussed ways to improve policies and procedures with Banfield leaders specializing in quality improvement, client experience services, and veterinary relations.

How has your externship experience impacted your career path?

My externship with Banfield showed me I have the capability to create change, along with the value I can provide to a large company, especially as a veterinary student! I enjoyed collaborating with others and expanding my knowledge through my exposure to various perspectives. Working with Banfield also invigorated my mission to improve mental health and hospital culture in veterinary medicine through education, policy, and involvement.

What would you tell others about your experience externing at Banfield?

I would encourage others to work with Banfield! The individuals I met, the experience I gained, and the mentorship I strengthened opened opportunities for me that I never considered attainable. Banfield showed me a side of veterinary medicine I immediately fell in love with and will take with me as I progress through my veterinary career. I am still in touch with a handful of individuals I met through the Banfield Research Externship and am proud to call them my mentors and my friends.

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