Colleen Vargas considers herself a West Virginia girl even though she grew up in Charlotte. Always interested in animals growing up, she originally thought she wanted to major in biology or zoology. After researching veterinary medicine and the wide array of careers possible, she discovered a love for veterinary technology and transferred to a school in Kentucky to pursue her bachelor’s degree.
Vargas began her career as a veterinary technician at a private practice in Maryland but found herself missing the academic atmosphere of a teaching hospital. She found an opening at the NC State Veterinary Hospital’s small animal emergency service. Now as a radiation oncology veterinary technician, she is excited to expand her knowledge at what she considers a life-changing place.
Why did you choose to be a veterinary technician?
I am very proud of choosing to be a veterinary technician. I think that surprises a lot of people. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian, but that was before I knew that being a technician was even a career. As soon as I found out that was something I could do, I knew that was what I wanted more than anything. I am proud to be a vet tech and I am proud to be at NC State learning new things and getting this chance to do what I love the most.
What will you be doing in this new role at the CVM?
I have been working more on the client side of things by helping with appointments, getting patients ready for their treatments, submitting blood work, placing IV catheters, and facilitating imaging and possible consults with other departments.
I am also taking on a larger anesthesia role, which makes me happy. Anesthesia is something that I did not get to do much in previous positions and it’s something that I really love to do. I’m really excited that I get to delve into that aspect of my career and take over when our main anesthesia technician is off or needs a lunch break.
What’s something someone would be surprised to learn about you?
I love makeup and I have an ever-growing collection of varying eyeshadow palettes. I never get to wear makeup at work since it either it gets licked off or sometimes isn’t worth the hassle. While not at work I love to do a full glam look, especially for date nights with my husband.
When you’re not on campus, where could we find you?
I’m at home mostly. I like to hang out with my husband and pets, binge watching our favorite shows and playing various games on our consoles. Right now I am working on beating Kingdom Hearts 3, The Last of Us and Borderlands.
From youngest to oldest, we have a red-footed tortoise named Donatello, who is almost 9 years old, a 3-year-old pit bull mix named Autumn, a 2-year-old hedgehog named Archie and a 1-year-old tortoiseshell cat named Pretzel.
To learn more about the Radiation Oncology Service, visit their web page.