Tag Archives: Registered Veterinary Technician

Melanie Passes her RVT Exams !

Melanie with George3

Melanie Bellomo Shifflett has completed a remarkably difficult challenge – she passed her RVT exams ! Becoming an RVT, or Registered Veterinary Technician, takes many hours, dedication, knowledge, and skill, as well as excellent test-taking abilities, and thankfully, our lovely Melanie possesses all of these qualities.

Even more incredibly, Melanie studied for and passed her exams during her pregnancy, after her labor, and during the first two months of her son George’s life. She is truly a Superwoman !

Melanie young tech

Melanie’s career at the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital spans an entire decade. She first began working at the hospital in 2005, after she met Dr. Suehiro at the Porter Ranch YMCA. Dr. Suehiro invited Melanie to volunteer at the hospital, and once she set foot here she never left.

Melanie already had a degree in Animal and Equine Science from the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences, but she had no experience with cats or dogs. She did not let that stop her ! Melanie went from being a volunteer, to a doctor’s assistant, to a lead technician, and now the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital’s resident Registered Veterinary Technician.

Melanie with Accordion

Registered Veterinary Technicians in California first have to take an exam that is specific to the laws and procedures of the state. If they pass the state exam, they then need to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam, which all RVT’s are given. Melanie passed both tests on her first attempt.

The topics covered on the exams are extremely varied and nuanced, and are not relegated to just cats and dogs. Turtles, snakes, pigs – questions about pretty much any exotic or large animal can be asked on the RVT exam. Some of the areas covered on the exams are:

  • Emergency treatment and protocols: shock, triage
  • Laboratory procedures: hematology, cytology, urinalysis, microbiology, blood chemistry
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Surgical assisting
  • Anesthesia
  • Animal nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Dentistry
  • Animal behavior
  • Pharmacy and pharmacology
  • Zoonotic diseases
  • Fiberglass casting


And that’s not even everything !

We are so proud of Melanie, and could not have been less surprised with how well she has done. As Dr. Winters calmly said when we asked him if he was excited that Mel had passed her exams, “I figured she would.” Us too.

Melanie dog pile

Here is a tender statement Dr. Suehiro wrote about Melanie’s work at the hospital – Enjoy:

I met Melanie 11 years ago through a friend at the YMCA. I remember the first time I met Melanie, when I went mountain biking with my friends and she greeted me with one of her signature warm hugs. I am not a touchy feely person, but she was so warm and sincere about it that I let it slide. Later, I found out that Melanie graduated from Colorado State University as a pre-veterinary student, but did not pursue the veterinary track. At the time, Melanie seemed lost and unsure about her future. I really liked her warm outgoing friendly upbeat personality, so I asked her to volunteer at our hospital to maybe find her passion in the veterinary field again.

During her 11 year tenure here, Melanie has flourished and developed into one of our most loyal, devoted, and cherished employees at our hospital. Melanie displays the utmost honesty, integrity, character, and compassion. Her excellent interpersonal and communication skills makes her invaluable. She has worked in every department in the hospital from kennel attendant to hospital manager. She treats all the animals, clients and our employees with genuine compassion and respect.

Now, Melanie is a registered veterinary technician and the head technician of the hospital. I am so pleased and proud of how she persevered and achieved this accomplishment. I feel blessed that I have someone like Melanie at my side. Not only does she run and supervise the intensive care and surgery areas of the hospital but I also rely on her for advice on running the daily operations of the hospital.

I congratulate Melanie on her latest accomplishment. Melanie has a wonderful gift to help and care for animals and people. I hope she will continue to utilize her special gift and develop her skills as a registered technician. I expect that Melanie will help the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital become a progressive compassionate hospital for years to come. Please don’t leave any time soon.


Melanie with Scout and Marsha