2018 Holiday Gift Guide For Veterinary Technicians

Nov 09 2018

Are you stressing over what to gift the special veterinary technician in your life? Worry no longer! Veterinary technicians work hard and have busy schedules, so finding ways to make their lives easier is a good way to approach gift shopping. Here are a few of our favorite gift ideas to make the holidays special for your favorite veterinary technician:

Give The Gift of Coffee

Being a veterinary technician can include working long, difficult shifts, so keeping fueled is important. Not every vet tech drinks coffee, but many do, and you can make their life easier with the gift of coffee! You can give them a coffee machine for home, new accessories and accouterments, or even a coffee bean subscription to let them try new flavors. If the person you are gifting for isn’t a fan of coffee, you can also look into other things like varieties of tea and hot chocolate. A hot cup of comfort is a great way to recharge and energize, regardless of what is in it!

Find Favorable Footwear

Working as a vet tech isn’t just tiring, it can completely wear people out. Veterinary technicians usually spend most of their day on their feet, so making sure they have comfortable footwear is important. Even if they already have a pair of sneakers or clogs that they wear for comfort, you can always get a new pair for them to enjoy and provide options. Many vet techs definitely prefer function over form, so find them shoes that are excessively comfortable and provide ample support and protection for the foot. If they look flattering at the same time, then that’s a bonus! An alternative to new footwear is finding a good shoe insert that can help alleviate stress off of their feet.

Make Meal Prep Manageable

Since veterinary technicians spend a lot of time on their feet and working hard, do you think they’re in the mood to fix a complicated meal once they get home? Of course not! Brainstorm ways that you can make their meal prep simpler, especially for evening meals. Devices like pressure cookers or crock pots open up countless options for simple no-hassle meals that they can throw together and having cooking while they’re on the job. There’s nothing quite like walking into the house to smell dinner already cooking! If your recipient isn’t the slow cooking type, you can also consider services like Blue Apron that deliver simple meals right to their door, saving them the time of having to go to the grocery store. Many of the meals can be prepared in half an hour or less, so it’s perfect for anyone with a busy work schedule.

Bring on The Bandage Scissors

Yes, that’s right, bandage scissors. Why such a simple gift you ask? It’s a common phenomena for these scissors to sprout legs and walk away in the clinic, so providing a pair for your vet tech giftee can allow them to always have them on-hand. You can buy them in all kinds of colors and shapes, and some even have clips or bands to help prevent them from getting lost. It may be a simple gift, but it’s one that a vet tech will remember you by each time they use them!

Watch Out For Wristwatches

Timekeeping is an important element of being a veterinary technician, so providing your friend or family member with a nice watch can help them do their job well. Wristwatches should be lightweight, comfortable, and not too clunky. Analog watches are also preferred by many because it makes it easier to keep track of seconds when doing things like checking a pet’s pulse. Digital watches work too, as long as they have a way to visibly keep track of seconds. From there you can choose whatever features you want to give. There are tons of band styles and materials, ranging from inexpensive rubbers, plastics, and nylon to pricier stainless steel or ceramic. Find the watch that combines functionality with a look that your vet tech would enjoy!

It’s also worth noting that the veterinary technician you are buying for might prefer a stethoscope watch. These neat watches come in a few varieties, and affix to a stethoscope, which is something that vet techs almost always have on them. Some will prefer this over a wristwatch, so keep your recipient’s preferences in mind!

Get Veterinary Technician Education at PCI

Have you considered becoming a veterinary technician yourself? Many vet techs love their jobs because of the difference that they can make, and they love working with animals! If you’re interested in learning more about what it takes to become a veterinary technician, reach out to us today!

ABK Lollipop Sale – Nov. 13

Nov 07 2018

PCI Staff Soup Cook-Off – Nov. 12

Nov 07 2018

Meet The Staff: Charlotte Kwiatkowski, Surgical Technology Program Director

Oct 19 2018

Pittsburgh Career Institute is pleased to welcome an experienced director for our Surgical Technology program, Mrs. Charlotte Kwiatkowski! She joined the school in September of 2018, making her one of the newest members of the PCI family. She may be relatively new at the school, but Mrs. Kwiatkowski brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the that can help our surgical technology students be more successful.

About Charlotte Kwiatkowski

Mrs. Kwiatkowski always felt like she had a calling for healthcare because her family had a history of illness and disease. She spent a fair amount of time in hospitals, and that’s where she saw the opportunity to help other people. Charlotte began her career as a surgical technologist in the 1990’s at the Saint Francis Medical Center. From there she worked in several other medical facilities, including the Pittsburgh Technical Institute where she worked for ten years, four of which she spent as a program director.

Mrs. Kwiatkowski is also very hands-on with helping her students adjust to becoming surgical technologists. She learns all about her students, from their medical conditions and allergies to their physical and mental abilities, so that she can help place them in suitable surgical facilities. She takes the time to work with students one-on-one to find them ideal places to start their careers, and then she’ll even write referral letters to help the students further!

Charlotte’s Role at PCI

Mrs. Kwiatkowski has the exciting opportunity to serve as the Surgical Technology program director at Pittsburgh Career Institute. Her main role is to manage clinical needs, as well as externships for students. She supports clinical instructors, collaborates with hospitals for externships, and works with instructors on a day-to-day basis to help them overcome obstacles. She also works with students on paperwork and scheduling concerns, and helps new students become acquainted with Surge Techs and what is expected of them in the field.

What Charlotte Loves About PCI

The Surgical Technology program at PCI is especially exciting, because it is a 15-month program that awards graduates with an Associate’s Degree in Specialized Technology (AST). Many other Surge Tech programs take significantly longer and cost more to complete. The program at PCI can be completed in less time, which allows graduates to start working sooner! Mrs. Kwiatkowski also speaks highly of her staff, describing them as being compassionate and willing to go the extra mile to change a life. PCI is centered on making a difference.

Advice For Future Students

Mrs. Kwiatkowski’s biggest piece of advice for people considering a future in surgical technology is to go talk to her! She has an incredible amount of experience and is dedicated to helping people connect with their future careers. She’s been in the local healthcare field for over 20 years, and knows people at medical centers throughout the area. Many of her previous students have been hired even before they graduated, and we’re excited to see her make the same impact here at PCI!

Learn With Mrs. Kwiatkowski

PCI and Mrs. Kwiatkowski are dedicated to helping students succeed on an individual level. If you have an interest in learning surgical technology, reach out to us to learn more about our program and what it can do for you!

Pink Dress Down Day – October 11

Oct 10 2018

The Only Healthcare Training School in Downtown Pittsburgh

Oct 09 2018

Recently, we heard news of another local trade school closing, and would like to reiterate that we’re not going anywhere! PCI is actively enrolling for each of our nine programs, and would like to highlight some of the things we do to thrive in downtown Pittsburgh. This school hasn’t stayed open since 1980 through luck or happenstance; we continually strive for excellence for our students!

The Need For Medical Professionals

The school that recently closed in downtown Pittsburgh stated that the reason was insufficient demand for their programs in this market. Interest in various programs may fluctuate over time, but there are always opportunities for our graduates, regardless of the program they choose. Whether you choose to pursue Dental Assistant, Veterinary Technology, or anything in between, you could start a successful career for yourself, and PCI wants to help you make it happen!

A Focus on The Individual

Program directors at PCI such as Ms. Sherri Steele and Mrs. Charlotte Kwiatkowski, have talked about how important it is to help each student succeed individually. Every student has different strengths, weaknesses, goals, dreams, and capabilities that our instructors strive to accommodate. For example, we want our graduates to start their careers in places where they will feel confident and comfortable, so we try to help them with opportunities suited to their skills, personalities and goals. Quieter, more introverted graduates, for example, may not flourish in a high-intensity emergency setting, but may love working in a private practice or office with a calmer environment. We strive to help students find the ideal fit for them.

Going Above And Beyond

At Pittsburgh Career Institute, we don’t bring ordinary staff and instructors into the family, we aim to hire the best! Ms. Sherri Steele is a great example of a staff member of who goes above and beyond for her students. She is the director for our Medical Assistant diploma program. Working with needles is an integral part of the program, and some students feel anxious about practicing this aspect of their training. One student was so nervous that Ms. Steele invited her to her office to practice on her own arm! With Ms. Steele’s help, that student was able to build confidence that she wouldn’t have been able to get just in the classroom. Going above and beyond is a big a part of how we teach!

The PCI Family

At Pittsburgh Career Institute, we place the education of our students above everything else. Part of elevating the education to a higher standard means that we strive to build a support network for our students. We foster a culture of family and support that is designed to help students pursue their career goals. Success, for us, is about the people we help and lift up along the way to achieving their goals. This culture is a huge part of what sets PCI apart from other schools.

Join Pittsburgh Career Institute

If you have an interest in working in the healthcare field, we offer many programs that could help you get where you want to be. Both degree and diploma programs are available, and all are geared toward helping you start your career with the skills you will need! Contact us to learn more about how you can get started today.

Meet the Staff: Christine Skolyak, Dental Assistant Program Director

Sep 26 2018

Pittsburgh Career Institute has a dental assistant program that is designed to help students prepare to become licensed dental assistants. The director of the program, Ms. Christine Skolyak, has been instrumental in making the program what it is today, so we are featuring her and highlighting the great work she is doing. She’s an important part of the PCI family not only because of her strong teaching skills, but also because of the way she goes above and beyond for her students.

About Christine Skolyak

Ms. Skolyak got her start in dental assisting work as a dental hygienist. She graduated from West Liberty State College in West Virginia with her degree in 1989. From there she passed her certification exam and has been practicing ever since! She started out as a dental hygienist, and during that time she also obtained her license to administer local anesthesia to expand what she could provide in a dental office.

Teaching Dental Assisting at PCI

Ms. Skolyak joined PCI with the goal of creating a dental assistant program that has a stronger clinical focus and less focus on textbook or dental assisting theory. For many students who are interested in dental assisting, they choose this education because it doesn’t require them to do book work and theory at the level they might have to in a four-year college. Ms. Skolyak wants the program to be focused on helping students to feel confident and prepared to work in a dental office.

One of the things that Ms. Skolyak loves about teaching at PCI is the campus. She says that the campus is modern, updated, and there is no shortage of equipment or supplies for the students to use. It feels very similar to a real dental office, and offers our students a tremendous opportunity to learn in an environment that can simulate life after school. This upkeep to the dental lab is important for the students because the dental industry is always changing and growing, so the way we teach students must also evolve if we want graduates to be prepared to enter the workforce.

Advice For Future Students

Ms. Skolyak instantly thought of one thing when she was asked about advice she’d give to future students. She explained that many students aren’t prepared for the professional atmosphere of the PCI dental assistant classroom:

Students need to come in with an open mind. When they leave here they are going to be a healthcare professional. We can prepare future students to be professionals, they just need to be open-minded and able to make changes. As a student you have to wear scrubs, have your hair pulled back, and learn as though you are a professional in the field. We play like we practice, so that’s why we place such importance on bringing the clinical environment to the classroom. The classroom is the dental office.

We couldn’t agree more! Ms. Skolyak’s method of keeping the classroom clinical is a fantastic way for us to simulate what it will be like for many of our graduates once they’re in the field.

Join The PCI Family

Pittsburgh Career Institute is dedicated to helping students prepare to enter the field as confident dental assistants. If your dream is to work in the healthcare field as a dental assistant, Pittsburgh Career Institute can give you the foundation you need to get started! Contact us to learn more about our dental assisting program, or visit our programs page to explore more career possibilities for yourself!


Sep 20 2018

We’re honored to announce that Summer L. Lee will deliver the keynote speech at the Pittsburgh Career Institute commencement exercise on October 5th.

Ms. Lee is a lawyer and the incoming Pennsylvania State Representative for the 34th District. She attended Woodland Hills High School and the Howard University School of Law. Ms. Lee has been active in struggles to improve the Woodland Hills School District and to ensure fair wages and the right to unionize for fast food workers, among many other causes.

PCI welcomes Ms. Summer Lee to our graduation festivities!