What Vet Tech Students Really Learn in the Classroom

Posted by on November 26, 2012

Written by George Teagarden

Veterinary Technology,Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee, Surgery DayThis is my second visit to a veterinary technology class at Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee – Small Animal Surgery.  I am as impressed with it today as I was on my first visit to the class. 

These students are in the final stages of their veterinary technology degree program.  One more quarter and they do their internship to fully prepare for their careers veterinary technicians.  I walked into the classroom with them.  It was so interesting because each person had a job to do.  They all got right to it. 

Some students were filling syringes, others were filling out forms to document what was happening, and still other students were getting ready for surgery by donning masks and surgical caps. All of this was done under the watchful eye of Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee’s resident veterinarian, Dr. Stacie Seymour. 

eterinary Technology,Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee, Surgery DayI asked Dr. Seymour how all the students knew what to do.  She explained that all of the tasks were outlined on the board each class session.  Posted on the board, each vet tech student had a job duty which pertained to the animal they were assigned for that class session.  Three dogs were going to be operated on that day, and under each dog’s name was a list of tasks which needed to be accomplished during the procedure.  The list was constructed after a thorough exam was conducted on each patient.

Within a matter of minutes, two of the students came out of the kennel area with two of the cutest dogs you would ever hope to see.  What struck my eye was the care each student had for the animals.  You could see they truly loved what they were doing. 

It didn’t take long for Veterinary Technology Instructor Cassie Panning to say that it was time to prep one of the dogs for surgery.  Here again, I saw these students take over under the watchful eye of Cassie. They restrained the dog and carefully shaved a small spot on his leg for a catheter. They completed the whole procedure, and the patient was ready for surgery.  One of the students wrapped the patient in a warm blanket and very carefully carried him into the operating room.

Needless to say, I moved into the hallway and watched through the glass window in the operating room.  I watched how carefully they laid the patient down on his back on a hot water bottle to keep him warm.  Cassie checked the readings on the oxygen machine; one of the students listened to the heart beat and wrote numbers on a chart for this little guy, and another student prepared to assist the veterinarian with surgery.  The instruments were brought in and carefully unwrapped, and I saw Dr. Seymour start to give instructions on what she was doing.  The procedure was in control and about to begin. 

eterinary Technology,Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee, Surgery DayA blue paper drape was spread over the patient; adjustments were made by instruments to hold it in place, and an assigned student handed Dr. Seymour the scalpel and a small incision was made.  The surgery was over in a matter of minutes.  The rubber gloves and the face masks were removed.  A very professional training procedure was over. 

While the procedure came to end, the caring did not.  The personal care continued as the tiny patient was carried to another waiting student who wrapped the patient in warm blankets and hot water bottles to keep him comfy.  Again, the heart rate was checked and logged, the temperature was taken and documented.  In a very short time, there was a little stirring under the blanket as the patient woke up!

The entire process operated like a clinic.  To the students and staff, this was a normal Wednesday in the day and life of our vet tech students and faculty.  To me, it was amazing to watch.  It made me feel very proud of the organization we work for and especially the vet tech team at the Shakopee campus.  

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