How Vet Tech Students Take a Shot at Real-Life Clinic

Posted by on December 12, 2012

veterinary technology degree, Minnesota School of Business“Why didn’t we do this sooner?”

Kiana Mehring, a student in the veterinary technology degree program at Minnesota School of Business-Rochester, asked this question as talks generated about therecently-rolled-out Pennington Shot Stop Clinic, a student-run campus veterinary clinic that offers low cost vaccines, microchips and fecal exams for students’ and staff members’ pets.

Students in the veterinary technology program in the Application of Veterinary Clinical Skills course are in charge of running the clinic and scheduling appointments. For this experience, the name of the game is making it as real as possible, and the staff helps students do just that.

“When we first talked about running our own clinic,” Mehring says, “the first thing that came to mind was, ‘why didn’t we do this sooner?’ I think it’s a magnificent idea, as there is so much we can learn through doing this work.”

A first of its kind, the clinic has its own phone number that Minnesota School of Business students and staff use to schedule appointments just like they would at a real veterinary clinic.

Students have a traditional vet tech reception area that is used to greet clients as they walk in. Like any good vet clinic that does its homework, students ask a variety of questions to determine which vaccinations are needed for pets.

Once students escort patients to an exam room, a complete physical exam, including temperatures, pulse, respirations and body scan, is conducted. Key to completing this outcome-based training program involves consultation with the resident veterinarian to review exam results.

Correct vaccines are then administered and the veterinary technology students discuss possible side effects for clients to be aware of, which also includes answering clients’ questions. Clients are then escorted to the front desk and checked out, where they receive a rabies certificate stating that the vaccine was given.

Krista Bertsinger, veterinary technology student, said, “I love the vet tech clinic. I would recommend that other vet tech students get involved!”

Like any reputable vet clinic that follows standard operating procedures while providing exemplary customer service, our vet tech students learn the value of both while participating in this real-world program.

The Pennington Shot Stop Clinic will give students invaluable soft skills experience, which goes beyond calculating the correct vaccine dosage for giving a shot. Soft skills can be a struggle for students and this will help them prepare for life in the real world.

Simply having a conversation with a client for the first time can be intimidating, but, by challenging students’ soft skills, multiple exposures to student-client interactions will increase students’ confidence before they even step foot in an actual vet clinic.

Mary Anne Ortiz, Application of Veterinary Clinical Skills instructor and previous practice manager at Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service of Rochester, notes:

“It is a great experience for all students involved. They receive valuable hands-on experience with real clients. I am very excited to see how the clinic evolves from quarter to quarter. Students schedule appointments, answer questions and complete billing, which are everyday duties they will do in the field.”

Want more information about the Pennington Shot Stop Clinic? Contact Amy Doherty, vet tech program chair, at or call 507 536-9500.

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