Minnesota School of Business veterinary technology students and instructors found out recently that the answer to all three questions is overwhelming success to the tune of: 45 dogs, $600 raised and countless teamwork opportunities.
Minnesota School of Business vet tech instructor Jessica Ostendorf explains that the dog wash event the veterinary technology students sponsored on campus served several purposes:
- The idea was to have students in the Intro to Veterinary Technology class get more hands-on experience with nail trims, bathing, anal gland expression and ear cleaning, while the Application of Veterinary Clinical Skills class focused on client education, advocating for the animals and tooth brushing/oral health evaluations.
- We charged $10 per dog and decided to donate all proceeds to the three animal shelters that provide our students with everyday learning opportunities: Tri-County Humane Society, Central Minnesota Animal Care and Control, and Homeward Bound Rescue.
- The main purpose of this event was to give students a chance to interact with clients and different types of dogs. It also gave students an opportunity to practice their hands-on skills and learn to communicate and work as a team like they will eventually do in a busy veterinary practice.
- We also had some of the Student Chapter of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (SCNAVTA) members volunteer to help at the event, and they helped mentor the younger students as they honed in on their newly learned skills.
The busyness of the day proved a challenge, says Dan Petersen, vet tech student and SCNAVTA president. “The main challenge was the number of clients and then the additional walk-ins that needed to be seen.” However, he notes, “teamwork and good direction from our instructors helped the team get the job done on time.”
First-quarter vet tech student Kimberly Pudwill admits, “[The huge response] made it kind of stressful for a beginner, but we were able to overcome this by working as a team and communicating with each other to make sure everything got done in a timely manner.”
The students agree that it felt good to know that their efforts raised money to support the very organizations that provide them with animals for learning in a classroom setting.
Barbara Meemken reflects, “These organizations do a great job for caring for animals and it feels good to be a part of [a] culture that does good for animals. It is great that we can do our part as these organizations work to connect people with their new pets.”
Petersen adds, “I see shelter medicine as a potential career…so the more I can do for [shelters], the better.”
The students appreciated the real-world aspect of their involvement as well.
“It provided a great experience for us for when we get into a practice and things get crazy,” says student Craig Reuter. “It…made me even more sure that this is what I want to do for a career.”
Jade Weimer agrees, “It was a great experience for me. I feel so much more comfortable around the animals and with my skills than I did before.”
The MSB Dog Wash was such a success that it made front page local news in the St. Cloud Times.
And will there be a next time?
Ostendorf laughs. “I already have 50 names on the call list.”