The Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville campus recently hosted a junior vet tech event for kids through the Lakeville Community Education Department. The guests were invited in to get hands-on experience with live animals including dogs, cats, hamsters and other rodents to experience the career a veterinary technician has.
Students in the veterinary technology program set up three rooms for hands-on activities including lab work, basic animal care and physical exams.
In the laboratory students showed the children how to perform basic lab testing such as fecals, blood smears, identifying internal and external parasites, and why it’s important to do those things. They also discuss the Zoonotic potential, which is transmission to humans, and why proper hand washing as well as sanitation is important when around or handling animals.
During the animal care session, the students demonstrated and discussed the importance of nutrition, feeding schedules, exercise and socialization when it comes to caring for animals of all species. They were invited to help trim nails on a few of the animals present, as well as clean ears, brush teeth and brushing out the hair coat.
Physical exams gave the kids experience with listening to heartbeats, breathing and doing a complete physical exam with the students who talked about what we look for on an animal when it comes in to a clinic. The kids are invited to get down on the floor and help “find” possible problems or abnormalities that may need to be addressed during a visit.
Not only did the participants have a great time, but Wendy Kamen, a veterinary technology student, said, “The junior vet tech event was very good practice for when we go out into a clinic and have to educate the clients. It was fun to see how exited the kids get over everything. Both the kids and the parents had lots of great questions. I feel like it went very well and everyone learned a lot.”
Danielle Spengler, another veterinary technology student who participated, said, “My favorite part of the event was actually the free time just talking with the kids. Showing them the lab equipment like the centrifuge, incubator and seeing beakers on the wall was a great way to get them talking and prompted a lot of great questions. The experience really helped me figure out how to explain things in a generalized manner to both the children and parents.”