Written by instructor Jeff Winter
The veterinary technology students from Minnesota School of Business–Rochester (MSB) make a visit each quarter to Cottagewood Senior Living in Rochester to provide basic grooming for the pets that belong to the residents.
“It was so great to see how happy we made the residents by coming in and taking care of their pet,” stated vet tech student Britt Agrimson.
Cottagewood Senior Living in Rochester is a community for the elderly that provides a safe and stimulating environment for those with memory deficiencies or other cognitive disorders.
There are multiple cottages on the property and a dog or cat resides in most of them. These pets provide comfort, exercise opportunities and companionship for the elderly that reside at Cottagewood. The funds to provide basic grooming for the pets can be in short supply for seniors, so the vet tech students have stepped in to provide the needed care.
The vet tech students from MSB travel to Cottagewood every quarter to take what they have learned in class and apply it to the real world. They perform nail trims, baths, ear cleanings, brushing and trimming fur on these pets as needed. There is an air of excitement on the day that the students get to use what they have learned in class, and the staff and residents of Cottagewood are always appreciative of the provided services. It is definitely a situation where everyone wins.
Minnesota School of Business has made it a priority for our students to learn using hands-on experiences. Service learning opportunities are just one example of this philosophy. Certain classes have projects included in the curriculum that benefit the community and allow students to practice real world application of the skills that they have learned. The Veterinary Technology department is no exception.
The students that perform this service program are part of the Introduction to Veterinary Technology class. There are many things to learn in the first quarter at school, including medical terminology, legalities, how to do a physical exam and take a history, and how to restrain an animal for procedures without causing undue stress. Some of the tasks that the students in this class find most enjoyable are trimming nails, giving baths, and cleaning ears. The service learning project for the last year has provided students the opportunity to provide these services to animals in need.