Veterinary technology students in Debby Bierhals’ Advanced Hematology and other students and staff had the opportunity to learn more about hemophilia from Ben Charles’ firsthand experiences. Ben has had the opportunity to be able to travel across the country educating others on bleeding disorders. Ben is also an active member of the National Hemophilia Foundation. Because animals with hemophilia cannot talk to vet techs or staff, Ben was a wonderful guest speaker to be able to translate some of the issues that humans face that also occur in a similar fashion with animals.
More About Ben Charles
Ben Charles has a B.S. in Human Biology with an emphasis in exercise science. Ben is currently seeking his master’s degree in athletic training. Charles mentioned that “the Hemophilia Outreach Center right here in Bellevue (Wisconsin) is one of the best resources in North America for individuals with bleeding disorders.”
Why This Topic is Important
Ben was able to educate our students on the patient care aspects of bleeding disorders as well as treatment options and special care considerations. The students were amazed to hear firsthand experiences and see how well they correlate with what we see in veterinary medicine.
Jennie Wertel, vet tech program chair, and Jenna Steiner, vet tech instructor, noted how it was interesting to hear Ben’s personal account of how painful it can be for an individual that is experiencing a bleed into a joint space. Since vet tech patients can’t express that in words, it can be tough to think about what they are going through.
Debby Bierhals, vet tech instructor, said that having an individual speak to the students that has his level of experience in dealing with bleeding disorders as well as educating others was a great learning opportunity for the students. Because of his experience, he was able to explain things in a way that the students were able to understand and learn from.
Real Life Examples from a Vet Tech
Gabrielle Radford, one of our vet tech instructors, commented about how hemophilia plays a role in the life of working as a vet tech. One specific instance she shared was learning about Von Willebrands disease, and how it can affect both humans and animals in the same way.
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