Career Prep: Vet Tech Students get Hands-On Learning

Getting X-rayed, having blood drawn, and receiving belly-rubs from veterinary technology degree students at Globe University-Sioux Falls  is typical for Reggie, the beloved Bernese Mountain dog of Globe’s veterinary technology instructor, Amy Hettinga.

Many animals from various rescue organizations come to Globe University-Sioux Falls to receive care and help veterinary technology students develop their skills and knowledge. These animals do their part in providing Globe University students with service learning — that is, learning that applies knowledge gained in the classroom to real life situations and settings.

Animals who have visited our veterinary technology program may have experienced a wide variety of treatments, just like they would receive in a veterinary clinic. Some of the variety of tasks that the vet tech students perform range from IV catheters, nail trimming, ear slides, blood pulls, vaccinations, and many other laboratory tests (checking stool samples, blood chemistry/internal organ panel, CBC, and urinalysis) are performed to make sure each animal is healthy and able to receive the best care available. As these procedures are taking place, students are able to apply their skills to help prepare for their future careers as a veterinary technician.

Amanda Thole, a  student in the veterinary technology degree program, explains that the service learning in her program of study is so important, “because it gives you more practice and confidence, which will make you more successful.”

When asked if the practice of working with live animals has helped her to believe in herself more, another veterinary technology student, Morgan Bosshart, states enthusiastically, “Absolutely!”

Service learning does not always stay in the lab or surgery rooms, either. Often times, veterinary technician students are able to travel off-site to help various rescue organizations, both large and small, provide needed services at their events. Even campus events can get the students and animals, like Reggie, out of the classroom walls. Students often organize events for the public, such as nail trimming and dog washes, a service that not only helps each pet owner but also, again, reinforces useful skills for the students.

Also benefiting from the many services that the veterinary technology students can fulfill are the animals, who are able to lead a healthier lifestyle and get placed into a permanent home more quickly. Just check out that smile on Reggie’s face as he gets his nails trimmed:


 ~submitted by Megan Bott, Administrative Assistant