From Shaving to Saving: Advanced Vet Tech Students Reflect on Their Skills

As a first quarter veterinary technology program student at Globe University-Madison West, volunteering at the Friends of Ferals Spayathon invokes simple yet needed skills. Cut surgery drapes, tie patients to a spay board, express bladders and shave kitty bellies. That is it. You are told to stay in one place and observe (a tip that many vet tech students value).

Veterinary Technology program

Application of Veterinary Clinical Skills students pose with Veterinary Technology Program Chair, Katie Olson

Now with just a quarter away from graduation, your responsibilities and knowledge change greatly to include anesthesia monitoring, sustaining vitals, and assisting doctors during surgery all while maintaining a sterile field.

Talk about a challenge. Talk about feeling empowered by your education!

I sat down with students in the Application of Veterinary Clinical Skills class as they reflected on their service and applied learning project for the Friends of Ferals Spayathon. They shared how much changed now as advanced students have in the veterinary technology program.

Veterinary Technology program

Veterinary technology student Consuelo Arboleda volunteering during a Friends of Feral Spayathon.

You develop keen awareness.

“I think early in the program because you have no idea what is going on, things seem to go smoothly,” shared Saralyn Santoyo, veterinary technology student. “It’s so fast paced and you don’t notice the bumps in the road. Later in the program, because you know how things are supposed to work, you start to understand doctors’ frustrations when things go wrong. You might even be frustrated yourself and you come to terms with the fact that in your career you are going to deal with these bumps.  You experience a frustration that you didn’t see before, you see a different side. It’s not playing with puppies and kitties anymore; it’s doing surgery on animals that need procedures done. It’s real life.”

You gain trust from instructors.

“It feels nice to be trusted and to know that somebody else acknowledges that you know what you are doing.” said Felicia Wilson, student in the veterinary technology program.

Student Sharon Dahlke added,“Dr. Hershberger has much more faith in us now then she did back then, because she’s taught us throughout this whole time and she knows that we know what we are doing.”

Vet tech student Consuelo Arboleda added, “I heard a couple of comments from the veterinarian students who were doing spays that this last spay day was really successful for them because they felt that all the people who were helping out in the anesthesia were really knowledgeable. Those people happened to be us.”

You find your voice.

“In general, I think it was nice to be able to apply all the skills you learned throughout schooling,” Sharon added. “To be able to help in any way you could instead of being told you can only do this says a lot. Hooray for all the excellent instructors for teaching us the things we needed to know.”

The veterinary technology program at Globe University-Madison West provides students with comprehensive training, including skills relative to veterinary support, client communication, office management and patient care. Do you want to feel empowered by your education at Globe University-Madison West? Check out our veterinary technology program today!