Five students from Cochrane-Fountain City High School (C-FC) visited Globe University-La Crosse recently to prepare for a regional veterinary science competition. Last year, their group was awarded second place in the state. They’re hoping the afternoon they spent with several vet tech program instructors will lead them to first place this year!
Agriculture instructor at C-FC Chris Jumbeck was grateful for the leg up that her students would have on the competition, noting that students learned “blood basics, syringe sizing, and differences in forceps.” Chris thought coming to Globe would be helpful in preparing her students. She was excited for the competition and wanted “to see how our team matches up against other teams.”
Vet Tech Program Chair Amy Stinson offered the use of a lab classroom and her expertise to help students become more familiar with using microscopes and identifying parasites for their exam. “I love helping the students learn more about a potential career in veterinary medicine,” Amy said.
“I did not realize there was a vet science competition for high school students. We can certainly continue helping the local high school students each year who are signed up for the competition,” she concluded.
Stinson prepared study guides with images of different types of white blood cells, set up microscopes and slides, and instructed students about parasites.
Freshman student Jeni Burt thought this would help her with the identification portion of the competition. “Looking through the microscopes at the internal parasites is going to help me a lot in the competition because I have been struggling with them,” she said. The students studied images, samples and slides of several common parasites in pets such as roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, heartworms and ringworm.
Additionally, the students watched and practiced other skills. One such skill was the proper restraint technique used on animals when vet techs need to take a blood sample.
Ashley Auer, a freshman at C-FC, particularly enjoyed learning restraint practices. “Doing the practice restraints on the animals was fun because I could feel how to properly perform it,” she said. Auer thought her trip to Globe would improve her performance at the competition. “It was easier to actually get to see the different things and get hands-on experience.”
Fellow student Matt Oldendorf also enjoyed the experience, stating his favorite part was, “interacting with the actual animals and looking at the parasites.” Additionally, Matt was impressed with Globe’s facilities and instructional staff. He noted: “The teachers are exceptionally well educated and are happy as well as very patient. It is very rare for a college to volunteer their time to high school students, and I was astonished by their detail and patience.”
While junior Taylor Thoeny appreciated the extra help and practice from Globe, she also knew that much of the responsibility belonged with her team’s ability to retain the information.
“I’m excited for the exam, because our team has been studying so much!” she exclaimed. Taylor also mentioned several aspects of Stinson’s instruction that would be covered during the competition. “We will be asked to identify different parasites and white blood cells,” Taylor said. “The terminology will also aid us during the exam.”
While the regional competition is the immediate goal, the students are also focused on using this new found information in the future. Junior Amber Cafferty looks forward to applying this knowledge and experience beyond the regional competition. “I am interested in veterinary science to help the animals get proper treatment and get well after a proper diagnosis,” she said.
As the afternoon progressed, each student became more confident in his or her skills, and all of them identified their visit to Globe as an excellent way to get hands-on experience. “All the staff was very knowledgeable. Everyone at Globe helped us have an amazing hands-on learning experience,” Amber said. “I am very grateful that they took time out of their day to help myself and our group learn more.”
Globe University wishes the C-FC high school team the best of luck in the regional veterinary science competition. We hope they advance to compete at the state level!