Hands-On Skills: Vital Experience for Vet Tech Students

Not all shelter pets are lucky enough to receive as much care and attention as the Small Animal Dentistry and Surgical Assisting class provides. Fortunately, Vet Tech Program Chair Amy Stinson works hard to bring vet tech students and local shelters together in a partnership she calls “a winning combination” for vet tech schools like Globe University. Stinson continues, “The students learn so much from working with these animals, and in the process making them a more adoptable pet for the shelter.”

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Vet tech students practice hands-on skills

Vet tech student Josephine Dechant agrees. “Knowing that I am growing as an individual in addition to creating a positive outcome for a shelter pet is an aspect of this program that makes it truly unique.”

Learning Through Experience

Not only is the outcome positive for the pets, but also for the students performing these procedures.

“I always correlate the hands-on experience I have received at Globe to experiences I had as a child. As a child, I learned best through counting the number of scoops of sand I put in a pail, or making a mess finger painting to learn the colors,” Dechant recalls. “Those memories were fun, exciting and memorable because I was in the middle of the activities, experiencing these new fundamentals through my five senses.”

Dechant likens her childhood joy for learning to the vet tech classes she currently takes at Globe University.

“Globe has brought me back to those basic educational concepts in a structured program that can produce a confident outcome.”

Gaining Confidence

Kari Laumb, a vet tech instructor, also feels that confidence is a key aspect of a student’s experience, one that can be gained through practice.

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Vet tech students help their patient recover

“Students learn how to set up the surgery and preparation rooms, calculate and administer anesthetic medications, prepare the patient’s surgical site, assist the veterinarian during surgery, scrub in for surgery, and recover the patient from anesthesia,” Laumb explained.

Laumb and other vet tech instructors’ teaching methods help students practice a procedure rather than studying a hypothetical scenario.

“This allows students to get practical, hands-on experience of what a typical surgery day is going to be like,” Laumb said. “They learn much better by actually doing the procedures and gain confidence in their ability to handle difficult situations.”

Not only does Laumb see her students’ confidence grow throughout the quarter, she also sees their commitment to the animals.

“Our class meets once a week from 8:00 a.m. until 1:40 p.m., but students often come in early when we have surgery and often stay late to care for their patient,” Laumb reports. “We try to make class as much like the workplace as possible.”

Preparing for the Future

Emily Koresh, a vet tech student enrolled in the Small Animal Dentistry and Surgical Assisting course that completed these procedures, feels that her experience has been enhanced through this type of instruction.

“My experience in my surgery class at Globe University has been an extremely exciting and fulfilling one,” Koresh said. “The instructors are really exceptional, and they strive to make sure I am learning everything I need to know to succeed after graduation.”