Stayin’ Alive: How Vet Tech Campers Learned to Care for Pets

“Because I love animals.”
“Because I have a dog at home and want to be able to take good care of her.”
“I just want to be around animals all the time.”

vet tech degreesThese were just a few of the reasons kids gave for why they attended the Jr. Vet Tech Camp at Globe University-Moorhead. Students earning their vet tech degrees at the university led the camp, using skills they learned in their classes to teach kids in 4th-8th grades. The camp activities included:

  • Dentistry – problems that come up in canine mouths and homecare prevention
  • X-ray – how to take radiographs safely and how to read the pictures
  • Parasites in pets – using microscopes to identify various parasites, how parasites affect animals and people, and how to keep families safe from parasites
  • CPR for pets – how to help pets in an emergency.

The dentistry session focused on helping kids learn the basic anatomy of dogs’ and cats’ mouths, learning the names of the teeth, and how diet creates plaque and bacteria then turns into tarter. Discussion included treatment, best choices in toys and how to brush teeth in a squirming, wiggly pet! All the kids actively practiced on molds of teeth.

In the X-ray session, the veterinary technology college students taught the campers about radiation and how to adjust the amount of radiation that goes through a body. The kids learned practical applications of X-rays by putting on the protective clothing, using an assimilated model with a paper mache model, and then learned to read real X-rays.

Campers looked at parasite samples under the microscope. They also pulled water samples from the pond on campus and found living parasites.

Lastly, the kids learned CPR—and a song from their parents’ era in Saturday Night Fever’s “Staying Alive.” Compressions in CPR are done with the same rhythm as the song, so as the students were rockin’, they were also learning how to keep their pets alive.

With all classes involving a lot of participation with everything from using equipment to dressing the part, the kids went home confident in being able to care for their pets, and our veterinary technology students applied their knowledge in a fun, meaningful way.