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Blinn veterinary technology students test communication skills with simulation exercise

Blinn students worked alongside Texas A&M veterinary students to improve team interactions

November 18, 2015

Blinn College Veterinary Technology Program students recently received a hands-on preview of the challenges veterinary staffers face on a daily basis.

The program’s 11 students partnered with second-year students from Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences for a team exercise simulating real-world scenarios that could arise among veterinary staff.

Each veterinary technology student was grouped with three to four veterinary students and given a true-to-life scenario to deescalate. Scenarios included what to do if a staff member is perpetually late, if controlled drugs have gone missing and if a patient needing emergency care arrives when the veterinarian has stepped out.

“The problem-solving scenarios were really helpful because the vets learned what vet techs are capable of and how we can work together more efficiently,” said Karly Shimerka, president of Blinn’s Veterinary Technology Student Organization. “It was helpful to learn from the vet students, and I think we demonstrated that we are able to step into a leadership role when necessary.”

Texas A&M’s Dr. Dan Posey, director of special programs and clinical associate professor, and Dr. Jordan Tayce, instructional assistant professor, spoke with Blinn students about the importance of veterinary team communication.

“This was the first time we’ve tried an exercise like this and I think it went great,” Tayce said. “There’s not a lot of opportunity for vet and vet tech students to work with each other until they are in the clinics. This gave them an opportunity to try new things and potentially make mistakes in an environment where that’s OK.”

Veterinary technology is one of the fastest-growing professions in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Veterinary technicians assist in diagnosis and surgery, sample collection, sample submission, client communication and research. They support veterinarians in much the same way nurses assist doctors. 

Blinn’s Veterinary Technology Program is one of just eight accredited in the state, and its partnership with Texas A&M allows Blinn students to get hands-on training in every aspect of the wide-ranging field.

Students enrolled in the competitive two-year vet tech program often secure hard-to-find internships and full-time employment positions upon graduating because of the rigor of the coursework and the hands-on experience the program provides its students. 

For more information on Blinn’s Veterinary Technology Program, visit www.blinn.edu/twe/vet_tech. The deadline to apply for Fall 2016 admission is May 31. Students interested in the program must attend an information session to receive an application. Online sessions are accessible 24-7, and a face-to-face session is available Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 6–7p.m. in Room CC-11 at the Post Office Campus, 301 Post Office St. in Bryan.