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High school students earn hours towards certification during veterinary technology camp

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Instructional Veterinary nurses Tiffany Pope (right) and Julia Rogers (left) demonstrate to students how to lift Mika in a Companion Animals Skills class.

Instructional Veterinary nurses Tiffany Pope (right) and Julia Rogers (left) demonstrate to students how to lift Mika in a Companion Animals Skills class during the Texas 4-H Veterinary Science Camp held on the Texas A&M-Kingsville campus.

The Department of Animal Science and Veterinary Technology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville hosted 20 high school students for a 3-day Texas 4-H Veterinary Science Camp, June 6-8 on the University’s campus. The camp was one of seven overnight camps in veterinary science that will be held across the state and in New Mexico over the summer in conjunction with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension as part of their Veterinary Science Certificate Program (VSCP).

Department staff demonstrated various skills needed to become a veterinary technician to students during the camp, including animal care basics for sheep, goats, equines and bovines, lab procedures and skills for working with companion animals. Students were also able to earn clinical hours to become a certified veterinary assistant as part of AgriLife’s VSCP.

“The kids will walk away with 24 hours of hands-on clinical work with licensed vet technicians here in the facility, have lots of opportunities to meet students from across the state that are interested in this and have exposure to the university and look into career options and what they might be interested in after high school,” said Nikki Boutwell, the VSCP coordinator at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

“One of the awesome things about this facility is that it’s a little different in the aspect that this is a veterinary technology program—it’s the only one in the state of Texas—and there is no other school that offers a bachelor of science degree and a vet tech certification,” Boutwell added. “Because of that, it’s unique and kids are able to see this is an option for them. No other location that we go to has this option.”

Students were also able to tour the university’s Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center and the National Natural Toxins Research Center as part of the camp’s activities.

“I think it’s a really great opportunity for them, to not only practice and get to do some hands-on fun stuff in the veterinary medicine field, but also just see TAMUK,” said Christine Hoskinson, Assistant Director for the Veterinary Technology Program at A&M-Kingsville. “A lot of these kids are from all over Texas, anywhere from eighth grade to seniors, and half of them don’t even know Kingsville exists, let alone have ever been here. So not only do they come and do a lot of veterinary skills for their certificate, but also, they see the whole campus. They get to see what makes TAMUK unique.”

Category: General Univ , Ag/Env & Wildlife Sci

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