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RAVS Gets Rave Reviews at Apache Reservation

Published on April 15, 2013 by Staff Writer

We have many “Heathers” at the Broadview University-Orem campus, two of whom are instructors in the vet tech program. These two women—Heather Bird and Heather Riggs—not only share a first name, but they also share a passion for veterinary medicine and actively seek out opportunities to serve in the animal kingdom.

vet tech program, Broadview University

Teena Wright (left) with RAVS volunteers

Recently, Heather Bird, a certified vet tech instructor on our campus, along with vet tech student, Teena Wright, teamed up with the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association–Rural Area Veterinary Services Program (RAVS). This nonprofit organization is comprised of all volunteers and offers free clinics and education to rural areas in need of veterinary care. Heather and Teena volunteered with RAVS in San Carlos, Ariz., to help combat the onslaught of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever that has plagued the Apache Reservation. The following is a recap of their trip.

On a bright, sunny day in March, the RAVS volunteers set up a wellness clinic and then proceeded to line up and take appointments as guests arrived. Each appointment consisted of a physical examination and a routine vaccination of the animals. Teena was able to practice performing physical examinations on many animals. She also helped other vet tech students calculate proper dosages for medications.

vet tech program, Broadview University

Heather Bird volunteers with RAVS

In the case of particularly unhealthy animals, the RAVS team would deliberate about possible ailments and treatments to provide. The pet owners were then informed of the medications needed, and in worst case scenarios, were referred to a local clinic for further diagnosis and testing.

Many of the reservation’s pet owners were eager to be educated on basic animal care techniques. They were informed of local spay and neuter clinics that would be offered the following month during another RAVS visit. All dogs were provided with a brand new Bayer tick collar.

Both Teena and Heather came away from the trip with great experiences. Teena is grateful for her time at Broadview, saying, “I feel very proud of my education for allowing me to take this amazing journey in my life and I plan to attend many more RAVS trips in the future. I hope other students take advantage of the opportunity to get some amazing practice, without being graded on it.”

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