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Vet Techs Go to Vegas

Published on March 1, 2013 by Staff Writer

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Vet tech students in Vegas. Front row from left Teena Wright, Sydney Howlett, Heather Riggs (Program Chair), Jennifer Ehlers. Back Row Lisa Brennan, Yvonne Peterson, Elita Flores, Jeremiah Heaton

As the saying goes, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” However, this phrase only refers to the shameful activities that occur when visitors let loose on the dance floor, impulsively get married at a drive-thru chapel to someone they just met, or participate in other shenanigans of the sort that we saw in the movie “The Hangover.” For this reason, Las Vegas gets a bad rap for being strictly a party city. But how wrong this is!

On Feb. 17-21, a few of Broadview University’s vet tech students (Erin Biggs, Lisa Brennan, Courtney Del Castillo, Jennifer Ehlers, Elita Flores, Sydney Howlett, Kyndra Ibarra, Jessie Jones, Yvonne Peterson, Josie Sandoval, Janis Tate, Tori Witschger, and Teena Wright) and their program chair, Heather Riggs, participated in a completely shenanigan-free event in Las Vegas: the Western Veterinary Conference.

As the nation’s largest veterinary conference held west of the Mississippi, the Western Veterinary Conference brings together top veterinary professionals from all over the world. Participants are invited to attend lectures, learn about new products, network, and discuss current veterinary practices with other specialists in the field.

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Students Sydney Howlett and Lisa Brennan with presenter

With hundreds of information-packed lectures to choose from, Broadview students attended those lectures specific to their current courses and prepared brief presentations to share with their classmates who were unable to attend.

Erin Biggs, a senior vet tech student, attended many lectures about animal behavior. Josie Sandoval attended lectures about equine medicine. Yvonne Peterson really enjoyed the presentations she attended on anesthesia, and she anxiously shared her newly acquired knowledge with her anesthesiology classmates.

Students also attended various vet tech demonstrations. Ranging from topics such as Class IV laser therapy to nutraceuticals to weight-loss diets for pets, students soaked up every ounce of knowledge they could from these demonstrations.

Learning challenges were another enjoyable part of the conference, as students competed with each other to win prizes such as the much-coveted Veterinary PDQ book—a favorite among vet techs.

The conference also included an enormous exhibit hall, housing thousands of vendors and manufacturers. Like kids in a candy store, vet tech students stood in awe of the newest, most state-of-the-art equipment available in their field.

Heather Riggs is proud to report that the conference was a success, saying, “Students left each day laden with treasures—bags and bags of samples and products to try—as well as brains bursting with new knowledge and a renewed passion for vet medicine.”

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