What Else Can a Vet Tech Do? Looking Beyond the Small Animal Clinic
Published on January 9, 2013 by Staff Writer
Students enrolled in the veterinary technician school at Broadview University-West Jordan learned about career opportunities while helping three penguins at the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy, Utah, celebrate their birthdays in December. The penguins ate krill, a small shrimp-like planktonic crustacean, while the humans enjoyed a not-so-healthy cake made out of flour and frosting.
Our veterinary technician students also enjoyed a free tour of the facilities thanks to Melissa Bowers, volunteer and internship coordinator, at Living Planet. The visit was part of the students’ class, Lab Animals, Exotics and Pocket Pets.
“The point of the class is to show vet tech students that there are many opportunities out there in veterinary medicine beyond the small animal clinic,” said Annie Johnson, Broadview University veterinary technician instructor. “We were given free admittance, and a high school volunteer, [named Michael], who has done many hours of volunteering, was our tour guide. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining throughout the tour.”
The first stop was Discover Utah, an exhibit displaying native/non-native, threatened and endangered species of fish, such as June Suckers, least chub, and Columbia Spotted Frog fish. The exhibit also included a few North American River Otters, always a fan favorite.
Next stop was Ocean Explorer, where our vet tech students enjoyed the Touch Pool containing stingrays, sharks, sea urchins, and other creatures. The same exhibit displayed a 100-year-old lobster next to the popular octopus feeding tank, where the resident octopus enjoyed a tasty squid.
There was also a 15,000-gallon shark tank which houses sharks, sting rays, and a rescued sea turtle that was bitten by a shark and then hit by a boat. She now lives happily at the aquarium with special care from the staff.
No visit is complete before visiting the rainforest exhibit at Journey to South America, which houses some fascinating and uncommon animals like an anaconda, piranha fish, electric eel and some very large river fish.
Toward the end of the tour, at the penguin tank, visitors had the opportunity to ask questions through the glass to the aquarium’s staff during feeding time.
Lastly, our veterinary technology students received a behind-the-scenes tour of the husbandry area. This is the area behind each tank where the employees feed, clean and take care of each tank. They also keep animals in that area before they can go on display.
Broadview University – West Jordan would like to thank Melissa Bowers, and the Living Planet Aquarium staff, for the wonderful experience provided to our vet tech students. If you are thinking about being part of the Aquarium’s volunteer program, or internship program, Melissa Bowers will be very happy to meet with you.
Living Planet Aquarium will be open in their current Sandy location until Labor Day, when it will temporarily close to the public until the new facility in Draper, Utah, is complete and officially opens late 2013.