X-rays, Needles and Bandages – Broadview Style

Published on January 22, 2015 by arothstein

veterinary technology program

Heather Williams, CVT, showing how to bandage a dog

For the twenty-one high school students in Steve Wilder’s veterinary internship class, their tour of Broadview University-Boise went beyond show and tell. Instead, Veterinary Technology Program Chair Holly Morss, and vet tech instructors Casey Blizzard and Heather Williams, broke them into three groups and gave them mini-labs where students bandaged stuffed animals, poked catheters on fake veins, and analyzed X-ray images.

“We’re doing a modified Robert Jones bandage,” said Heather. “It’s used for fracture repair and has three layers—primary, secondary and tertiary (which is more than one layer).” Heather illustrated how to bandage all three layers on a stuffed collie dog, and then the students practiced what they learned on other stuffed animals while Heather was available for questions.

One student asked when bandages were typically changed. Heather replied, “You change bandages every three days.” She also cautioned the students to leave the bandages loose enough to put two fingers in them. “If not, they are too tight,” said Heather. “It’s the same with collars.”

Next door, Holly was prepping another group of students to practice putting a catheter on a fake leg. “Typically, you rub an animal, shave it, scrub it and catheter it,” she said. “For the vein in the fake leg that we’re using, you don’t always feel it.” Holly then showed students how to put the needle in the skin until it flashed, tape it, and hook it up to the IV bag.

“Who wants to try it first?” asked Holly. “Jump in!”

Down the hall, the students said “Yes” when Casey asked them if they liked the catheter placement that they just did. Then she gave them an overview of how the X-ray equipment worked in the room. “There’s usually two technicians in the room, the animal is on table, and one person is on either side,” explained Casey.  She demonstrated to the students how the X-ray cassette was used to take the image and then later developed to be viewed.

veterinary technology program

Casey Blizzard, CVT, showing an X-ray image

“Most X-ray rooms are small, and this is a bigger room,” said Casey.

After showing the students an image of the lungs and intestines in a small dog, a student inquired if doing X-rays was a specialty.

“The veterinary technicians and veterinarians do them a lot,” answered Casey. “X-rays are my favorite because you get to make the best possible images and play with animals.”

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