Applied Learning One SNAP at a Time
Published on February 25, 2015 by Staff Writer
This month, six students and two instructors from Broadview University’s veterinary technology program performed SNAP tests on thirty cats at the Idaho Humane Society.
“The SNAP test is one that we do to see if they have positive antibodies for the feline immunodeficiency (FIV) and feline leukemia (FeLV) viruses,” explained Heather Williams, a veterinary technology instructor at Broadview University-Boise.
To do the test, the students and instructors drew a small amount of blood from each cat.
“It took two hours,” said Alyssa Beyer, a veterinary technology student. “Everyone took turns restraining cats and poking different veins.”
Fellow classmate Sara Muntzel added. “No cat likes being restrained or poked, and there were some cats that were hard to deal with.”
Alyssa agreed. “It was interesting to learn how to restrain cats with different types of temperaments.”
“Some you didn’t have to restrain them at all, and others you had to wrap in a bear hug,” said Sara.
And, some of the cats were more vocal than others. “There was a lot of screaming,” noted Alyssa. “One of them sounded like it was barking.”
In the end, the students and instructors determined that none of the cats had the FeLV and FIV viruses.
“Thankfully, all of the SNAP tests were negative,” said Sara. “They just get it done once. The sooner that they have the test, the better.”
The visit gave Alyssa, Sara, and other veterinary technology students the opportunity to apply what they learned in their advanced laboratory skills class outside the classroom.
“The students gained more experience collecting blood from cats in addition to the skills they learn here on campus,” said Heather.
“It’s always fun to work in the field and get professional experience before we graduate,” said Sara. “The Idaho Humane Society staff were very welcoming and accommodating. I love cats!”
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