AHT students create 1st career Animal Health career fair

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February 19, 2019
Second-year animal health technology (AHT) students are future focused with the creation of a new event.
Bronwyn Bush, Shaelan Clarkson and Taylor Woodland
The first Animal Health Career Fair was on Monday, Feb. 11 in the new Animal Health Clinic (AHC) at the Vermilion campus.
The event featured animal health clinics from across Western Canada including VCA Animal Hospitals, Bow Valley Veterinary Clinic, Bow Valley Genetics from Brooks, Alta., Pincher Creek Veterinary Clinic, Medicine Hat’s City Vet Hospital, Dawson Creek Veterinary Hospital, TMZ Veterinary Hospital from Lumsden, Sask., and Park Range Vet Services from Prince Albert, Sask.
“We’re happy with the turnout of the event. We had first-year and second-year AHTs and veterinary medical assistant (VMA) students come through to check out career options and make industry connections,” says Taylor Woodland, a second-year AHT student.
Woodland is the chair of the event committee on Team Public Relations of the Student-Led Clinic course. Woodland and ​fellow committee members Bronwyn Bush and Shaelan Clarkson created the event to improve career pathways for students in the animal health industry. 
“We noticed in our first year there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for students to find animal health related places to work at so we wanted to have a career fair for students to explore their options,” Bush says.
Bush and Woodland agreed that planning the event was an invaluable experience. 
“When we graduate and find our place in industry, we’ll have other experience than just working with animals. We know how to go through the proper channels to access funding, create marketing materials, and we have new and improved communication and outreach skills,” Bush says.
 students at first animal health job fair talk to exhibitors
The event took three months to plan and included financial and marketing meetings with program instructors and Lakeland staff. With approval to proceed, the event planning committee emailed invitations to clinics across Canada.
“We considered a lot of factors when we began planning this event. Some of our classmates are from across Canada so we wanted to make sure each province had an opportunity to be represented at our career fair,” Woodland explained.
The career fair was one of multiple projects led by Team Public Relations. A part of the second-year AHT curriculum, students participate in the Student-Led Clinic course. The Student-Led Clinic is comprised of three teams and in each team there are committees of three or four students. In the committees, students work on projects or goals for the year.
Team Public Relations
  • Community Outreach hosts a reading buddy program at St. Jerome’s Catholic School in Vermilion. They also organize community information sessions, and visit the Vermilion & District Housing Foundation with animals in tow.
  • Event Planning hosted two continuing education events – one for students and one for veterinary clinics to attend, as well as the career fair. They are also planning an educational event for March. 
  • Public Relations promotes the animal health profession and Lakeland’s AHT and VMA programs. They organized the puppy de-stress rooms during exam time, hosted several “bring your own pet” movie nights and the Halloween pet costume contest. They are planning an industry information session that will feature veterinary technicians who work in various areas of industry. 
Team Retail and Marketing2 students talk to VCA rep at job fair
  • Animal Health Promotions creates a monthly slideshow for the TV displays in the AHC. They also update the clinic calendar with events that are running at the AHC. 
  • New Initiatives creates and distributes a monthly flyer to highlight the products that are available in the AHC retail store. They research new products that could be brought in and coordinate special orders from Alberta-based vendors. 
  • Marketing maintains the clinic’s inventory lists, keeps prices up-to-date through computer software and labels products on the shelf. They also bring in animal health themed apparel into the store, which they worked with the college's marketing department to create a logo for the Student-Led Clinic. They also help coordinate the schedule for the shifts that each team member participates.
Together, the committees hosted a K9 Kindergarten in January to coincide with National Train Your Dog Month. The event featured instructor Brianne Bellwood, who gave tips and tricks on basic training. The team also works together to operate the retail store at the AHC. Currently the store is open to Lakeland students, staff and faculty on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 4:30 pm.
Team Clinic Organization
  • Supply Management orders supplies and medications for the AHT and VMA programs, as well non-prescription items for use on the farm including the Student-Managed Farm - Powered by New Holland units. They are also responsible for receiving and unpacking the orders.
  • Inventory Management and Biosecurity ensures biosecurity is practiced in the AHC. They create notice signage, change boot baths multiple times per week, and ensure hand sanitizer is available and used. They are also responsible for completing a clinic-wide inventory count on supplies, materials and medications, and uploading the inventory into their AVimark database. They work closely with the supply management committee and communicate if any supplies are getting low. 
  • Clinic Duty and Clinic Cleaning Management makes sure tasks are completed for a clean and safe environment for staff, students and animals. They also create student schedules for clinic cleaning/duty, as well as quality control that includes changing sodalime in the anesthetic machines, erasing radiology plates, maintaining our autoclaves and more. Bow Valley Clinics was one of the exhibitors at the first animal health job fair
  • Animal Sourcing and Kennel Care Schedules works closely with the educational lab technicians who have been sourcing animals – cats and dogs – for labs in our programs. They create schedules for an animal’s care while they are at the AHC. They also do call backs to owners or the SPCA to ensure the animals are recovering well after treatment.
Photos: (Top-Bottom) Team ​Public Relation's Bronwyn Bush, Shaelan Clarkson and Taylor Woodland. First-year and second-year AHTs and VMA students attending the event. The career fair welcome​d eight animal health organizations and businesses. Their booths were set up throughout the AHC. 
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