Photo by RJ Chavez
HRVHS Students in Nita Bozarth’s class took a trip to the All Animal Care Clinic’s hospital on Jan. 11 to learn from Katie Holmes, the lead veterinarian at the clinic, and her staff about the working world. At left, the class observes Holmes as she explains her routine and offers professional advice when taking a patient through the check-up procedure.
As of Friday, January 19, 2018
Life hits fast for most people once high school graduation passes by, which is why Nita Bozarth, a teacher at Hood River Valley High School, provides a course for students to gain experience outside of the classroom to help in that transition from high school to adulthood.
“This course is designed for gaining experience outside the classroom and doing a lot of hands on stuff,” said Bozarth. “The idea here is to try and make the transition after high school as smooth as possible for the students.”
A class of juniors and seniors, 24 in total from HRVHS, took a trip to All Animal Care Clinic in Hood River last week to get a glimpse of what the professional future could entail.
“This is an experience that most students out of high school are missing,” said Dr. Katie Holmes, lead veterinarian at the All Animal Care Clinic. “All these kids aren’t going to become veterinarians, but getting them hands-on experience outside of the classroom is something really cool that Bozarth is doing for her students and we’re happy to help her in doing that.”
Holmes may have been right when she said, “All these kids aren’t going to become veterinarians,” because when the class showed up, there was a discussion about just how many kids see this as a possible future and at the end of the day, it wasn’t many.
But that didn’t stop the students from taking in this experience and trying to apply it to something in the same professional sector as a veterinarian.
When the students were asked about what field they’d like to pursue after high school, many were enthusiastic about joining the medical field, at a hospital for example, and there isn’t a huge difference between what goes on in terms of practices at the animal clinic and the hospital.
“Animals are very similar to humans in that the knowledge we’re gaining here can be applied when working with a patient at a hospital,” said senior HRVHS student Courtney Castaneda. “We understand we can’t just jump right into being a doctor who has a real life patient, so learning here about the animals and how these doctors go about their patients is similar to how someone would go about it at a hospital.”
Holmes and Certified Veterinarian Technician Sarah Breeze each took a half of the class and went through a number of procedures that they go through daily.
For example, the students were shown how to conduct a proper background check on a patient, how and where to check for things like heart rate, how to ease a patient to draw a blood sample and more.
While students were being shown these things, Holmes and Breeze were giving them tips that you learn with years of practice and connecting these tips from an animal to a human patient.
Holmes and Breeze also answered questions from the students about college and the proper pre-requisitions that need to be obtained before having the opportunity to apply for a job similar to theirs.
“What Bozarth is doing with her class is something you rarely ever hear about coming from a high school,” said Holmes. “She’s helping her students figure out what they want to do by going out and learning about it. Whether it be a profession they want to pursue or not, it’s the experience that matters more than anything and it’s why we were more than happy to show and help them with just a part of the process they’ll be going through soon.”
This was the first trip outside of the classroom for Bozarth’s class this school year to a professional setting, though they’ve gone out in the community a few times to teach local kids at elementary schools about agriculture — to be in this class, you must be signed up as an FFA member.
Bozarth hopes they can visit the other veterinaries in the area so the students can soak in as much information as possible before June’s graduation rolls around.