VOLUNTEER TRAINING


Training Materials | Pre-Trip Evaluation
| Veterinary/Technician Student Information
| Skills Assessment

Each RAVS clinic team will be made up of volunteers with a range of backgrounds and experience levels. Once we gather onsite, we will have a very short time in which to get to know each other, set up and orient everyone to the clinic and their roles before we begin seeing patients. It is imperative that all volunteers arrive as prepared as possible and ready to learn and contribute from the start.

Training Materials

All RAVS volunteers are required to review the online Volunteer Training Manual and to be familiar with the protocols and clinical procedures that are taught and practiced in our clinics.

Volunteer Training Manual Updated 2024 - Required reading for all clinic volunteers.

Clinic Walk-Through Video - Required viewing for all clinic volunteers. Includes general overview of clinic setup and flow.

Surgery Training Videos - Required viewing for all veterinary student volunteers. Includes demonstration of basic surgical skill requirements and assessment criteria.

Protocols and techniques have been developed to provide a standard level of care for the animals treated in our field clinics and allow for a standardized teaching curriculum across each new group of volunteers. All participants are expected to follow these protocols and recommendations. If you have any difficulty accessing the information, have questions about the material, or concerns about a specific protocol, please contact RAVS staff by email well before your scheduled trip.

Pre-Trip Evaluation

An online Training Evaluation is required annually for all volunteers, including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, students and support volunteers. The pre-trip evaluation is intended to ensure adequate preparation and familiarity with RAVS protocols.

All volunteers will be required to submit a score of 80% or higher on the online evaluation at least 30 days before your scheduled trip. A new score must be submitted each calendar year. Volunteers can retake the evaluation in order to pass, however a failing score at the time of the deadline will result in removal from all rosters for the year.

Topics covered in the evaluation are based on volunteer type:

Additional Note for Veterinary and Veterinary Technician Students

Successful RAVS volunteers show initiative and resourcefulness.

We take patient care very seriously and will not allow students to fumble through procedures on a live animal that could have been practiced on a model. The more prepared you are in advance, the more you will have a chance to do. Students who put time and effort into preparation will be given a great deal of responsibility. To get the most out of your volunteer experience, it will be up to you to commit sufficient time to study and practice prior to the clinic.

Practical Skills Assessment

All veterinary students will participate in a practical skills assessment at the start of each clinic to demonstrate proficiency in basic suture patterns and knot tying. Student participation and responsibility levels in surgery will be defined by the level of preparation demonstrated during this assessment.

Detailed requirements for the skills assessment are outlined in the surgery section of the Volunteer Training Manual. It's up to you to practice and prepare. Many students overestimate their preparedness and/or are more nervous than expected when taking the practical and are disappointed in their performance. You will want to prepare more than you think necessary. Please make the time to practice and get coaching as needed before your trip.