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

NOTE 3/31/16: The volunteer training materials and evaluation will be off-line for a few days while we make updates for the 2016 summer clinic season. Please check back 4/4/16. Thank you!

Each HSVMA-RAVS clinic team will be made up of volunteers from a range of backgrounds and experience levels. Once we gather onsite we will have a very short period of 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 come to the experience as prepared as possible and ready to learn and contribute from the start.

Training Materials
All HSVMA-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:

Click Here for training slideshows with video demonstration of basic surgical skills 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 volunteers 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 Windi Wojdak by email (wwojdak@hsvma.org) well before your scheduled trip.

Pre-Trip Evaluation

An online Training Evaluation is required of 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. The evaluation can be taken up to 2 months prior to your scheduled trip, but no later than 30 days prior. A failing score will result in removal from all rosters for a period of 3 months.

Topics covered in the evaluation will be:
-- Veterinary Students: All training materials
-- Technicians/Assistants and Tech Students: All materials except surgery sections
-- Veterinarians: all materials except anesthesia sections.
-- Support Volunteers: All materials except anesthesia and surgery sections

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 practical are outlined in the surgery section of the Volunteer Training Manual. It’s up to you to practice and prepare.  Many students over-estimate their preparedness and/or are more nervous than expected when taking the practical and are dissapointed in their performance. You will want to prepare more than you think necessary. Please make the time to practice and get coaching as needed at home before your trip. 


Additional Note for Veterinary and Veterinary Technician Students

Successful HSVMA-RAVS volunteers show initiative and resourcefulness. Individuals all have different abilities and rates of learning. If you have to practice a technique 100 times instead of 20 to become proficient, it is expected that you will do just that. You will be adequately supervised and oriented by veterinarians and technicians who love to teach, but don't expect to be "spoon fed". If you are not able to commit sufficient time to study and practice prior to the clinic to be proficient at the basic skills required, this is not the program for you.

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.