Our team provides the nation’s only required clinical education experience in veterinary medical emergency preparedness and response.
- Our education effort has received national acclaim and is one of the facets that keeps the VMBS at the forefront of veterinary medical education.
- Cutting-edge simulation techniques are used to create an exceptional educational environment for students.
- Simulations and planning exercises with county officials provide opportunities to teach students topics and skills that extend far beyond veterinary medicine.
- We provide a significant component of the veterinary medical curriculum.
The required “Community Connections” rotation in emergency preparedness and response was developed as a result of the Transformative Learning experiences provided to fourth-year veterinary students during actual response deployments of our team.
- The emergency preparedness and response segments of the “Community Connections” rotation is required and works with five to seven students for thirty hours each week.
- 20 of the 24 rotations also have a one- to two-day weekend experience with Texas A&M Task Force 1 at Disaster City.
- Several members of the VMBS faculty and staff provide instruction during the rotation.
Our rotation is also designed to teach students about the rich and diverse culture of the state of Texas and is one of the mechanisms for teaching and evaluating seven core competencies identified by the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium’s (NAVMEC) Roadmap for Veterinary Medical Education in the 21st Century. These core competencies are:
- self, team and systems management;
- life-long learning;
- diversity and multicultural awareness; and
- adaptation to changing environments.
Reflection essays are provided by students who have been involved in response deployments and are an integral portion of the Transformative Learning process.
Participation in emergency response teaches lessons that are difficult to teach in any other component of the veterinary medical curriculum—including:
- team management,
- situational awareness, and
- the value of public and community service.
Students on the “Community Connections” rotation are put into disaster scenarios via Second Life technology.
- In this virtual disaster zone, students are expected to triage and treat animals injured in the disaster.
- They must deal with multiple complications from reporters, animal owners, elected officials, and others who create chaos.
- Students must also maintain situational awareness and follow safety protocols.
- The interactive technology allows students to make medical decisions and realize the consequences of those decisions without putting them or the animals they treat in harm’s way.
View a virtual training sample >>
Please note: This video includes sensitive subject matter. View with discretion.
West, Texas Deployment Reflections
Bastrop County Reflections