Vet Tech with Fear Free Instruction

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Vet Tech with Fear Free Instruction
On June 26, 2020

Our veterinary technician instructors are completing the Fear Free certification program, if they have not done so already. This means that they could empower students with skills to help eliminate pets' fear, anxiety, and stress induced by veterinary visits. Fear Free practices are designed to create a clinic experience that is safer for all parties involved, including pets, families, and veterinary healthcare teams.

In essence, the Fear Free practices within the Veterinary Technician program, encourages veterinary medical professionals to observe and recognize species-specific behavior as it occurs in the veterinary clinic. This allows the professional to see the routine clinic visit through the eyes of the animal patient and adjust practices accordingly. Once we understand how even the "at-home preparations" for a visit can initiate fear in pets, we can use a proactive approach to reduce anxiety instead of waiting until the patient is in the clinic. This is crucial because once fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) levels begin to escalate, it becomes more difficult to lower them. In fact, entering the veterinary clinic will often increase anxiety levels even more.

It is important to note that Fear Free does not mean the use of no restraint at all. Instead, it advocates a multimodal approach to stress management. For example, anxiety can be reduced through medication administration before visits, calming pheromone diffusers and sprays in hospitals, softer lighting, calming colors, and noise reduction. For patients who are highly motivated by food, treats are a useful distraction. Stautzenberger College teaches these and other beneficial strategies because pets deserve a life without fear, anxiety, and stress.

Students who apply what they learn from these courses in a practical manner tend to be better suited for animal labs. Continuously monitoring the patient's FAS level, adjusting the plan of action according to non-verbal patient cues, and controlling one's own anxiety all contribute to student success in clinical settings. Maintaining a calm, quiet, and focused environment tends to result in more cooperative patients and fewer bites and scratches. We have seen that the use of Fear Free practices benefits patients, students, animal shelters, and instructors, so we are proud to incorporate them into our programs.   

To learn more about our program and how we utilize Fear Free practices and to enroll in our Veterinary Technician program, contact us today. Call 888.859.8225 or submit our Request Information form online. We are excited to see the next generation of veterinary technicians make life for our animal companions even better.