HSVMA Offers RAVS Suture Labs at Veterinary Schools

July 2019

The Fund for Animals Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) program combines community service and veterinary mentorship to bring free veterinary services to under-served rural communities where poverty and geographic isolation make regular veterinary care inaccessible.

Each year RAVS staff members and more than 350 veterinary professional and student volunteers provide essential veterinary care for more than 8,000 animals, all at no cost to the clients or communities served. In addition the program provides valuable training and experience for hundreds of veterinary and technician students that goes far beyond anything they could learn in a classroom alone.

RAVS' teaching programs include training in medicine and surgery as well as community education and recognition of animal health problems in economically disadvantaged populations. Through these efforts, they provide care for animals in need, expand the skills of veterinarians and veterinary technicians and inspire their participation in animal protection efforts.

Veterinary students can request to host a RAVS suture lab on their campus during the academic school year.  HSVMA will send instructors to the host school if there are no experienced RAVS volunteers located within the area.  HSVMA also provides a meal for all attendees so students can refuel during the one hour Power Point lecture in preparation for the hands-on suture practice.  Because one of the goals is to have plenty of one-on-one instruction during the suture practice, attendance is generally limited to 40 students.  Students will be responsible for meal logistics, reserving a lecture hall or room on campus to accommodate the lab, advertising the event and signing up participants prior to the event.

In preparation for the lab, HSVMA will send ahead assembly materials and instructions for building a practice suture board.  Typically, students who plan to participate in the lab will get together and assemble the boards (instructions included!).  The boards are easy to assemble and students can keep them to use for practice after the lab.  The instructors teach the suture patterns and techniques that are commonly used during RAVS clinics and other MASH-style surgery clinics.  Students will also learn more about what to expect during a RAVS clinic and how to prepare for the experience.  Due to the busy clinic schedule, suture labs are limited so it's best to request a lab several months in advance.  Please contact [email protected] to inquire about a lab.  For more information about RAVS and to see the clinic schedule, go to www.ruralareavet.org