New veterinary surgical suite opens at Gwinnett high school

A new veterinary surgical suite opens at a Gwinnett County high school to give students an opportunity to assist in real-life surgeries on animals.

The room was added as part of the Veterinary Science program at the Grayson High School Technical Education building.

The 50 high school students who take part in the program will shadow students from Gwinnett Technical College in doing elective surgeries on dogs and cats brought in by the Gwinnett Animal Shelter.

“We’re just kind of emulating this from an educational standpoint, so that students see what the top tier looks like at a more collegiate level,” says Jennifer Allen, a registered vet tech who has taught the program the past six years.

Before now, students like Senior Morgan Davis would have to wait for their required internship to see surgeries performed.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to know that this is what we want to do before we go to college and just pick a major,” she tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.

The surgeries, including spaying and neutering, will be performed on Wednesdays with a test-run by the college students next week. High schoolers will begin taking part in two weeks.

“They’ll be partnering together, kind of shadowing and mentoring each other, and given exposure to what are the roles of a veterinary technician,” says Allen.

The program is near and dear to her heart since she graduated from Gwinnett Technical College herself.

“There is a huge shortage of registered veterinary technicians. And being able to be a feeder program, possibly, for Gwinnett Tech and their veterinary technical program is really important,” she says.

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