New High-Tech K9 Joins College’s Veterinary Technology Program | New
The newest member of a Northeast Community College program team has a way of barking out commands.
The college’s Veterinary Technology program now features an Advanced Canine Medical Trainer (K9 Diesel) – a full body simulator designed for canine first responders, military working dog handlers, veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
Designed in partnership with the US Department of Defense, K9 Diesel is a state-of-the-art trainer that simulates active breathing, audio queues (four different sounds made by an injured dog), and over 28 different medical features and scenarios. Each training site is designed to replicate the look, feel and function of actual medical procedures.
“We were looking for ways to have some sort of simulation for the ER because we have a few students working in the ER practice, and everyone in the practice sees the ER. And so how do you make it as realistic as possible,” said Dr. Michael Cooper, Veterinary Technology Program Director/Instructor.
K9 Diesel replicates the appearance of a Belgian Malinois assistance dog that can bark, breathe and bleed. It includes interchangeable limbs and wounds to help provide greater flexibility to vary wound patterns for students. It also enables learners to perform a wide range of essential vital tasks with an incredibly realistic experience.
Cooper said: “We knew this one had to be pretty good because that’s what the MoD uses. He does so many different things and he opens up a lot of avenues. So not only can we use it in several different labs, from anesthesia to emergency to nursing, but you can also do CE (continuing education) for our vet techs. »
“We can also run first aid courses for dog owners,” added Dr. Kassie Wessendorf, Veterinary Technology Instructor. “It’s also good for working with police officers who have working dogs, search dogs and even hunting dogs.”
What makes K9 Diesel most unique is its ability to easily pre-program a workout scenario that can be named and saved for future use. This allows instructors to focus on learner techniques. The K9 simulator operates on its own during the exercise, capturing results for review during a debrief.
Johnny Estep, a retired military medical specialist who is now a trainer-director for TacMed, the company that sells the simulator, said it was as close as it gets to having a real dog in the lab.
“It’s the movement, the sounds, and the different injuries that we see a lot, especially working with the DOD with military working dogs and police dogs.”
Named in memory of the heroic dog who died in the line of duty following the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, K9 Diesel is controlled by a remote control device that controls breathing and other vital signs. Using the remote control, the instructor can stand a few steps away to see how well the patient is being cared for.
“When we were all learning, you were training on a stuffed animal. It never breathed or anything,” Estep said. the students do what they do to save the dog’s life.
Customers have the option to choose the injury types that come with the simulator. There are different legs which include amputation, compound fractures, burns, ancillary injuries, and gunshot wounds among others.
“We worked with Jamie Hyneman from (the Discovery Channel program) ‘MythBusters,'” Estep said. “He helped design the K9 circuit system. People who worked in special effects in Hollywood built the K9 for TacMed. Ever since Hollywood went digital, it hasn’t needed all those special effects people, but we do. This is what gives our products the realism of the cinematic effect that you can see in this dog.
Josh Schlote, veterinary technology instructor, said the new tool will be helpful for students as they continue to develop their critical thinking skills. He said it would show up in situations where a student saw a visible injury.
“But what happens when they can’t see inside, like the chest cavity or something that might not be too obvious,” Schlote said. “This will make sure we don’t get what we call ‘tunnel vision’ when students say, ‘Oh, here’s my wound, I have to take care of it.’ This particular teaching tool can help them realize that they may have something like an ongoing tension pneumothorax, leading them to assess the whole patient.
It will also be beneficial to help new students understand what it is like to be involved in a real emergency.
“We can now simulate that scenario and if you have this student who freezes, you can take a break, let them collect themselves, then they can come back and we can fix the situation,” she said. “If you have a real emergency, you can’t go back. It’s much more realistic for them, so they’ll be better prepared when they train.
In addition to continuing education opportunities for the community, Cooper anticipates K9 Diesel will be popular when Northeast hosts several career days for middle and high school students.
“The way this thing is designed is phenomenal,” Cooper said. “Pre-engineering students can come in and see how it’s built. Information technology can watch how (it) works as it does with so much electronics. Robotics would be another program that would be of interest.
The new state-of-the-art Veterinary Technology Program building on Acklie College Farm, one mile east of the main Norfolk campus, has added new educational tools that will enable students to become successful veterinary technicians. Cooper said the technology, like K9 Diesel, demonstrates the program is second to none.
“It’s the best simulation ever. And other than the real thing, it’s as good as it gets,” he said. .”