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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Student tour guides enlighten visitors

January 19th, 2011

The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine offers the service of providing tours of the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital to visitors. Because this is a working facility, students are trained as guides to take guests on tours through the halls of the small animal and large animal clinics and the anatomy lab. They give up their lunch time at noon to cheerfully and proudly show off their College. Tours are prearranged by calling or emailing the College.

Starting in the main lobby, the tour takes about an hour. When large groups are touring, they are split up into smaller guided groups. The guides are responsible for instructing visitors on the proper protocol during the tour, keeping the group together and preventing hospital patients from being touched or photographed.

As the tour progresses, the guides stop and point out items of interest, from the sculptured wall in the lobby to the specialized areas in the hospital, such as surgery suites, diagnostic imaging and rehabilitation, and on into the necropsy gallery and lecture rooms. While some of these areas cannot be entered, visitors are able to experience the atmosphere and organization of the College from the detailed explanation given by the tour guide.

Not including Pet Day, 87 tours were given during 2010 with most of them taking place during the summer months. The majority of visitors were high school and middle school students who came in groups of up to 60 at a time. Other interested groups were the Albany Fire Department, 4H and other club members, alumni and prospective students and their families.

By far the largest number of visitors took advantage of the on-going tours that were offered all day during the annual Pet Day and Open House event. This year Pet Day, one of the most popular annual spring events on campus, will take place on April 30. Drawing some 3,000 to 4,000 visitors, Pet Day is coordinated by veterinary students. Numerous booths are staffed by vendors, volunteers and clubs who provide information on animal health and wellness, nutrition, adoption and therapy. Other booths and displays feature llamas, goats, ferrets, wildlife rehabilitation and reptiles.

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