Alliance offers an educational, hands-on experience that exposes vet
students to the companion animal surgical sterilization process. We focus
on the principle that the terms high-volume and high-quality (HVHQ) are
indeed compatible, as long as the rules of sound medicine and surgery
are strictly enforced. This encompasses every aspect of a patient’s
experience with us, including disease control, patient assessment and
selection, behavior, patient preparation, mechanics of sterile surgical
technique, record keeping, anesthetic and pain management protocol, and
patient monitoring and support.
There are two syllabi: Standard Externship and Surgery Externship.
Standard Externship - the Standard Externship is a two-week program
(ten regular business days), during which students will be trained in
all medical positions (veterinarian, technician, and assistant). Please
note that due to the nature of our business, there can be fluctuations
in patient numbers. The syllabus is therefore prone to alterations, and
may include, but is not limited to, the following: surgery; patient
check-in; pre-surgical physical exam; patient selection; pre-op sedation
protocol; induction protocol; induction and intubation; surgical prep
procedures; patient monitoring; instrument review, ligatures, pedicle
tie; sterile surgical technique; DEA regulations and flow of controlled
drugs in the practice; drug records; anesthesia machine operation and
Surgery Externship - the Surgery Externship program is available to
students who have completed the Standard Externship program. The
week-long syllabus (and extra five business days) is customized daily to
a student's needs and desires. Our goal is two-fold: to polish the vet
student's surgical skills, with emphasis on sterilization procedures
(the high-quality piece); and to enhance a vet student's organizational
skills to make the most efficient use of time (the high-volume piece).
The Surgery Externship syllabus may include, but is not limited to:
patient selection and identification of appropriate low-risk surgical
candidates; patient flow management; drug/anesthetic protocols; support
staff coordination; recognition of surgical pack contents and the value
of minimizing the same; maintenance of sterile surgical technique in a
high-volume situation; review of anatomy as it applies to the efficient
and successful completion of the sterilization procedure; review of
instrument and tissue-handling skills; HVHQ-specific surgical techniques
(pedicle tie, overhand knot, incision placement); efficiency of
motion/movement; body mechanics; identification of complications;
management of complications; pain management.
Classroom presentations on protocols and procedures.
on the team is to be treated with equal respect, and you are expected
to help the other team members whenever needed. This includes all areas
from set-up to clean-up.
Externs must read the procedures the day before the surgery, or they will not be allowed to operate.
Externs must assist the records technician to maintain accurate and
complete medical records by informing them of the patient’s status (i.e.
normal, in heat, pregnant, etc.), and any additional concerns that
should be noted.
Externs must provide the highest quality patient care. All animals
must receive a physical examination. All animals must be adequately
evaluated and treated with analgesics, as well as any other indicated
medications, and be in excellent condition at the time of discharge.
Externs agree to the "Payback Pledge," which consists of one week of
volunteer work providing spay/neuter services at a shelter or
spay/neuter facility of your choice, anywhere in the country within a
year of graduation.
Standard Externship - 8 hours per day, 5 days per week for two weeks.
Surgery Externship - 8 hours per day, 5 days per week for one week.