The Equine Medical Center offers volunteer opportunities in the areas of facility upkeep and patient care. Our volunteers contribute to patient wellness and recovery by providing the best possible hospital environment. They also have the unique opportunity to observe and learn from our doctors and staff in this clinical setting.

All volunteers must have their own health insurance.

Working alongside our nursing assistants, Barn Care Volunteers help to keep our hospital healthy and clean for our in-patients at the EMC’s 38-stall facility.

Responsibilities

  • Pick out, strip, and disinfect stalls
  • Hose walkways and sweep aisles
  • Groom horses
  • Clean and fill water buckets

Requirements

  • Must have solid, extensive horse experience and be able to safely lift 50 pounds
  • Must be at least 18 years old, or 14-17 years old with a parent (also with solid horse experience) as co-volunteer
  • Commit to working eight hours per week, for a total of 100 hours or more

Our combined Foal Care/Mare Watch Volunteer program runs from February through May, and requires a four-hour per week commitment for the length of the program. No horse experience is necessary. Training is provided at the mandatory training session held in late January or early February. Volunteers may get to see the birth of a foal.

Responsibilities

  • Sit with sick or premature foals in the EMC’s neonatal ICU to keep them properly positioned, help them stand to nurse, or tube feed them
  • Watch normal and at-risk mares on closed-circuit monitors for signs of foaling, and walk by the stall every 30 minutes
  • Alert technicians so that clinical staff can attend the birth and assist the mare and foal as needed
  • Groom and milk the mare
  • Keep bedding clean
  • Sweep, do laundry, and help doctors and technicians with tasks as needed
  • Career Internships are available for high school juniors and seniors who are advanced-placement in the sciences and considering a career in veterinary medicine. College students are also welcome to apply. This 96-hour program takes place during business hours and allows students to work and observe alongside the EMC staff in nursing, diagnostic imaging, dispensary, laboratory, surgery, and clinical supply. Summer sessions are one month in duration; fall and spring sessions last two to three months. Space is limited.
  • Veterinary Technician Internships are available to students enrolled in an AVMA accredited Veterinary Technology program. We are pleased to accommodate large animal observation and husbandry hours as well as full internships and externships, supervised by our licensed veterinary technicians.
  • We offer Shadow Days for students in at least the eighth grade to follow one of our residents for a day in the clinic, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a $35 fee. Students must sign releases and have proof of health insurance.

Questions?

To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to request an application, please contact Penny Archer, director of Volunteer Services, at 703-771-6822 or parch@vt.edu.