Increasing student numbers, the decreasing availablility of teaching animals and welfare issues were all factors that led to the establishment in 2015 of the Faculty's Onderstepoort Skills Laboratory. Veterinary clinical teaching has changed dramatically worldwide leading to the development of veterinary simulators and models that are used to teach veterinary students clinical skills.
Students are offered the possibility of repeated practise on commercial and in-house produced veterinary training models before they are exposed to live animals, thereby reducing the risk of harm to animals. Appropriate support is provided in the form of step by step instruction manuals, QR codes linked to YouTube videos, and structured and unstructured practicals.
The Skills Laboratory assists in creating an engaging, safe and stress-free learning environment in which veterinary and veterinary nursing students will become competent and confident in their "Day One" clinical skills. By enhancing skills training within veterinary education through a combination of model and simulation training for students, both hands-on and cognitive skills are fostered.