Hulsbergen, M. H., Dop, P. Y., Vernooij, J. C., & Burt, S. A. (2018). Teaching Slaughter: Mapping Changes in Emotions in Veterinary Students during Training in Humane Slaughter. Journal of veterinary medical education, 1-10.
As part of their training, Dutch veterinary students learn how to carry out the humane slaughter of livestock, which many students consider emotionally challenging. The aims of this study were to plot changes in self-reported emotions in veterinary students at different time points during an educational program on humane slaughter using emotion cards and to assess the change in reported emotions after adding a video and a short period of self-reflection to the program. Emotions were mapped in five groups of students at the beginning, middle, and end of the program by asking them to select from 40 cards depicting emotions in photo and text. Then two changes were made to the course program: a video of an expert slaughterman stunning and bleeding a bovine was shown, and the students were requested to spend 2 minutes picturing themselves carrying out the same procedures. To evaluate the effect of these improvements to the course, the five groups of students were asked in the same way to indicate their emotions at the same three time points. Adding the video and short period of self-reflection did not change the emotions reported by students. Our results indicate that instruction in humane slaughter techniques involves a significant mental challenge for students. The use of emotion cards by teachers could provide useful insights into emotional aspects of the more challenging programs for students.