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Breed n Betsy on the BBC

Bristol University purchased two rectal simulators following donations, including one from the RCVS Charitable Trust.

The simulators are metal frame structures that have a latex “back-end” of a cow through which students may insert a gloved, lubricated hand and feel latex model uteri, ovaries and cervixes.

Breed’n Betsy enables many students to continually practice different techniques.  Students can learn, with the aid of the model uteri, pregnancy diagnosis from six weeks to five months, artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer.

The simulators are so simple to use, that students can teach themselves with the aid of guidance posters and have the freedom to practice whenever they want. 

"Many of our students come in to try out the simulators and as a result, the first rectalling class with a new group of students is much more successful. No student is in a cow for more than five minutes now and up to 90 per cent leave the first session having felt a uterus, most differentiating whether pregnant or not." 

Mike Steele MRCVS Teaching Fellow, Bristol 

As a direct result of these simulators, academics have found that students are more competent at an earlier stage and that the cows are affected to a minimal degree.

The University’s Breed’n Betsy’s have also been set up with ultrasound scanner probes, so that students may try holding a linear probe and putting it next to an ovary.  This is a difficult skill and the simulators provide invaluable practice in this area.

The Betsy’s come with model cervixes that only allow an AI straw (or intra-uterine antibiotic straw) through if manipulated in the correct manner.  This has given academics the added benefit of being able to teach good AI technique and correct administering of intra-uterine antibiotic.

"The Betsy units have made an incredible difference to our teaching and the welfare of our teaching cow herd as well, so thank you very much for all your help." 

Mike Steele MRCVS