Welcome! Your interest in the veterinary technology program at ACC is greatly appreciated. As a new degree option, there are and will be

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1 Welcome! Your interest in the veterinary technology program at ACC is greatly appreciated. As a new degree option, there are and will be opportunities to help shape, develop, and become part of the growth of the program. This presentation will help you to understand the veterinary technology profession and the scope of the veterinary technology program at ACC. Updated

2 This session will help you to understand a little more about the nature of the work veterinary technicians do and the requirements of the career. Veterinary technology is a young and growing profession that continues to develop and change at a rapid rate compared to older traditional professions. This can be an exciting, challenging, and rewarding career option if you have a desire to be a part of a medical team of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary assistants that can improve the quality of life for animals. This is a demanding profession that requires more than just a love of animals. Veterinary Technicians must have a broad base of scientific knowledge and technical skills, be able to communicate and work well with both animals and people, and be able to work effectively in physically and emotionally challenging settings. The expectations for Veterinary Technicians are high; and the career is, in some ways, comparable to nursing in human medicine, but veterinary technicians have a much broader job description including working on many more species than nurses do! The goal of this presentation is to make you aware of some of the highlights and requirements of the profession. Also, to introduce the application process and requirements for the program at Austin Community College (ACC). We will also discuss the requirements of students in the Health Sciences department at ACC that you will need to meet as a student in this department. 2

3 As a Veterinary Technician or VT you have a number of roles, some of them are listed on this slide. The VT s role can be as varied as the employment that they have. Certainly, the VT is expected to have a certain set of skills that would enable them to function in a veterinary clinic or hospital. Animal handling, restraint, and sample collection (blood, urine, fecal) are some of the basic skills of a Veterinary Technician. In addition, the VT can perform dental cleaning, take radiographs, perform laboratory tests such as blood, urine and fecal sample analysis, monitor patients under anesthesia, assist in surgery, administer medications and fill prescriptions, educate clients, manage staff, and much more. Therefore, the Veterinary Technician needs to understand anatomy and physiology, radiographic techniques, and perform proper lab tests, anesthetic and surgical procedures, pharmacology including performing drug and fluid calculations, and must be able to understand and interpret medical terminology in order to communicate effectively with other medical professionals and with pet owners. The VT is an important part of the veterinary health care team and contributes to the practice. The veterinarian must have confidence in the veterinary technician in order for them to work as an effective healthcare team. Clients must trust the veterinary technician to both care for their pet and provide them with correct information. 3

4 The primary function of the VT is to make the veterinarian more efficient. They extend the veterinarian s abilities by providing additional eyes, ears and hands for the Doctor. For that reason, it is critical that the VT help keep the veterinarian on task by being prompt, organized and anticipating needs in order to make each appointment, surgery or other procedure go as smoothly as possible. Veterinary Technicians are expected to facilitate the proceedings of the day by having supplies, equipment and patients properly prepared. A good veterinary technician makes the doctor more efficient, more effective, and more productive. With the unpredictable nature of veterinary practice, the VT must remain flexible, creative and positive in the face of challenges that are faced in everyday veterinary medical practice. 4

5 VTs are employed in a wide variety of places that are as varied as the VTs themselves. Although the typical place for employment is in a veterinary clinic or hospital, there are those that work in zoos, caring for exotic animals. Others are helping to develop drugs and medical devices that will improve the lives of animals and people in the future. Some work in providing supplies or knowledge to veterinary practices and technical assistance to others. Others work in the regulation of animal populations or inspecting facilities of others to help with regulation compliance. You may already have a plan for how you would like to use your degree. However, many times VTs end up working in areas they never expected and the rewards are much different than imagined. Its important to keep an open mind while pursuing an education in veterinary technology there are many different places that your degree can take you. 5

6 There are several specialties that VTs can go into after graduation. The academies are maintained by NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) for each specialization. New fields continue to be added. These individuals are designated by VTS, in addition to their credentialing (RVT, CVT, LVT) that indicates the additional training and experience in their field of specialty. Seeking a specialty, if done, would be after graduating from an AVMA accredited program, successfully passing the VTNE, and after having experience in that field. The requirement is set by each academy. 6

7 Income for veterinary technicians are as varied as their places of employment. In general, veterinary technicians earn less than their nursing counterparts most would agree that veterinary technicians are motivated to pursue this career by factors other than money. Income depends on the area of the country, the type of practice, and the skills, experience, and talents of the VT. Starting annual salaries can range from $18,000 to $23,000 / yr. depending on many variables. Follow the web links on this slide to explore the different ranges and how they vary in different parts of the country. Texas has traditionally been one of the states with lower salaries for veterinary technicians. This also continues to change as VTs become more and more appreciated for what they can do to contribute to the efficiency of a veterinary practice. 7

8 The Veterinary Technology Program at ACC is a new program. It is located at the ACC Elgin campus. Currently laboratories are held off campus at sites located across the Austin area. 8

9 Dr. Coombs is the Program Chair and teaches many of the courses. Sara Yaffe is the Clinical Coordinator. She manages clinical sites and laboratories for the program. Experienced adjunct faculty are used to assist in teaching additional veterinary technology courses. 9

10 ACC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The College is also recognized and sanctioned by the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board. Individual programs are accredited by national accreditation agencies. The Veterinary Technology program is in the process of acquiring accreditation with the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) CVTEA (Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities). This will allow graduates of the program to be eligible to take the VTNE to become Registered, Certified or Licensed in the state of their choice. Although, there are no guarantees until accreditation is granted, rest assured all efforts will be made to reach that goal. 10

11 Veterinary technology program courses (those that begin with the rubric VTHT) will be offered once a year. This means that successful completion of a class will be required to move forward with the program. Unsuccessful completion of a class which typically is a pre requisite for another class will result in delayed progress in the program until the class is offered again. Re entry to class is also limited by space availability. Successful completion of a class is by passing with a 73 average or above. The program is a full time commitment for two years. Classes are academically challenging; trying to take a full load and work (fulltime) would not be advisable to achieve graduation on a timely basis. Externship will almost always be a daytime experience and reliable transportation is required to get to the site and to classes during the program. Most program classes will be at the Elgin campus and public transportation may not mesh with class schedules. As sites for clinical instruction are developed, transportation to these sites will be the student s responsibility, therefore the need for reliable transportation. 11

12 External learning experiences (also called practicum or externships) are courses where skills and knowledge gained during classes will be used and practiced. The site chosen for these experiences depends on the facility availability and student goals or needs. This could be anywhere in the Austin area, or even out of state. Placements will be facilitated by the Clinical Coordinator and/or Program Chair. There will be a required number of clinical contact hours to complete and document to fulfill requirements for the external learning experiences. 12

13 Please follow the links on the slide to see some of the expected expenses for program completion, such as tuition and fees. Costs of books will depend on whether you buy new, used, rent, or purchase and download digital copies. There are some supplies that will be essential for each student to have. For example, a stethoscope, rectal thermometer and at least one pair of hunter green scrubs are required for clinical courses. Most students will already have soft soled, closed toe shoes (like athletic shoes) that will need to be worn with the scrubs. Bandage scissors are very desirable. Other costs, such as housing and transportation, are highly variable and impossible to predict on a general basis. 13

14 Use the addresses provided on this slide to find the information needed about Financial Aid. 14

15 To get started working toward the Veterinary Technology degree you will need to apply to ACC and visit with a campus advisor to determine if you have met the TSI (Texas Success Initiative) requirements for reading, writing, and math competency for the State of Texas. These are required of all students working toward a degree in Texas. You may begin working on the program prerequisites at this point. The immunizations needed for the veterinary technology program include a Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) within the last 10 years. This will need to be documented at the time of application to the veterinary technology program. You will also need to document your participation in this info session. See the program s web site for application deadlines 15

16 Once all pre requisites are completed, you are ready submit a Veterinary Technology Program application. The pre requisite classes are CHEM 1305/1105 Introductory Chemistry lecture and lab, ENGL 1301 English Composition I, MATH at least 3 credits of college level math from the core curriculum, and PSYC 2301 Introduction to Psychology. In addition to these classes, there is a requirement for 80 hours of documented equivalent work experience, as an employee, volunteer, or even as an observer. Each situation will be evaluated individually, but the preference is that you have worked with a team of a DVM and a RVT/LVT. The intent is to have had prior clinical experience before entering the program. There is nothing that helps the student to understand the concepts of veterinary practice better than to actually see and be involved in the process. Past experience has shown that students that have had prior experience do better in the program and on the VTNE. This experience becomes helpful to the student as they work their way thru the program. Once admitted to the program the student can seek rabies vaccination, which is highly recommended or a waiver must be signed. VTs are as likely to be exposed to rabies as other veterinary personnel. Not all insurance plans will cover the vaccination, so check with your provider before proceeding to vaccination. If you have questions about the vaccination, visit with the Department Chair or someone knowledgeable about the vaccination. 16

17 Vaccination requirements for the veterinary technology program are different than many of the other Health Science programs. Veterinary patients do not have the same pathogens as human patients do. Therefore, several vaccines will not be required, but are still recommended. Students still must comply with vaccine requirements of the state and ACC s regulations for meningitis and any other required vaccines. For the VT program a current TDAP (with in 10 years) is required. Just because the animal population doesn t transmit some of the common human pathogens, does not mean that they don t carry disease. Zoonotic diseases can and are carried by animals and the VT must be aware of, and protect themselves from those diseases. A deadly viral disease that can be carried by any mammal is rabies. Although rare, it is fatal when acquired. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that students in the program be vaccinated against rabies. The vaccine is considered to be expensive, but it is worth the expense. However, because of the expense it is not required at this time. But, if you choose not to be vaccinated, you will be required to sign a waiver indicating it is your choice not to be vaccinated. If you have questions, be sure to have those questions answered before you sign the waiver for the rabies vaccine. 17

18 Once all pre requisites are completed then you are ready to submit a Veterinary Technology Program application. All of your transcripts, immunization documentation (be sure to copy your documents before you submit them so that you retain a record), and work documentation needs to be submitted with the program application. Once you are admitted to the veterinary technology program you will be instructed on how to complete the drug screen and background check. This is required of all Health Science students. 18

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