Make a Difference in the Lives of Animals with a Career in Veterinary Technology

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As one of the most requested programs at Mountwest Community & Technical College, we’re pleased to announce a  Veterinary Technology program will begin in the fall 2014 semester!  Support from the local veterinary community, as well as two grants from the  WV Council of Community and Technical College Education made this dream a reality.

“We were overwhelmed with the positive response and commitment from local veterinarians and animal clinics in the Tri-State area,” said Janet Smith, Chair of Allied Health. “We look forward to working with these clinics to meet the workforce needs in the unique and exciting career of veterinary technology.”

Mountwest’s Veterinary Technology program consists of 70 credit hours and leads to a two-year Associate degree of Applied Science. Courses of study will include biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, parasitology, nutrition, animal disease, anesthesia, pharmacology, as well as animal care, restraint and handling. Students will work with client pets, small animals and farm animals.

Students will gain experience by completing two practicums and an externship in veterinary facilities. Students will be placed in facilities at the program director’s discretion so that they may obtain experience in different types of settings, obtaining approximately 440 hours of clinical experience.

Mountwest offered an Introduction to Veterinary Technology course for the Spring 2014 semester and the response was overwhelming. Additionally, Mountwest will also be working with local high schools within Cabell, Wayne, Mason and Putnam counties to offer Introduction to Veterinary Technology at the high school level. The course will be transferrable to Mountwest if the student successfully receives credit.

To apply, students must complete a formal application to the program and meet specific admission requirements. The application deadline has passed for the Fall 2014 semester, but spaces may become available based on applicant eligibility. Both the application and curriculum are available at

Veterinary technicians are an integral part of veterinary medicine who work under the supervision of veterinarians. They’re employed to assist in many veterinary tasks, but they cannot diagnose, prescribe medications or perform surgery. Most veterinarians consider their technicians to have the same role as nurses would to general doctors and surgeons. They must be knowledgeable in many areas of veterinary care and are also required to communicate with clients and must possess office and management skills.

With the growing pet population, employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is expected to grow from 2010 to 2020. Veterinary medicine has advanced considerably, and many of the veterinary services offered today are now comparable to health services for humans. As veterinarians perform more specialized tasks, clinics and animal hospitals are increasingly using veterinary technicians to provide more general care and to do more laboratory work.

Mountwest looks forward to working with the local animal shelter, veterinarians, animal rescue and other animal-friendly organizations in the future to assure the success and dedication to animals in our area.


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