The Associate in Arts program in Veterinary Technology allows students to obtain a science degree that is supported by professional courses in veterinary medicine. Veterinary technicians are entrusted with diverse medical responsibilities that include animal nursing in a wide variety of species, laboratory techniques, anesthesiology and surgical assisting, radiographic imaging and client education. Mount Ida College’s Veterinary Technology program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.
Career and Graduate Study Options
Graduates of the Veterinary Technology program can work as veterinary technicians in companion animal hospitals, farm and equine animal practices, biotechnology companies, diagnostic laboratories, zoos, aquaria, exotics and specialty practices.
Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:
- Demonstrate proficiency in office and hospital procedures, and client relations using oral, written, and decision-making skills.
- Demonstrate proficiency in understanding the pharmacologic aspects of medications, including prescribing, administration, and patient response.
- Demonstrate proficiency in nursing care of a variety of species of animals including areas in husbandry, nutrition, preventative care, animal behavior, therapeutic techniques and public health.
- Demonstrate proficiency in anesthetic management and surgical procedures including post-operative care and dental prophylaxis.
- Demonstrate proficiency in recognizing, managing, and utilizing clinical techniques in emergency and critical care medicine.
- Demonstrate proficiency in laboratory procedures including lab safety, analysis, and identification of specimens in microbiology, parasitology and veterinary clinical procedures.
- Demonstrate proficiency in safely and effectively producing diagnostic radiographic and non-radiographic images.
- Demonstrate proficiency in factual and conceptual information in laboratory animal procedures and facility management.
- Develop an appreciation of civic engagement through the design and implementation of a service-learning project.
Conditions, Policies, Fees and Provisions
The American Veterinary Medical Association accredits the Veterinary Technology program. This program does not fulfill requirements for the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine nor can it be considered a substitute for pre-veterinary training.
Any current Mount Ida student not accepted directly into the Veterinary Technology program but who wishes to apply to the program must meet the following requirements:
1. The student must complete at least one semester of academic work.
2. The student must complete at least 15 credits during the semester.
3. At least 6 of the 15 credits must be in science courses.
4. The student must have a cumulative and science GPA of 2.5 or above.
5. The student must not have failed any course within the Academic Year.
6. The student must provide documentation that they meet all Health Provisions and Essential Functions as outlined in the Veterinary Technology section of the College Catalog.
Academic Progression in Program
Minimum grade requirements
A grade of C- or higher is required in all VT, SC, and BI courses for continuation and graduation from the Veterinary Technology program.
For all clinical Veterinary Technology courses (VT202, VT204, VT206, VT208, VT222, VT303, VT306, VT310, and VT312), successful completion of the laboratory portion of the course, defined by a grade of B- or better, is required to pass the course. Not meeting the B- requirement in the laboratory portion of a clinical course will result in the student receiving an F as an overall grade in the course.
Any Veterinary Technology student who receives a grade of D+ or lower in any VT course(s) at the conclusion of a semester will be placed on Academic Warning and receive a Warning letter. An Academic Warning is formal notification to a student about concerns regarding academic performance.
Any Veterinary Technology student who receives two Academic Warnings at any point in their time as a student at Mount Ida College will be placed on Academic Probation within the Veterinary Technology Program, except that if a student receives a grade of D+ or lower in two internship courses, the student will be dismissed from Veterinary Technology.
Academic Dismissal from Veterinary Technology
- Any student who receives a D+ or lower twice in the same Veterinary Technology course will be dismissed.
- Any student who receives three or more grades of a D+ or lower in any VT course at any point in time at Mount Ida College will be dismissed from the Veterinary Technology Program. Grades of D+ or lower in VT courses are cumulative in nature.
- Any student who receives a D+ or lower in two Veterinary Technology internship courses will be dismissed from the Veterinary Technology program. (Internship courses include: VT 301, 302, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406)
Appeal of Academic Dismissal
A student who has been dismissed from the Veterinary Technology Program for academic reasons may appeal the dismissal on the grounds of extenuating personal circumstances. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Department Chair within seven (7) business days after receiving the notice of dismissal and must describe the extenuating circumstances. The Veterinary Technology Department Chair, Associate Chair and two members of the Veterinary Technology faculty will review the appeal and provide a decision to the student within seven (7) business days of receiving the appeal.
Disciplinary Process for Veterinary Technology Handbook Violations
In the event that the Department Chair receives a report of a violation of the Veterinary Technology Handbook, the Chair will convene a committee of at least two other faculty members of the Veterinary Technology Department to review the alleged violation. The committee will determine whether a violation has occurred and will determine appropriate discipline in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs, which may include dismissal from the program.
Reapplication to the Veterinary Technology Program
The student may reapply to the Veterinary Technology program if he/she meets the following requirements:
1. The student must complete two semesters of academic work within one academic year.
2. The student must complete at least 15 credits each semester.
3. At least 6 of the 15 credits must be in science courses.
4. The student must have a cumulative and science GPA of 2.5.
5. The student must not have failed any other course within the Academic Year.
Senior Year and Clinical Rotations
The senior year consists of clinical rotations and academic courses. Rotations are usually four days per week off-campus for the entire school year by arrangement with the Internship Coordinator and the clinical site coordinators. Academic courses are scheduled on campus one day per week.
General internship policies are as follows:
- All course prerequisites must be met prior to participating in clinical rotations unless approved in writing by the Internship Coordinator. Enrollment in clinical rotations is subject to the approval of the Internship Coordinator after all coursework has been successfully completed.
- All seniors must complete a total of 18 credits of clinical rotation work. Each 130-hour rotation spent at any approved site equals three academic credits. The clinical site coordinator schedules the sequence and duration of the rotations.
- Students must apply for each clinical rotation assignment. As all rotation sites are commercial or non-profit businesses involved in care and use of animals, on-site supervisors are responsible for assignment of students to specific tasks, depending on the needs of the facility and the capabilities of the student.
- Students are required to sign the “Student Clinical Rotation/Internship/Externship Contract” which provides the responsibilities for each student as well as the regulations regarding internships. Penalties, including possible dismissal from the program, may occur if a student violates the terms of the above stated contract.
- A student will receive an F if he or she is fired or dismissed from the internship site by the site supervisor. In addition, the accumulated hours will not be counted if a student is fired or dismissed from an internship.
The Department Chair reserves the right to exclude students from any rotation for violation of Program regulations, policies defined in the Internship Manual, academic deficiencies or breaches of conduct.
- Transportation fees to and from externship and clinical rotation sites
- Professional school uniform, including green scrubs, white shoes/sneakers, Mount Ida College lab jacket, and coveralls
- Stethoscope and bandage scissors
- A wristwatch with a second hand
- Some clinical rotations may require protective shoes
- Laboratory course fees and materials fees (see specific course descriptions in this catalog)
- Meals and parking at off-campus facilities
- Any liability insurance required at clinical rotation sites
- Health/Accident insurance is required for all students in this program.
Records and results must be on file in the student Health Center prior to participation in laboratory experiences.
Tuberculosis test results within 6 months of the first day of classes annually
Tetanus toxoid booster within five years preceding admission to the program
Human diploid cell rabies vaccine and serum fill sample plus an antibody titer test every two years after the vaccination.
Note: Some rotation sites have individual health provision requirements.
Because the Veterinary Technology program is physically strenuous and requires some heavy lifting (ca. 50 lbs.), students should be in good physical condition. Students unable to lift and physically exert themselves may be unable to satisfy program requirements. Since students in veterinary technology programs are exposed to the possibility of infection or injury and must handle x-ray equipment and anesthetics, they should alert the Department Chair and the Health Services Office about pregnancy, any condition that renders them immuno-suppressed, allergies, and any other pertinent physical or medical condition. For disclosure of such information, a physician’s letter outlining detailed accommodations is required for continuation in the program. Precautionary Note: Due to the inherently unpredictable behavior of animals, there is an element of assumed risk in all animal programs.
Essential Functions for Veterinary Technology
The field of veterinary technology is both intellectually and physically challenging. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensure that qualified applicants have the ability to pursue Program admission. However, all students must meet the essential skills and technical standards to perform functions required of the Veterinary Technician Program and profession. Every student will be held to the same standards with or without reasonable accommodations. The Association of Veterinary Technician Educators Task Force on Students with Disabilities recommends the following technical standards:
General Physical Requirements
Students must possess the physical ability to:
- Tolerate walking and standing for at least ten minutes at a time, multiple times per hour.
- Lift and/or carry up to 50 pounds from floor to waist level or higher at least several times per day.
- Lift objects weighing up to 50 pounds to a height of one meter or higher and carry the object or animal for a distance of two meters without assistance.
- Use hands and arms to handle, install, position and move materials, equipment, and supplies without assistance.
- Handle, position, and restrain live animals of small and large animal species.
- Be able to have sustained contact with multiple species of animals and be amenable to learning the safe handling, restraining, and working with these animals. An individual should not be allergic to any species of animals to the extent that would prohibit working in a facility that has them.
- Be able to function in a structured environment within significant time constraints and capable of making rapid decisions in urgent situations and meeting deadlines.
- Possess a willingness to assist with and perform a wide variety of routine medical, surgical, and diagnostic procedures common to the veterinary setting; including humane euthanasia and handling of sick, injured, fractious, or aggressive animals without fear.
- Be able to complete required tasks/functions under stressful and/or unpredictable conditions, including emergency situations.
- Be able to access information from books, reference manuals, computers, and paper and electronic medical documents to perform duties and safely use equipment without assistance.
- Be able to prioritize, organize, and utilize time-management skills to perform tasks.
- Evaluate, synthesize and communicate diagnostic information to the attending veterinarian and/or staff.
- Be able to progress toward minimal supervision as they advance through the program.
- Read, write, speak and report accurately and effectively in English.
- Comprehend and carry out complex written and oral instructions given in English.
- Be able, when communicating with other individuals by speech, either in person or by telephone, to make legible and coherent written notes in English within the margins and space provided on the appropriate forms.
Professionalism and Interpersonal Skills
- Demonstrate professional and socially appropriate behavior; maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close human and animal contact.
- Be able to interact appropriately with clients and all members of the veterinary healthcare team.
- Have the ability to exercise good judgment and make appropriate professional and procedural judgment decisions under stressful and/or emergency conditions (i.e. unstable patient condition), emergent demands (i.e. stat test orders), and a distracting environment (i.e., high noise levels, complex visual stimuli, aggressive animals).
Manual Dexterity and Mobility
- Be able to move his/her entire body a distance of no less than three meters within two seconds of a signal to do so, to move rapidly from danger while handling animals in confined spaces.
- Possess fine motor movements in order to perform the essential functions of the profession. This includes the dexterity to manipulate small equipment, adjust resistance on equipment, hold hooves while cleaning and evaluating, and manage syringes, catheters, and common surgical instruments.
- Possess tactile ability necessary for physical assessment and to perform nursing duties in a timely manner. This includes performing palpation during physical exams, administering oral, intramuscular, subcutaneous, and intravenous medication, inserting and removing tubes, collecting organic samples from live animals and performing wound care.
- Possess the ability to palpate and interpret findings, i.e. palpating pulses, lymph nodes or trachea to determine proper endotracheal tube size.
- Be able to hold surgical instruments in one hand and perform fine movements with such instruments. This includes the ability to assist in the holding of hemostats or other instruments while assisting in surgery; to induce and monitor general anesthesia in an animal patient; and to place intravenous and urinary catheters without assistance.
- Be able to hold, manipulate, or tie materials ranging from a cloth patch to a very fine string. This includes the ability to hold and manipulate a surgical sponge; tie a 00 silk suture; endotracheal intubation; intravenous injection; catheterize animals to obtain sample of urine and/or other body fluids; apply bandages without assistance.
Auditory, Olfactory, and Visual Skills
Veterinary technicians must have functional use of senses to safely and correctly assess patients and interpret and record data.
- Possess adequate visual ability, with or without correction, that allows the determination of minute areas of detail, very small variations in color and adequate depth perception (size, shape and texture), including differentiation of details as viewed through a microscope. This includes ability to characterize and interpret the color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of body structures and fluids, observe variations in skin and mucus membrane color, integrity, pulsations, tissue swelling, etc.
- Possess visual ability to allow for observation and assessment as necessary in nursing care both from a distance and close by in order to recognize physical status and non-verbal responses including behaviors.
- Possess auditory ability necessary to monitor and assess health status, including auscultation of heart and lungs, and hear equipment alarms and warning sounds from animals, humans, and/or equipment of impending danger or injury.
- Recognize and respond appropriately to distress sounds from animal and alarms/warning signals on animal-monitoring equipment directly and through intercommunication systems to ensure patient safety.
- Detect and respond appropriately to odors in order to maintain environmental safety and patient needs.
- Be able to use a compound microscope to identify cells and organisms and be able to differentiate colors of stained objects.
- Be able to observe movement at a distance ranging from 30-45 centimeters to 15-20 meters at a discrimination level that permits detection of subtle differences in movement of the limbs in animals. This includes ability to detect and describe a change in color of hair coat caused by licking or trauma; detect abnormal head posture in a parakeet; monitoring respiratory rate during anesthesia; ability to read anesthesia monitoring equipment.
- Be able to discriminate shades of black and white patterns in which the band is not more than 0.5 mm in width. This includes ability to characterize bacterial hemolysis on a blood agar plate; density patterns on a radiograph; and ability to see ECG tracing.
- Possess adequate depth perception to allow detection of a 0.5 cm elevation which is no more than 1cm in diameter on a slightly curved surface having a slightly irregular surface. This includes detection of tissue swelling on the hip on a smooth-haired dog; determining presence of reaction to skin testing for allergies.
- Be able to perceive the natural or amplified human voice without lip reading to permit oral communication in a surgery room with all occupants wearing surgical masks.
- Be able to perceive the origin of sound as needed to detect movement of large animals in a pen or corral; monitoring multiple patients in an ICU.