New degree combines interest in animals and medicine

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New program focusing on veterinary practices and training opens at COCC. A new Veterinary Technician Program is now available at Central Oregon Community College. The intense two-year program will focus on preparing students to take the National Certification and Veterinary Licensing Examinations. Once a student passes these examinations they become Certified Veterinary Technicians. 

Chris Browning
The Broadside

A new Veterinary Technician Program is now available at Central Oregon Community College. The intense two-year program will focus on preparing students to take the National Certification and Veterinary Licensing Examinations. Once a student passes these examinations they become Certified Veterinary Technicians.
Dr. Leslie Griffith, director of the new COCC program and distinguished veterinarian, simplified the often complicated role of the modern veterinary technician.
“The Vet. Tech. Program is essentially nursing for animals,” explained Dr. Griffith. “Like nursing students, vet. students will undergo extensive training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, animal nursing and other courses related to animal medicine.”
Once students become Certified Veterinary Technicians, they will have multiple employment options in the expanding field of veterinary medicine. This could include working in a standard veterinarian hospital, zoos, clinical surgical and laboratory settings, dentistry, research, ranching, and much more.
The variety of job opportunities the major opens up was a big reason for its induction, according to Gordon Price, director of Student Life.
“Once students complete the program, they will have an associates degree in veterinary medicine,” said Price.
“Students with this degree will enter a job market where there is much demand for new skill sets, especially in Central Oregon, where demand for vet. techs. is high.”
Students with associates degrees could move on to veterinary school and receive their bachelors or even their doctorates in veterinary medicine. Veterinary technicians have unique opportunities to work closely with animals in often challenging medical scenarios, not something your average person gets to do everyday.
“The certification is the key that opens the door to an endless horizon of possibilities in veterinary medicine. I love my job and each day brings excitement, joy, compassion and even sadness when a beloved animal passes,” said Dr. Griffith.
Veterinary technician classes will begin next fall, September 2012. If you are interested in becoming a veterinary technician, contact your advisor in the CAP Center.

(Contact: cbrowning@cocc.edu)

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