Mount Wachusett Community College’s initial application for accreditation has been accepted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The AVMA’s acceptance of the initial application is not a temporary status of accreditation nor a guarantee of accreditation. In the event that AVMA accreditation is granted, the program’s graduates will be qualified to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The VTNE is owned and administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) at www.aavsb.org.
Veterinary Technology (VTE) (selective)
Veterinary technicians perform a wide range of duties on a day-to-day basis. Some of these tasks include performing medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals, preparing vaccines and serums for prevention of animal diseases, preparing tissue samples, collecting blood samples, and executing laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Veterinary technicians clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. Veterinary technicians may find themselves assisting a veterinary surgeon during surgery, as well as performing medical tests under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian to help diagnose the illnesses and injuries of animals. MWCC's Veterinary Technology program will help students build their hands-on and critical thinking skills to pursue successful careers as veterinary technicians.
Sample job titles are as follows: Veterinary Laboratory Technician, Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT), Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), Veterinary Technician, Veterinary Nurse, and specialty technicians.
|ENG 101||College Writing I||3|
|MAT 162||Introduction to Functions Modeling (Formerly MAT 134)||4|
|CHE 107||General Chemistry I||4|
|VTE 101||Introduction to Veterinary Technology||2|
|VTE 102||Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals I||4|
|VTE 105||Veterinary Hospital Management and Procedures||2|
|VTE 103||Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals II||4|
|VTE 110||Large Animal Medicine||4|
|VTE 115||Veterinary Parasitology||4|
|VTE 120||Animal Diseases||2|
|VTE 210||Veterinary Clinical Nursing Skills||4|
|VTE 205||Veterinary Pharmacology||2|
|VTE 215||Veterinary Technician Externship I||3|
|VTE 220||Veterinary Clinical Laboratory Procedures||4|
|VTE 208||Veterinary Radiology||2|
|VTE 216||Veterinary Technican Externship II||3|
|VTE 218||Domestic Animal Behavior||2|
|VTE 222||Laboratory Animal Medicine and Management||2|
|VTE 225||Surgical Nursing and Dentistry||4|
|VTE 200||Domestic Animal Nutrition and Health||2|
All VTE courses must be completed with a C+ or higher.
This program is offered on the Gardner campus only. Students will be required to complete externships during their third and fourth semesters. Attendance at externship sites is mandatory and will require students to travel.
Requirements for consideration
Applicants must meet certain academic standards. See Selective Program Requirements for Veterinary Technology for specific details or refer to the program application available through MWCC Admissions.
Because of an extensive classroom and clinical commitment, students are encouraged to complete some of the general education requirements prior to beginning veterinary technology courses.
Technology is integrated into all aspects of attending college in the 21st century. Students are expected to have proficient computer skills and the ability to access the internet via desktop/laptop computer or tablet. Internet access may be from home or through a public site, such as a local public library, public college or at any MWCC campus.
Career options/Earning potential
The Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology at MWCC is designed to prepare students for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), which leads to certification for those who pass. The VTNE is owned and administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The AAVSB requires that VTNE candidates graduate from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited veterinary technology program.
Program Student Learning Outcomes for VTE:
Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:
- Successfully carry out and complete each individual task as described within the Essential Skills List developed and owned by the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).
- Accurately compute mathematical calculations as necessary during the treatment and care of patients.
- Obtain the knowledge needed to articulate a scientific conversation in regard to animal behavior.
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the roles of the veterinary technician in the practice of their choice.
- Recognize the common vaccines used in domestic animals, describe the vaccine reactions seen in domesticated species, and analyze the types of drugs and their mechanisms of action.
- Memorize the local, state, and federal controlled substance laws.
- Demonstrate understanding of patient care before, during and after a surgical procedure.
- Effectively and accurately communicate with veterinary professionals and clients.
- Within the veterinary setting, evaluate the concept of medical records and record keeping, explain inventory and bookkeeping, and assess veterinary sanitation protocols.
- Correctly operate laboratory analyzers and practice safe and ethical laboratory procedures.
- Describe and demonstrate the procedures used to diagnose parasitic infections in domestic animals.
Technical Standards1 for VTE:
For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.
Students entering this program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- Comprehend textbook material at a college level.
- Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
- Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
- Stand for a minimum of two hours.
- Walk for a minimum of six hours, not necessarily consecutively.
- Stoop, bend, and twist for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time and be able to repeat this activity at frequent intervals.
- Differentiate colors as assessed by standard color blindness evaluation.
- Differentiate by touch hotness/coldness, wetness/dryness, and hardness/softness.
- Use the small muscle dexterity necessary to do such tasks as gloving, gowning, and operating controls on laboratory instrumentation.
- Respond to spoken words, monitor signals, and instrument alarms.
- Identify behaviors that would endanger a person or animal’s life or safety and intervene quickly in a crisis situation with an appropriate solution.
- Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency situations.
- Lift a 50-pound animal or assist with a larger animal and transfer the animal from one location to another.
- Exhibit social skills appropriate to professional interactions.
- Maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close personal contact.
- Function without causing harm to self or animals or others if under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter medications.
VTE 101. Introduction to Veterinary Technology. 2 Credits.
This course will introduce new Veterinary Technology students to the expectations of learning throughout the program, medical terminology, medical calculations, breed identification of companion animals, common regulatory agencies throughout the field, credentialing and professional ethics. Prerequisites: ENG 098, MAT 096, RDG 098, FYE 101 or placement; high school biology within the past three years with a grade of "B" or higher. Spring.
VTE 102. Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals I. 4 Credits.
Participants learn the inner workings of the domesticated animal’s body and how organs develop, their functions, and the reason they are present in the body. Students will use preserved animals, teaching mannequins and anatomical models of a variety of species to study both gross and microscopic anatomy of the integumentary, skeletal and muscular systems. Prerequisites: ENG 101 (or corequisite); MAT 096 or placement; VTE 101 (or corequisite). Spring.
VTE 103. Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals II. 4 Credits.
VTE 103 is a continuation of VTE 102. This course will more comprehensively explore the inner workings of the body. Students will learn about the brain, as well as the nervous, urinary, respiratory, endocrine, circulatory, reproductive and urinary systems. Prerequisites: VTE 102 with a C+ or higher. Fall.
VTE 105. Veterinary Hospital Management and Procedures. 2 Credits.
Students will explore the inner workings of veterinary hospitals and learn the medical ethics laws for health care professionals, the appropriate communication methods between veterinary professionals and clients, interpretation of medical records, appointment scheduling and veterinary sanitation protocols. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 096, RDG 098, or placement; high school biology within the past three years with a grade of a B or higher. Spring.
VTE 110. Large Animal Medicine. 4 Credits.
This course will discuss breed identification, restraint techniques, husbandry, behavior, anatomy, nutrition, common diseases and medical practices in large animal species. Laboratories will meet off-site at large animal facilities. Prerequisites: VTE 101 with a C+ or higher. Fall.
VTE 115. Veterinary Parasitology. 4 Credits.
During this course, students will learn a variety of common internal and external parasites that are encountered in veterinary medicine. Students will be able to identify each parasite, both microscopically and grossly; the common symptoms associated with each parasitic infection; the life cycles; methods of testing; treatment and prevention strategies; as well as public health significance of each parasite covered. Prerequisites: VTE 101 with a C+ or higher. Fall.
VTE 120. Animal Diseases. 2 Credits.
Students will explore numerous congenital, infectious, traumatic and neoplastic disease processes that can affect companion animal species. Each student will be familiar with identifying each disease, its symptoms and presenting complaints, and the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches veterinary professionals must take. Prerequisites: BIO 205 (or corequisite), CHE 107, and VTE 103 with a C+ or higher. Fall.
VTE 200. Domestic Animal Nutrition and Health. 2 Credits.
The course will cover the canine and feline digestive system, the nutrition needed by these species, the different types of pet foods and their role in nutrition, and the nutritional requirements for the different life-stages of cats and dogs. Prerequisites: VTE 101 with a C+ or higher. Spring.
VTE 205. Veterinary Pharmacology. 2 Credits.
Students will explore the principles of pharmacology including general drug use; administration; types of drugs; indications and contraindications of drug use; and mechanism of action; as well as drug labeling, dispensing and packaging. Each student will also understand the legalities and ethics of using controlled substances. Medical calculations, prescription notation and proper record keeping will also be reviewed. Prerequisites: VTE 101 with a C+ or higher and CHE 107. Spring.
VTE 208. Veterinary Radiology. 2 Credits.
This course will cover general veterinary radiology safety, x-ray generation, film handling and processing, position and restraint. Ultrasonography, CT and MRI will also be covered. Prerequisites: VTE 103 and VTE 110 with a C+ or higher. Fall.
VTE 210. Veterinary Clinical Nursing Skills. 4 Credits.
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with the knowledge and the hands-on skills essential for the day-to-day veterinary technician role. The course will cover topics such as performing thorough physical exams; triaging patients; restraint and handling; administering medications parenterally, intramuscularly, subcutaneously and intravenously; venipuncture; intravenous catheter placement; urinary catheter placement; fluid therapy; emergency procedures; bandaging; and use and translation of normal and abnormal electrocardiograms. Prerequisites: VTE 101 with a C+ or higher. Spring.
VTE 215. Veterinary Technician Externship I. 3 Credits.
Students are required to participate in an off-site externship for 9 hours weekly (126 total hours) at a facility of their choosing. Each facility must be pre-approved by the Veterinary Technology Program Director prior to the student starting his/her externship. Students may select an externship in any type of facility they please (i.e. large animal, emergency medicine, specialty medicine, marine life, research and exotics), but must be under direct supervision of a certified veterinary technician (CVT), unless otherwise decided by the Program Director. Each rotation will require a journal submitted at the end of the rotation explaining day-to-day activities (in detail) in which the student participated while at the externship. Prior to completing the course, students are required to present an interesting case study in which they were involved during their externships. Prerequisites: VTE 101, VTE 110, VTE 120 with a C+ or higher. Spring.
VTE 216. Veterinary Technican Externship II. 3 Credits.
Students are required to participate in an off-site externship for 9 hours weekly (126 total hours) at a facility of their choosing. Each facility must be pre-approved by the Veterinary Technology Program Director prior to the student starting his/her externship. Students may select an externship in any type of facility they please (i.e. large animal, emergency medicine, specialty medicine, marine life, research and exotics), but must be under direct supervision of a certified veterinary technician (CVT), unless otherwise decided by the Program Director. Each rotation will require a journal submitted at the end of the rotation explaining day-to-day activities (in detail) in which the student participated while at the externship. Prior to completing the course, students are required to present an interesting case study in which they were involved during their externships. Prerequisites: VTE 215 with a C+ or higher. Fall.
VTE 218. Domestic Animal Behavior. 2 Credits.
This course will explore the different behaviors displayed by canines and felines. Body language, communication, social structure and life stage behavior will be discussed in detail. Strategies for preventing and correcting unwanted behaviors will also be discussed. Prerequisites: VTE 205 with a C+ or higher. Fall.
VTE 220. Veterinary Clinical Laboratory Procedures. 4 Credits.
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the knowledge of how to properly collect and handle laboratory specimens, proper storage of each specimen, and general laboratory procedures. Each student will learn the skills used by most veterinary practices in the fields of blood chemistries, hematology, cytology and urine. Prerequisites: VTE 101 and VTE 120 with a C+ or higher. Spring.
VTE 222. Laboratory Animal Medicine and Management. 2 Credits.
This course will provide the student with the information needed to pursue a career as a veterinary technician in a research facility. The course will cover the local, federal and state mandated laws and regulations regarding the care and use of laboratory animals. Students will explore proper husbandry, restraint and technical skills such as drawing blood and injecting medications into laboratory species which include mice, rats, hamsters and rabbits. Prerequisites: VTE 103, VTE 200, VTE 210, and VTE 220 with a C+ or higher. Fall.
VTE 225. Surgical Nursing and Dentistry. 4 Credits.
Students will explore the knowledge and experience that are essential in performing safe surgical procedures in veterinary practice. Students will know how to anesthetize small animals; properly and effectively monitor patients under anesthesia; and use aseptic techniques both for prepping patients for procedures and for veterinary personnel. Students will be able to identify and explain proper use of surgical equipment and surgical instruments. Students are required to understand the procedures and safety precautions for patients and veterinary professionals before, during, and after surgical procedures. Students will also develop the skills for performing effective dentistry procedures, including dental x-rays, tooth extractions, and dental cleanings, as well as the knowledge to identify dental diseases. Prerequisites: VTE 103, VTE 205, and VTE 210 with a C+ or higher. Fall.