The Yuba Sutter area has a vast array of wildlife, livestock and family pets that benefit from having a college in the area that offers a Veterinary Technologist program. It is a solid partnership for all parties involved.
The partnership that Yuba College has with the community gives students the opportunity to complete the required 8 units (500 hours) of internship and gain experience in many different settings such as: small, large and exotic animal hospitals, beef production farms, poultry farms, alpaca ranches, research facilities and in local animal shelters. The variety of sites gives a broad based experience in animal care and helps students decide what facet of veterinary medicine is right for them.
This partnership gives the community knowledgeable people who can help with a wide variety of animal issues. By having students out in the field an extra set of hands and eyes are provided for the veterinarian, ranch owner or shelter manager. As Bonnie Loghry, BAS, RVT, Occupational Health and Safety Trainer, speaking of the Registered Veterinary Technologist student states the “RVT is uniquely capable of seeing a potential problem with an animal (or population of animals as in the shelter or farm settings) before the problem gets too big to handle.”
Recently after working with alpacas on a ranch, Brittany LeCompte commented “It was a great learning opportunity for us and I feel we all got a lot of hands on experience.”
One of the areas that gain the most benefit, having veterinary technology students on premises is shelter pets. Debra Luis, Supervising Animal Care Service Officer said that the vet tech students “come from a medical perspective and completes the team at the shelter”. She feels that the “more trained eyes on the animals in the shelter, the better” it is for the animals.
The students bring another dimension to the team of care givers who are trying to provide a good quality of life to the animals, who are in shelters through no fault of their own. Animal control officers and their volunteers are busy with many different projects and have a limited amount of time to devote to a single animal.
The vet tech students can give each animal more attention making that animal more desirable for adoption. These students not only handle each animal assessing their health, they also have insights to each animal’s personality. This is especially vital for animals that hide in the back of the cages because they are depressed at having been surrendered by their owners. These animals are difficult to adopt out and sometimes someone spending time with them can bring it out of its protective shell. Debra sees the partnership between the Veterinary Technologist program and the animal shelter extremely positive.
Bonnie stated “I am so very passionate about the field of veterinary technology and see so many great things for the future. The fact that I can still, after thirty years, look forward to even more opportunities is very exciting.” She goes on to say that “working in veterinary medicine may not always be the easiest path to follow but it can be the most rewarding.”
The Veterinary Technologist is one of the growing job markets and will continue to see a demand for good technologists in the future. As Bonnie states “the sky is the limit and there are opportunities within a very large number of animal/medical venues.”
This article was featured in the Prospector Winter 2011 Print Edition.