The Veterinary Technician program is one of the many career programs here at Yuba College. For Ana Martinez, the program helps her move one step closer to reaching her career goals.
Ana, a first semester student, explained the prerequisites and requirements to be accepted into the program.
A person hoping to get into the program must take Chemistry 10, Biology 15, and English 1A. As well as Veterinary Assisting which includes a job shadowing assignment.
For this assignment, a student must find a registered Vet Tech and observe what happens in the course of his or her regular workday. This helps students decide whether or not becoming a Vet Tech is what they really want before joining the actual program.
According to Ana, her day shadowing only reinforced her desire to be a Vet Tech. “I was able to see an amputation, a dog being neutered, a poisoned dog be treated, how medicine is prescribed, and physical examinations. My day gave me a great glimpse at what the career is like.”
Once in the program, students will find that their workload is quite intensive. Tuesdays consist of lecture and physical examinations and assessments of the Yuba College farm animals. Thursdays are lab days, in which the students look at samples under a microscope that are related what section they are currently studying.
Ana’s own pets provided the samples one Thursday a few weeks ago. “I actually got to bring in my parakeets to get a sample from. We got to see Avian blood. It was really cool.”
Aside from lecture and labs, students have, on average, eleven assignments a week to complete. These include discussion posts in which students must apply the reading to real-life situations.
The students are also charged with taking care of the Yuba College farm animals. According to Ana, students are on rotation and take turns cleaning the pens, feeding the animals, and letting them out.
Much of this has to be accomplished before class begins at seven in the morning. The rest of the farm duty is completed in the afternoon after lectures and labs.
It is a lot of work, but Ana enjoys the responsibility. “My favorite thing about the program is lab and interacting with the animals.”
Ana’s love for animals goes beyond the program. She has a total of six pets. Two rescue chinchillas and four parakeets.
Ana has known that career involving animals was for her since she was a young girl. She knew Vet Tech was the perfect career when she learned that is a job that includes lots of hands-on work with animals.
After she completes her second year and graduates from the program, Ana knows exactly what kind of practice she’d like to work in. “I’d like to work with exotic animals and laboratory animal medicine.”
The program has been a great experience for Ana as she has made many new friends and learns more and more about animals with each passing day. Thanks to the program, her future in animal medicine is looking very bright.
Note: This article was featured in the Winter 2015 print edition of The Prospector.