Veterinary technicians provide professional technical support to veterinarians, biomedical researchers and other scientists. As a veterinary technician, you will care for hospitalized animal patients; assist the doctor in surgery; perform physical exams, lab work and technical procedures (blood draws, IV catheter placement); take health histories and X-rays; give and monitor anesthesia; provide client education; and perform reception duties. There will be opportunities to work with a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, sheep, birds, lizards, snakes, turtles, amphibians, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, mice and rats.
Most Veterinary Technician graduates find work in small, mixed or large-animal practices. Other opportunities exist in humane societies, animal shelters, zoos, specialty veterinary practices, pet shops, biological research labs, animal control agencies, military, veterinary teaching hospitals, and state and federal agencies.
An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree will be awarded to those students who successfully complete the Veterinary Technology curriculum. This program is accredited. Students who have successfully completed the program will have the opportunity to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) and the Veterinary Technician State Examination (VTSE).
For more information about the Veterinary Technology program, please visit our website at www.dmacc.edu/programs/ag/vettech.
Students start Fall semester
Program Entry Requirements
- Complete an application for admission.
- Submit high school or college transcripts with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. High school transcripts or college transcripts if the students have 24 or more college credits.
- Submit evidence of grade “C” or better in one year of high school biology or equivalent (DMACC Academic Achievement Center Biology I & II or BIO 156 ).
- Submit evidence of grade “C” or better in one year of high school chemistry or equivalent (DMACC Academic Achievement Center Chemistry I & II or CHM 122 ).
- Satisfy required assessments with a minimum ACT score of 20 or ACCUPLACER with a minimum score of 73 Reading and 82 Sentence Skills.
- Complete the Veterinary Technology Program admissions testing (HESI Exam) with a minimum cumulative score of 700.
- Attend a Veterinary Technology Program Informational Seminar with Program Chair/ Director.
- A minimum of 20 hours practical experience verified by completion of the “Experience Verification Form”.
- Applicants satisfying the above requirements will be invited to an Interview as part of the departmental selection process with the DMACC Veterinary Technology admissions committee.
- Attend any required orientation meeting.
Due to the large volume of applicants relative to the number of available positions in the program, a point ranking system will be used. Each eligible application will be given a number for anonymity and demographic data will be removed. Applicants will be given points and ranked based on:
- Scores on admissions exams
- Interview with Admissions Committee
- Bonus points, based on the grade are given for completion of general education requirements completed before admission to the program.
- Ties in point value will be ordered based on application date
Applications are accepted all year. Application for the starting Fall Term will be cut off on March 1 of each year. This deadline may be extended if program seats are still available. Upon acceptance into the Veterinary Technology Program, all students are required to attend a group orientation in June of the year in which they are accepted. Below is some information about the orientation.
- The group orientation will take at least 2 hours. Students will be given their fall semester schedule. Students will only be registered for classes after completing the orientation.
- Students will learn about the programs expectations, dress code and rabies vaccination recommendations.
- Students will learn the program’s Technical Standards
To earn a Veterinary Technology AAS degree, a student must successfully complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average in all Veterinary Technology program courses.
Option 1 - Select 1 Course
Option 2 - Select 1 Course
Option 3 - Select 1 Course
Total Credits Required to Complete this AAS Degree - 80
Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$151.00 per credit
The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.
Approximate total for program: $14,275**
**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.
What Kind of Work Will You Do?
- Animal patient physical examination and patient history.
- Animal restraint and handling.
- Client education and office management.
- Nursing and monitoring of hospitalized patients.
- Administration of medication and vaccines.
- Clinical laboratory procedures and tests.
- Dental cleaning and prophylaxis.
- Pharmacology identification and calculations.
- Radiology procedures and x-ray film development.
- Anesthesiology and fluid administration calculations.
- Anesthesiology administration, patient monitoring.
- Surgical assisting and monitoring.
- Biomedical research and data collection.
- Community practice and specialized practice.
- Veterinary and veterinary technology teaching institutes.
- Military service.
- Humane societies.
- Herd health managers.
- Veterinary industry representative and supplies sales.
- Biomedical research and diagnostic laboratories.
- Zoo/Wildlife medicine.
- State and federal regulatory veterinary professional.
What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?
Performance Standards: Performance standards are necessary in a competent veterinary technician.
1. Physical requirements
- Ability to tolerate walking and standing for sustained periods of time.
- Capable of lifting and/or carrying up to 50 pounds from floor to waist level frequently.
- Capable of using hands and arms to handle, install, position and move materials.
- Capable of handling, positioning and restraining live animals.
2. Sensory abilities
- Visual ability to see details at a close range and to make observations and assessments necessary in animal care. Be able to use diagnostic equipment, e.g., microscope, thermometer, refractometer, etc.
- Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Hear ausculatory sounds, monitor alarms, emergency signals and cries for help. Hear warning sounds from animals and humans of impending danger/injury.
- Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment and to perform nursing duties. Perform palpation during physical exams. Administer oral, intramuscular, subcutaneous and intravenous medications. Perform wound care management. Collect organic samples from live animals.
- Amenable to learning the safe handling, restraining and working with any species of domestic or exotic animals without fear. These animals may be sick, injured, fractious, or aggressive without fear.
- Willingness to perform a variety of routine medical surgical and diagnostic procedures common to the veterinary setting, including humane euthanasia.
- Capacities to read, hear, understand, and quickly execute complex verbal and written instructions given in English.
- Possess emotional stability when performing duties in animal life-and-death situations or other stressful situations.
- During emergencies, being able to respond promptly and appropriately.
What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?
- Requires ability to work with a variety of animal species (exotics, pets and production animals).
- Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is required to become a registered veterinary technician.
- Veterinary Technician State Examination (VTSE) is required to become a registered veterinary technician in the state of Iowa.
- Anticipated average starting salary-$24,310 (2013-2014 Placement Report).
DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, National & Environmental Services /Architecture, Engineering, and Construction/Arts, Design, and Visual communications/Business, Management, and Marketing/Education, Public, and Human Services/Health Science/Hospitality and Culinary/Information Technology/Manufacturing/Transportation & Logistics
Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, hiring practices or the provision of services, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, age (in employment), disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status of a person. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law.
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Legal references: Iowa Code §§ 216.6 and 216.9, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S. C. §§ 2000d and 2000e), the Equal Pay Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 206, et seq.), Title IX (Educational Amendments, 20 U.S. C. §§ 1681-1688), Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S. C. § 794), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.).(2017)