Beginning in September, students at Macomb Community College can enroll in a new nine-month, noncredit veterinary assistant certificate program.
The program will prepare students to be able to help care for animals in a veterinary clinic or hospital and be an important part of a veterinary health care team, according to a Macomb release.
Veterinary assistants help qualified veterinary technicians and veterinarians in clinic or hospital areas such as radiology, exams rooms and laboratory. The assistants can also safely contain animals for examination, give oral medications, collect important health information such as the animal’s pulse, temperature, respiration, help inform clients about proper pet care and bathe animals.
“The addition of Macomb’s veterinary assistant program is an important response to the changing veterinary landscape, providing an educational pathway to employment as a vital team member in any veterinary setting,” said Dr. Lori Renda-Francis, director of Macomb’s veterinary technician program. “This is a great way for those who love animals to get into the veterinary profession quickly and really make an impact.”
The certificate program includes four course modules that are a combination of lecture and lab work in addition to a 100-hour internship. Program courses will be taught in Macomb’s Center Campus veterinary teaching facility and will meet one or two times a week, giving students the opportunity to work while getting an education.
Once students compete the necessary program requirements, students will earn a Macomb Community College Workforce and Continuing Education Certificate of Completion and will be eligible to take the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)-approved veterinary assistant exam.
From 2014 to 2024, the state of Michigan will see a 15 percent increase in the number of veterinary assistants, with around 70 new job openings annually.
“In our veterinary technician program, 100 percent of our students have jobs before graduation,” said Renda-Francis. “We expect the same or very similar results with the veterinary assistant program.”