By Justin Simon
Assistant News Editor
The new veterinary technology program started this fall. Twenty-two students are enrolled in the first class, Introduction to Veterinary Science 101. Dr. Robin Sturtz, the director of the newly founded program, shares the components of the early lessons.
“We cover a little bit of everything [in Intro to Vet Science] to give students a taste of what the profession is like,” she said. “Veterinary technology is so wonderful because there are so many utilizations.”
According to Sturtz, many professionals work in clinical practice, however, teaching and research are also viable tracks in the industry.
“We try to give them information on all the different routes they can go,” said Professor Lori Asprea, an instructor and clinical coordinator. “We also try to touch on, at a surface level, a variety of the things they will encounter”
To prepare the new students for vet tech, the introduction class covers an assortment of subjects including general medicine, diseases, anatomy, physiology and pharmacology.
The program is rigorous and requires participants to maintain certain academic standards. “Once students enter this program they have to have a C plus or better in all vet tech courses and natural sciences,” Sturtz explained.
The requirement allows all students to understand the challenges associated with veterinary science. “A lot of people unfortunately believe the industry is playing with puppies but that is not the case,” Sturtz said.
Though challenging, the rewards from the program are apparent by both the students and faculty.
Gaby Furman, a sophomore vet tech major, is eager to continue her education in this field. “Becoming a veterinarian has always been my goal and I think this program is going to help me get closer to achieving that,” Furman said. “I believe it will give me an opportunity to learn more and get hands on experience in the field, and I am super excited to see where it goes.”
The program does provide hands-on experience. “We strive for our students to explore and gain different routes of exposure,” Asprea said. “Each student [is required to have] three externships and over 500 hours of clinical time.”
Students learn the business applications of managing a facility as well. According to Asprea, the course, Veterinary Management, focuses on client relations and what is entailed successful operation. “You must simultaneously comfort the client and recognize the animal’s problem,” she said. “There is much more than the science behind the practice, you have to use your intuition.”