Pinning ceremony held for first class of TJC vet tech graduates

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The Tyler Junior College Veterinary Technician program recognized its inaugural class of graduates during a pinning ceremony held Thursday, May 3, at Picker’s Pavilion in downtown Lindale, school publicity officials announced.

The 11 graduates received their pins and took the official veterinary technician’s oath, which was administered by Jennifer Council, program professor.

They received their Associate of Applied Science degrees during TJC spring commencement ceremonies Friday, May 11, in Wagstaff Gym on the TJC main campus.

“This program has been huge success thanks to the collaboration of the city of Lindale, the city of Tyler, and a lot of people working behind the scenes to make it happen,’’ said TJC Chancellor and CEO Dr. Mike Metke.

He thanked Lindale Mayor Jeff D. Daugherty and his wife Robin, Lindale City Manager Carolyn Caldwell and Director of Downtown Development and Tourism Seong MacLaren, all who attended.

Graduates and their hometowns are: McKenzie Easley, Tyler; Estefania Flores, Tyler; Meleyna Gutierrez, Mineola; Amanda Landeche, Kilgore; Megan McGuane, Chandler; Jennifer Moore, Chandler; Karen Nava, Tyler; Joshua Raiborn, Rusk; Rosa Solis Castillo, Greenville; Sara Wedding, Alba; and Madeline Wright, Tyler.

TJC VET TECH PROGRAM

TJC’s vet tech program, which opened in the fall 2016 semester, is housed at TJC North, located at The Cannery in Lindale.

“It’s an intensive, two-year program,” said Dr. Louisa Schmid, veterinarian and program director. “There are 60 hours of classroom and clinical work; and upon graduation, students are eligible to take the national exam to become licensed veterinary technicians, or LVTs.”

Veterinary technicians work in a variety of animal-related fields, from small animal clinics to emergency centers, zoos and large farms.

With TJC’s two-year Associate of Applied Science degree, a licensed veterinary technician can assist the veterinarian in almost all aspects of animal care in every veterinary occupational field, from companion animal medicine to agricultural production industries to public health work to zoo animal management to biomedical research.

Typical veterinary technician activities can include:

• initial assessment of the animal

• acquiring samples for testing in the laboratory

• preparing the animal for anesthesia

• assisting in anesthetic procedures and monitoring

• participation in imaging studies such as radiology or ultrasound

• data entry into practice management/medical records software and record-keeping as required by regulatory agencies

• client education

The demand for qualified veterinary technicians in Texas is high. Every existing program in Texas has a high rate of employment after graduation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics currently projects that this field will grow 52 percent by 2020. In Texas, salaries range from $25,000 to $45,000 per year. The 2010 median pay for a veterinarian technician in Texas was $29,710 annually, or $14.28 per hour.

The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners provides the state specific exam and conducts a background check of all applications.

After becoming a licensed veterinary technician by passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam and Texas state exam, certificates may be earned in a variety of specialty areas such as ultrasound or behavioral counseling. A four-year degree may be pursued to become a veterinary technologist.

For more information, go to www.tjc.edu/VetTech.

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