Welcome to the Veterinary Technician Program at Southeast Technical College! We are so excited to help you become a capable and competent veterinary technician. We hope you find your work fulfilling, challenging and rewarding as you get to help both your patients and their owners in many aspects. If you have any questions regarding the Veterinary Technician program, the faculty can be contacted by:
Veterinary Technician’s Scope of Practice
Program Mission Statement
It is the mission of the Veterinary Technician program at Southeast Tech to prepare competent and high-quality technicians that are ready and capable of being a vital asset to the veterinary industry in both the clinical and research setting.
Student Learning Outcomes
PROBLEM SOLVING/CRITICAL THINKING
- The student will recognize the patient’s needs and provide compassionate and coordinated care based on respect for the patient.
- The student will integrate best current evidence with clinical expertise and patient needs for delivery of optimal veterinary care.
- The student will minimize the risk of harm to patients and veterinary staff through both system effectiveness and individual performance.
- The student will function effectively within veterinary and inter-professional teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making to achieve quality patient care.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
- The student will use data to monitor the outcomes of care processes and use improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of veterinary care.
- The student will be able to use information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making.
- Students accepted into the Veterinary Technician program are learning to be professional in the veterinary clinic. Therefore, professional behavior is expected during all school activities. This includes lecture, laboratory, internships and preceptorships.
- All Veterinary Technician students will be evaluated on a regular basis by the veterinary technician program director and instructors concerning professional and ethical behavior.
- Students attending Southeast Technical College are expected to comply with all pertinent state laws and take personal responsibility for their conduct.
- The primary means of communication with students, outside of class, is the STC email system. Therefore, students are expected to check their STC email account each class day and frequently during breaks.
- Professional language is always expected. Loud comments and boisterous behavior are not appropriate. Voice levels should be moderated, and appropriate judgment should be used in choice of vocabulary. Profanity will not be tolerated at any point and tactfulness is expected.
- Students are always expected to maintain confidentiality, in both the classroom and clinical setting.
- Honesty in all forms of communication is expected and mandatory. The student will be released from the program if they are:
d. Coming to class/laboratory sessions intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance.
e. Inappropriately using social media, including any:
i. Remarks of your patients
ii. Pictures of your patients
iii. Patient’s information
- Dismissal from the program may also result from a student making any disapproving comments about your school, veterinary technician program students, faculty members and/or staff.
- If a student is absent, it is that student’s responsibility to find out what material was covered and to make it up.
- Disruptions such as talking during the instructor and/or peer presentations, excessive movement around the classroom, or other behavior deemed disrespectful or unprofessional in the classroom or clinical setting will not be allowed. Students who are disruptive may receive a 50% deduction on homework for that day/week.
GENERAL COURSE GUIDELINES AND GRADING
- Students must pass each Veterinary Technician program-specific class with a grade of 70% or higher to continue in the program. A course that contains both a lecture and laboratory section must both have a grade of 70% or higher, otherwise both sections will result in failing grade. Students not successful in achieving a 70% or higher in a course the second time will be referred for evaluation for academic success which could result in excusal from the veterinary technician program.
- Attendance is required at all lecture and laboratory courses. Attendance policies for individual courses must be followed. If absences are necessary, arrangements should be made ahead of time. Medical or other emergencies will be dealt with on an individual basis. Appointments should be scheduled after class or clinical hours.
- Punctuality and attendance are essential for the successful completion of the Veterinary Technician program.
a. Documentation of the attendance is as follows:
ii. Absent, which is defined as missing more than 1/2 the class. If a student misses one half of a class period (this includes leaving after a test) it is considered an absence.
b. Southeast Technical College attendance policy can be found at:
c. If absent from classes, notify instructor prior to class time. Any material covered in class when absent is the responsibility of the student. Tests must be made up according to each course policy.
- There will be no makeup on in-class assignments completed during lecture or lab classes. If an in-class assignment is missed due to an absence or tardy it is a zero (0).
- Online assignments will only be accepted up to the due date. After due date, they will not be reopened for submission. Students that fail to submit online homework assignments at the assigned time will receive a zero (0).
CHEATING AND PLAGIARISM
- Southeast Technical College policies authorize suspension or termination of any student from school for misconduct as outlined in the rules of this policy. The following student misconduct shall constitute grounds for student discipline, suspension, or termination when such activity occurs on school grounds or during an educational function under the auspices of the school board: acts of dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty relating to academic achievement.
- Assignments should be completed and submitted by individual students unless assigned as group work.
- Quizzes missed due to an absence cannot be made up.
- Students MUST be present in class, or have an instructor present, for a scheduled in-class, online exam. If a student is absent on a scheduled exam day, it is up to the instructor whether the student can take the exam online at another time or take it in a paper-pencil form. If a student attempts to access an in-class, online exam while not in the presence of an instructor, the student will receive a zero (0) for that exam and may be permanently dismissed from that course.
- Procedure for make-up tests will be arranged according to the veterinary technician staff. Any student missing a test has one week (some classes vary on this) to make up the test. Make-up tests must be completed during scheduled make-up times or through arrangements with the instructor. The following criteria will be used for the grading of make-up tests:
a. 1st make up test: no grading penalty given.
b. 2nd make up test and any subsequent make up tests: essay test.
- Professional behavior while on a clinical experience is mandatory. This includes being punctual, appropriately dressed and following the rules and expectations of both S southeast Technical College and the establishment you are at.
- For each course with clinical experience sections there will be essential skills to be practiced.
a. These skills will be outlined in the syllabus for the course.
b. The supervisor will need to observe you performing these skills and sign off on them.
- If a student prematurely removes herself or himself from the externship site and/or from their externship duties, a failing grade will occur. If the externship supervisor prematurely dismisses the student from the externship site and/or the externship duties, a failing grade will occur.
APPEARANCE GUIDELINES FOR LABORATORY AND CLINICALS
- Uniform requirements
a. Uniforms must be clean and wrinkle-free, and free of tears or stains.
b. Uniforms must fit properly, not too tight, not too loose to reveal inappropriate anatomy.
c. S students may wear a long or short sleeved solid colored shirt under the uniform scrub top, but the shirt must not hang lower than the scrub top.
d. Appropriate underwear must be worn under the scrub uniform; underwear should not be visible either above the scrub shirt or pants.
e. NO low-rise scrub pants are allowed. Scrub pants must come up to the waist.
f. Scrub pants should be hemmed to insure they do not drag on the floor.
g. Socks or pantyhose must be worn and are the only acceptable leg wear allowed under scrub pants.
h. Shoes—Veterinary Technician students are required to wear solid colored tennis shoes that are close-toed, with a full heel back. No straps or low heel back (clogs) will be allowed.
- Other appearance guidelines for lab and clinicals
a. Hair should be clean, neatly combed and styled so it does not fall forward. Hair shoulder-length or longer must be put up. Bangs longer than eyebrow length must be pinned back.
b. No feathers or non-hair type extensions will be allowed. Hair must be a color that could occur naturally.
c. Men who wear mustaches or beards must keep them neatly trimmed close to the face.
d. A minimum of makeup may be worn.
e. Only wedding bands/engagement rings may be worn for jewelry in lab settings. No facial piercings, long necklaces or dangling earrings allowed.
f. Tattoos must be covered and not visible.
g. Personal cleanliness, use of deodorant and good oral hygiene is expected. No perfume cologne should be worn. There should be no odor from tobacco use.
h. Only clear nail polish is allowed. Nails must be no longer than the tip of the finger. Nails must be clean. No artificial nails are allowed.
i. Tobacco chewing is not allowed. Tobacco use policies of the school and facility must be followed.
j. Students who arrive at lab who do not meet the dress code/uniform requirements may be sent home and receive a zero (0) for the day or lose 50% of their earned clinical grade for that day.
APPEARANCE GUIDELINES FOR CLASSROOM
- Scrubs are not required for lecture classes, but if worn the same guidelines for laboratory are followed.
a. Non-scrub clothes should be clean, free of rips and holes, no foul language and not revealing.
Essential Functions for Veterinary Technology
The field of veterinary technology is both intellectually and physically challenging. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensure that qualified applicants can pursue program admission. However, all students must meet the essential skills and technical standards to perform functions required of the Southeast Technical College Veterinary Technician program and profession. Every student will be held to the same standards and employment upon graduation may be dependent on student’s physical abilities.
Please see a complete description of the required technical standards in the forms/appendix section of this handbook.
Reasonable Disability Accommodations
Request for reasonable accommodations must be initiated by the student. Reasonable accommodations may be provided for students with documented disabilities upon submission of appropriate documentation. Documentation must include the names, titles, professional credentials, license number, addresses, and phone numbers of the medical professionals that evaluated the student as well as the date of the evaluation. The evaluation report must include a summary of the assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a narrative summary of evaluation results. The evaluation must list specific accommodations requested and the rationale for those accommodations. Documentation for eligibility must be current, or within the last three years. The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s specific request for accommodations. Students may be required to re-submit this documentation each semester to allow for review of continuing eligibility for accommodations.
Please contact Nadine Gjerde (email@example.com) with any questions or concerns.
Please see the student handbook for further information in regard to the disability policies at Southeast Technical College.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a disability as a substantial limitation of a major life function. A temporary medical condition does not qualify as a disability and is not covered under the ADA of 1990 or under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act because the extent, duration, and impact of the condition are not permanent. Accommodations may not provide an unfair advantage to the students, fundamentally alter the nature and substance of the curriculum, present an undue hardship for the institution, pose a direct threat to the safety of patients, or compromise the academic integrity of the program. Students may be required to cover the cost of such accommodations and should be aware that a potential employer may not be amenable to use of accommodations that result in undue hardship to the employer. Students receiving accommodations must be aware that these may not be available from a prospective employer. Veterinary practices with small numbers of employees may be exempt from the requirements of the ADA.
Examples of reasonable accommodations that may be available to students that qualify under the ADA for performance of required skills could include the following:
- Amplified stethoscope
- Portable speech amplifier
- Hearing aids
- Clear surgical masks
- Magnifying headsets
- Non-allergenic gloves
- Magnifying microscope monitor
Students are responsible for taking care of themselves while in the Veterinary Technician program. This would include eating healthy, getting enough sleep and having adequate health insurance coverage. Students will potentially be exposed to chemicals, radiation, zoonotic diseases and aggressive animals, and meet the general physical requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to use any and all personal protective gear required for the task. Failure to follow the program guidelines and protocols can result in bodily injury to the students and their classmates.
The following are the program’s policies on pregnancy, zoonosis exposure, radiation exposure, and aggressive animals handling as well as bite/wounds reporting. Since students will be working with large animals and learning in an outdoor environment, you are required to have a current Tetanus toxoid within the last seven years. If your vaccine expires while in the program, it is the student’s responsibility to get a booster to make sure you are covered.
Consistent with legal definitions, the Veterinary Technician program does not consider pregnancy to be an illness or disability. The pregnant student is required to meet all course and Internship objectives and expectations, including the minimum Technical Standards. During the required on-campus and internship activities, the student may be exposed to the following conditions that may pose extra hazards during pregnancy:
- Exposure to radiation
- Exposure to waste anesthetic gases
- Exposure to zoonotic diseases, including Toxoplasmosis
- Exposure to accidental injury due to animal bites, falls, sharp instruments, etc.
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde, chemotherapeutic agents and certain drugs
- Necessity to frequently lift and carry up to 50 pounds, as well as to twist, bend, squat and kneel
- Necessity to stand and walk for long periods of time.
The student is strongly encouraged to notify the Program Director of their pregnancy as soon as practical and to consult with the Program Director and their own personal physician about the risks and demands of the program during pregnancy.
AVMA Position on Veterinary Facility Occupational Risks for Pregnant Workers: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/avma-policies/veterinary-facility-occupational-risks-pregnant-workers
Students may come into contact with some common zoonotic diseases. It is the student’s responsibility to understand the potential diseases they can come into contact and notify an instructor as soon as they are aware of symptoms in themselves or the animals in the program. Please consult the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) to familiarize yourself with the following diseases: Cat Scratch Disease, Intestinal parasites, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease, Psittacosis, Rabies, Ringworm, Salmonellosis, Tetanus, Toxoplasmosis, Tuberculosis and West Nile Virus.
Rabies and Tetanus Vaccinations
Tetanus: Since students will be working with large animals and learning in an outdoor environment, a current Tetanus toxoid within the last seven (7) years is required. If a student’s vaccine expires while in the program, it is the student’s responsibility to get a booster.
Rabies: To comply with requirements set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Southeast Technical College requires all students accepted into the Veterinary Technician program to be vaccinated against rabies. The rabies pre-exposure vaccination will be administered through on-campus vaccination clinics on 9/21/23 and 9/28/23. Students must attend both clinics to receive both required shots. If a student misses a vaccination clinic, they will need to work with their program instructors to arrange makeup vaccinations at their own expense.
X-ray exposure presents a risk to anyone taking radiographic imaging. The effects of radiation exposure over the career of a Veterinary Technician is cumulative, so the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) policy should always be followed. Students are required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment and a dosimeter badge when taking radiographs in laboratories courses and at clinical sites.
Person Hygiene and Infection Prevention
- Hand Washing
Employees/students should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of each class, prior to or after any mealtimes, after using the restroom, and after handling each patient and/or their belonging. The use of hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is considered an acceptable alternative to hand washing, but at Southeast Technical College, we would prefer basic hand washing.
For more information on proper hand washing, please review the CDC Hand Washing Video: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html.
- Respiratory Etiquette: Cover Your Cough or Sneeze
Employees and students should be wearing a facemask, but in rare situations, it may be acceptable to remove the facemask. In these cases, employees and students should cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Employees and students should avoid touching their face, in particular their facemask, mouth, nose, and eyes, at all times. Used tissues should be disposed of in the garbage.
- Employee/Student Health Screening and Disclosure
Every STC Veterinary Technician program staff and student must be screened for illness at the beginning of each day. Fever or any other signs of illness must be disclosed to the manager(s) on site. All employees/students should check their temperature prior to starting their shift if suspicious of illness. If your temperature is greater than 100.0 F and/or you are exhibiting any signs of illness, please alert a manager and either stay home or leave the premises if already on-site.
Symptoms of illness to include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
At this time, we are relying on our employees and students to verbally disclose this information, but in the future, we may require a written questionnaire to be completed at the beginning of each shift. Any change in protocol will be communicated to the entire staff and students in the program.
Any personal health information is confidential between the employee and management as per HIPPA regulations. This information should never be discussed amongst the team unless the employee gives express permission to do so. However, if a coworker is positive for an infection,this general information must be conveyed to the remainder of the team. While confidentiality is protected and the employee’s identifying information will not be shared, we are a small facility, and it is important to understand that coworkers may make assumptions based on circumstances.
Employees who are leaving their shift or are staying at home due to illness should alert management as soon as possible.
Student Veterinary Technician Resources
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF VETERINARY TECHNICIANS (NAVTA)
NAVTA welcomes anyone in the veterinary industry, including credentialed veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, veterinarians, educators, and students. How can NAVTA help you?
NAVTA serves as the voice for the profession within the field, with tie-ins to AVMA and AAVSB allowing us to voice our positions and influence policy and regulation. The NAVTA Journal connects veterinary technicians (VT) around the world through state updates and provides information on current issues, up-to-date knowledge, and CE credits through its articles.
NAVTA is the governing body of Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) academies, helping elevate the profession through the establishment of VTS disciplines. NAVTA is also the governing body of the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) programs, helping delineate tasks between veterinary assistants and Credentialed Veterinary Technicians.
- NAVTA offers $35 student memberships.
- Provides abundant resources for veterinary technician students.
VETERINARY SUPPORT PERSONNEL NETWORK (VSPN)
This site is built with the veterinary technician in mind. You must register prior to use but it is FREE!
VSPN contains an extensive reference library, listings of online CE including VSPN’s live online rounds, message boards, resources for managing your hospital, and much more.
VetMedTeam.com has been around for over 10 years and is dedicated to furthering your veterinary career through continuing education. VetMed Team offers an abundance of online RACE-approved CE courses centered on veterinary technicians, veterinarians, and practice managers.
Most of the courses are FREE and accessible to anyone across the globe. You must create a member profile prior to use.
Veterinary Technician Technical Standards Form