Applications are now being accepted for the new registered veterinary technician (RVT) program at Allan Hancock College. The two-semester program begins fall semester 2013, with classes held in the evenings and on Saturdays.
“Until now there was no place on the Central Coast for veterinary assistants to learn the necessary skills to become a registered veterinary technician,” said Richard Seidenberg, DVM, instructor and coordinator of the RVT program at Hancock. “There is a big demand for this program.”
The new program will provide the education requirements needed to become a registered veterinary technician under the Alternate Route eligibility category of the California Veterinary Medical Board. Because of the five-year timeline for both educational and clinical experience required by the Veterinary Medical Board, it is highly recommended that applicants be currently employed as veterinary assistants before applying to the RVT program.
During the two-semester program, students will be led through a hands-on curriculum designed to enhance their working knowledge and technical skills. In addition to dental care, radiography, anesthesia and surgical assisting, students will learn more specific skills such as suturing techniques and applying casts and splints.
“A veterinary technician has more education and hands-on training and can be entrusted with more responsibility,” Seidenberg explained. “The benefit to veterinarians is a more highly skilled staff and a more efficient practice.”
In addition to increased responsibility, registered veterinary technicians can expect a pay increase of up to 20 to 30 percent over a veterinary assistant, Seidenberg said. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010, there is an expected 52 percent growth rate in employment over the next 10 years for registered veterinary technicians.