By Rachel Giordano
The Veterinary Technology program at Pensacola State College (PSC) hosted an open house to the public on Nov. 8, 2018, at the Warrington campus from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The open house was complete with a tour of the facility, as well as visiting the animals and wildlife on site.
Veterinary Technology is a two-year, full-time program at PSC, with graduates earning an associate in science (AS) degree upon completion. The state of the art facility trains students how to encounter any type of medical issue involving animals with a hands-on approach. Students gain the knowledge of animal behavior, clinical procedures, anesthesia, laboratory diagnostics, medical and surgical nursing, radiology, dentistry and also office and practice management.
After completing the program, students will have the knowledge of every kind of machine and equipment used during their training. The facility is run by credentialed veterinary technicians and licensed doctors of veterinary medicine.
Veterinary technicians play an important role and are dedicated to animal health and well-being.
Gena Medley, a second year student in the program said, “Anything they would have in an actual clinic, we will have here.”
The program takes a lot of hard work, studying and dedication, but in the end, it “pays off,” Ashley Arneson, second year student said. “You have to love what you do.”
Arneson used to be a kennel technician with a love for animals and wants to be a certified farmer kennel tech. She has been around animals all her life. “It’s worth it,” Arneson said about the program.
Not only does the program train future veterinary techs, it also cares for animals in local shelters. Students use them for practice, such as providing nail trims, dental cleanings, grooming and baths.
“We are trying to get them adopted,” Medley said.
By providing these services to the animals, the chances of the animals becoming adopted rise.
If you were lucky enough to tour the facility during the open house, then you were lucky enough to meet some interesting wildlife.
Pogo, a bearded dragon, put on the charm while Medley held her, showing her off to the visitors.
Maggie, a blue and gold macaw parrot, was content on the shoulder of an instructor, greeting the visitors while she allowed her neck to be rubbed.
Landlord, a gopher tortoise who loves blueberries, made his rounds greeting visitors, as well.
Staff was on hand to educate about the different wildlife. If you didn’t know about gopher tortoises, you left with the knowledge that they share their burrows with over 350 different species, including burrowing owls, mice, snakes, rabbits, just to name a few. They are a keystone species and play an important role in our ecosystem.
The gopher tortoise leaves unique patterns in the sand, so much so that astronauts are able to spot them from space.
Veterinary technician jobs are expected to grow 19 percent nationally through 2024. If you love animals and have a passion for animal care, this could be the career for you. You can rest assured that you will be receiving the best training with state of the art equipment and dedicated licensed doctors at the Warrington campus.
If you are interested in the program, you can contact the PSC Veterinary Technology program at 850-471-4673.