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October 12, 2017 | 8:39 am

Johnson College Veterinary Technology Ranked #5 Nationally

Dr. Kimberly Mah, veterinarian; Kimberly Konopka, ’07, department chair of veterinary technology; Barbara Byrne, assistant director of faculty; and Amanda Melnyk, ’09, veterinary technology instructor. Missing from photo – Jolynn Lawler, ’07, veterinary technology instructor.

Johnson College is proud to announce that it has been ranked at #5 in the Top 50 Veterinary Technician Programs by thebestcolleges.org. According to its website, “The listed vet tech programs are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and prepare graduates to take the necessary exams for certification or licensure. The programs lead to an associate degree, which requires completing general education courses in addition to veterinary classes.” The ranking places Johnson College on the map, just behind Purdue University, the University of New Hampshire, and two schools from the State University of New York system. This is a huge honor for Johnson College as its program was established in 1994.

Additionally, the College will recognize National Veterinary Technician Week from October 15-21. This annual event, organized by The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), recognizes veterinary nurses and technicians for their contributions in pet healthcare, as well as veterinarians, assistants, practice managers, and others involved in pet care.

The Veterinary Technology program at Johnson College prepares students to join an animal-care team as entry-level technicians.  Technicians collect samples, perform lab tests, take radiographs, prepare the surgical suite, assist in surgery, monitor anesthesia, provide general nursing care to patients, and assume other clinical duties.  Second-year students complete clinical rotations in the Animal Care Center, a pet wellness center on the campus of Johnson College.  A five-week internship or cooperative education experience at an approved site must be completed after the last semester of the second year to complete the degree requirements.  The program prepares students to become Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVT) upon passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).

The hands- on experience for students begins in week one and continues through their two years of study. Throughout four semesters of classes, students gain experience in equine and bovine facilities, the on-campus rodent colony, on-campus canine and feline colony, and experience working with public customers at the Animal Care Center on campus.

The success of the program has landed many graduates at reputable animal care centers. Some of the employers of our students include Memorial Veterinary Hospital of Old Forge, Northeast Veterinary Referral Hospital, Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center, Endless Mountain Veterinary Center, Leighow Veterinary Hospital, Bloomsburg Veterinary Hospital, Inc., and Banfield Pet Hospital. Additionally, it has led to careers working with reptiles in zoos as well as in research.

Kimberly Konopka, ’07, Program Director of Veterinary Technology at Johnson College said, “We strive to provide the most up to date educational experience for our veterinary technology students and we take pride in their success.” Konopka also mentioned that all of the instructors in the program are graduates of Johnson College. “It is important that we share our knowledge from working in animal hospitals with the next generation of technicians,” she added.

The instructors spend their summers working in the field. Konopka said, “it is important that we keep our skills sharp and continue to educate ourselves on new techniques and changing technology.” Staff members attended the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education & Activities conference in New Mexico this summer to improve their skills in educating the veterinary technology student. The bi-annual conference is held specifically for educators in this field.

For more information on how you can enroll in the Veterinary Technology Program, please click here.

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