Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local News

July 8, 2011

SWGTC to introduce vet tech program

THOMASVILLE — Starting fall semester, which begins Aug. 22, Southwest Georgia Technical College will debut a new Veterinary Technology Program to the over 80 programs already offered. This program will consist of a sequence of courses designed to prepare students for careers in the field of veterinary technology. In this field, the technicians perform many of the same duties for a veterinarian that a nurse would for a physician, like prepping patients, collecting samples, performing medical tests, etc. Most veterinary technicians work under the supervision of a veterinarian in a private clinical practice, but there are also opportunities to work in research-related jobs, zoos, aquariums, humane societies/rescue missions, etc. These positions also allow the employee to work with either small domesticated animals or large non-domestic animals.

“We are very excited that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, has approved Southwest Georgia Technical College to begin offering our new programs in veterinary technology for this upcoming fall semester. Since these programs are not offered at many institutions in our part of the state, we feel these offerings will really be meeting a need in our service delivery area and surrounding areas. The approval of these programs is also very timely as they will be housed in our new Health Science Building that will be opening this August for the fall semester,” said SWGTC President Craig Wentworth, Ed.D.

The program’s curriculum will be delivered in accordance with the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technical Education and Activities accreditation guidelines. Within this program there will be the option to graduate with either an Associate of Applied Science degree or a Technical Certificate of Credit. Program graduates who receive the Associate of Applied Science degree, which can be completed in six semesters, are eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination. They are also qualified to apply for credentials as a Registered Veterinary Technician in the state of Georgia. The Veterinary Technician Assistant Certificate program, which can be completed in three semesters, provides educational opportunities to individuals that will enable them to obtain knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for an entry-level position in veterinary assisting. Graduates are prepared to assist veterinarians and veterinary technicians in providing quality animal health care including obtaining and recording patient information, preparing patients, instruments and equipment for surgery; collecting samples and performing certain laboratory procedures; dressing wounds; assisting in diagnostic, medical, and surgical procedures; exposing and developing diagnostic radiographs; communicating with animal owners; and feeding and caring for animals.

“I am very excited to hear that the program is approved. I think this is a boon for south Georgia to be able to offer this program close to home and it will help veterinarians in our surrounding area be more able to employ trained and licensed techs. Veterinarians across the state are in need of trained staff members,” said local veterinarian Dr. Beckey Malphus of Clanton, Malphus, Hodges Veterinary Hospital.

The United States Department of Labor projects that the field of Veterinary Technology will grow by 36 percent by 2018. They also expect that there will be keen competition for jobs in zoos and aquariums.

The veterinary technology students will be trained in SWGTC’s newly constructed 52,418 square foot Health Science Building to be completed in August. This building includes 5,753 square feet of space dedicated to the Veterinary Technology programs. In this space there will be a classroom, laboratory, reception and waiting area, kennels, isolation rooms, treatment room, and two faculty offices.

For information call Carla Barrow at (229) 225-5077.

SWGTC offers more than 80 certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Many of these programs provide training for some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including Nursing, Automotive Technology, Clinical Laboratory Technology, and Criminal Justice Technology. More information may be obtained by calling 229-225-4096 or by logging onto

Southwest Georgia Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

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