Graduates of this program have the skills needed to properly feed, house, handle and restrain animals, and take heart and respiratory rates and temperatures. The veterinary assistant will be trained to give oral and topical medications, as well as learn veterinary office procedures including prescription filling and financial transactions. Those who earn this diploma will be able to obtain samples for and run basic veterinary lab tests, take x-rays, and prepare patients, and supplies, for surgery. Successful completion of the Veterinary Assistant technical diploma program gives students the option to continue their education and apply their 36-credit diploma towards a 70-credit Veterinary Technician associate degree.
The Veterinary Technician associate degree program prepares students to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), which they will be eligible to take upon graduation from the associate degree program. With a passing score, graduates may apply for credentials from the state of Wisconsin as a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT). Graduates are prepared to obtain patient history and perform the initial physical exam, place intravenous catheters and give injectable medications, anesthetize and monitor patients, and assist in surgery for both large and small animals. The veterinary technician is trained to do dental cleanings on dogs and cats and can handle care for rats, mice, rabbits and birds. Additionally, veterinary technicians are qualified to apply bandages and splints, as well as evaluate lab samples under the microscope.
Gateway is only the second college in the 16-college Wisconsin Technical College system to host a vet tech program. Gateway has both a Veterinary Assistant technical diploma and a Veterinary Technician associate degree program. Students learn in a professional setting in a self-contained building, which features collaborative learning spaces and simulates a working veterinary facility for optimum learning. The treatment area, exam room, diagnostic imaging area and surgical suite contain equipment that veterinary assistants and technicians will use in the field.