April 23, 2024

Register for Veterinary Assistant Class

veterinary assistant program CSM

College of Southern Maryland Veterinary Assistant Program lab instructor Meg Hamilton, back, looks on as student Regina Baker practices sterile gowning and gloving techniques. The first of five courses in the 10-month program begins Aug. 23.

Registration is now open for the College of Southern Maryland’s veterinary assistant program, and this 10-month training will get students on the path to a career in this fast-growing field. The program begins in August and is completed with five classes, taking less than a year.

“The CSM Veterinary Assistant Program gets students into the field quickly,” said Shaunda Holt, program coordinator for adults in the college’s Personal Enrichment Department.

The vet assistant program has been available at CSM for 17 years. In 2015, the program expanded and now ends with a veterinary assistant continuing education certificate from the college. Students fill out a no-cost application for the certificate.

“This certificate will afford students ‘better than a foot in the door’ opportunities for employment at laboratories, veterinary hospitals, and animal sanctuaries,” Ms. Holt said.

The lab portion of the program opened on the La Plata campus last year, offering hands-on experience for students in conjunction with the lecture portion offered since 1999.

Jobs in the field of veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers are projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations, and the median annual wage in the field was $24,360 in May 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Veterinary assistants feed and water animals, provide routine post-operative care, disinfect cages and work areas, sterilize equipment, and administer medication. Veterinary technicians have knowledge of the medical equipment (such as X-ray machines, heart machines, etc.), prepare and restrain animals during procedures, administer inoculations, suture and dress wounds, and advise pet owners on proper care. Veterinarians perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Besides preparing serums for prevention of diseases, a veterinarian assistant prepares tissue samples, takes blood samples, and executes lab tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts.

The first course in the program is SCI-7090 Veterinary Assistant Preparation Course and will be offered 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Aug. 23-30 at the La Plata campus in the Community Education Building, Room CE 101. To register and for more information, visit here.

Students must successfully pass the prep course to move on to the rest of the vet assistant series.
The continuing education certificate also consists of these courses, which must be taken in order:

SCI-7100 Veterinary Assistant I: Client Relations and Exam Room Procedures

SCI-7110 Veterinary Assistant II: Diagnostic/Pharmacy

SCI-7120 Veterinary Assistant III: Patient Care and Nursing

SCI-7130 Veterinary Assistant IV: Surgery, Anesthesia, and Emergency Care

For information on the course, email [email protected] or call 301-539-4760.

For a complete listing of continuing education courses, including course descriptions, visit here.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit their Leader member page.

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