Veterinary Technician

Post-Secondary Programs
Credential Earned: College Diploma (2 Year)
Campus: Haileybury
Program Length: 4 Semesters

Program Codes
H058 (HL) – Haileybury Campus

Animal lovers wanted for a lifetime of quality care

Northern’s Veterinary Technician program is an accredited two-year diploma that will set you up for a front-line job at a zoo, animal shelter, research facility, and beyond.

You’ll learn how to manage a veterinary practice. You’ll acquire the expertise to counsel clients about optimal pet nutrition. And you’ll become a pro at measuring vital signs, performing basic exams, and administering meds as prescribed by a vet.

Along the way, you’ll also learn to recognize the behavioural signs of small animals, and even explore nursing, lab work, anesthesia, surgical assistance, prophylactic dental procedures, and more.

The result? You’ll graduate with the handling skills and know-how you need to become a confident member of any animal care team.

Students will learn to perform basic patient examination, collect data on vital signs, administer medications and prepare pharmaceuticals as prescribed by a veterinarian. They will explore anesthesia, animal nursing, surgical assistance, dental prophylactic procedures, diagnostic laboratory work and tests, such as blood chemistries, culture and sensitivity, and electrocardiograms. This program covers veterinary practice management skills including computer applications, recognizing behavioral signs of small animals and educating and counseling clients in the area of pet nutrition.

Completing our program positions you well to become a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). You can learn more about what an RVT is and what RVTs do from the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technician’s website at https://oavt.org/about/what-is-an-rvt/.

Important Information for Graduates
A limited number of spots are available for graduates of Northern College’s Veterinary Assistant or Animal Grooming programs. Graduates of those programs that wish to apply to the Veterinary Technician / Technology program must have – in addition to the usual requirements for direct entry from high school – a 75 percent minimum average (3.0 GPA) upon graduation from Veterinary Assistant or Animal Grooming programs. Applicants will be assessed according to highest academic achievement in their program.

Career Opportunities
Graduates may find employment as veterinary technicians working in public or private zoos and animal shelters, or with federal and provincial governments. They may also work as sales representatives for veterinary companies, pet food stores, etc.

 

Contact Information

Kellie Broderick
Program Assistant, School of Veterinary Sciences
705-672-3376 ext. 8854
vetsciences@northern.on.ca

Admission Requirements

Program Specific Requirements

Veterinary Technical Requirements

 

Admission Requirements

We strongly encourage applicants to obtain 20 hours of volunteer work in a veterinary hospital or clinic wherever possible, but we recognize Covid-19 disruptions adds some challenges to finding this experience.  It is not a firm requirement, but we encourage it since work experience will be an advantage to program applicants. It helps you better understand your own interests and “fit” within our range of veterinary sciences programs and the tasks that graduates are called upon to perform in their duties.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Grade 12 English (C, U)
Grade 12 Math (C, U)
Grade 12 Chemistry (C, U)
Grade 11 Biology (C, U)
Minimum 60% GPA required in all pre-requisite courses
Or equivalent

Or mature student status (an applicant who does not have a high school diploma or equivalent, and will have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program). Mature students must undergo academic testing prior to admission into a program. Call the Admissions Office at 705-235-7222 for more details. Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through Academic Upgrading.

Additional Admissions Requirements

  • Proficiency in word processing recommended
  • Rabies vaccine series and titre prior to start of program (at student’s expense)
  • Some experience in a veterinary clinic or hospital is considered an asset

This program is oversubscribed. Please apply by February 1st.

International Admission Requirements

1. Proof of Senior High School Diploma/Certificate

2. English Proficiency (we will require one of the following):

  • IELT Academic International English Language Testing System: a minimum overall score of 6.0 must be achieved with no individual band score under 6.0; however, we will accept one band at 5.5.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Computer-based overall minimum score of 79
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic – Graduate Diploma: 58+

CO-OP Work Permit is mandatory for this program to participate in unpaid program placements.

If your country of citizenship has English as its official language, we may accept alternate proof of English Proficiency.

All educational documents must be submitted in English and will be dependent on the country of citizenship.

For more information, please contact admissions@northern.on.ca.

Additional Information

Important Information for Graduates

A limited number of spots are available for graduates of Northern College’s Veterinary Assistant or Animal Grooming programs. Graduates of those programs that wish to apply to the Veterinary Technician / Technology program must have – in addition to the usual requirements for direct entry from high school – a 75 percent minimum average (3.0 GPA) upon graduation from Veterinary Assistant or Animal Grooming programs. Applicants will be assessed according to highest academic achievement in their program.

Key Factors for Your Success in this Program

  • Ready to spend two hours of studying outside of class for each hour of instruction? 20-25 hours/week? There is a lot to learn!
  • Strong math, basic sciences and English language skills? Students who have not taken higher level (university, university/college) courses in secondary school tend to have more difficulty with the program.
  • Able to manage time and work well?
  • Able to take direction and accomplish tasks efficiently?
  • Able to work with others as a member of a team and in a leadership role?
  • Able to combine compassion, knowledge and dedication to provide quality animal nursing care?
  • A good communicator with the interpersonal skills to develop professional relationships with coworkers and clientele?
  • Able to lift and carry up to 25kg, work in a physically demanding environment and stand for long periods of time?
  • Comfortable working in an environment where you may be assisting or performing medically invasive procedures, and dealing with animal bodily fluids, lab specimens etc.?
  • Experienced in the field? While not necessary for admission, exposure to work carried out in a veterinary clinic helps students realistically understand whether this program – or our Veterinary Assistant or Animal Grooming programs are a better fit for them

Northern College is a certified member of the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. Our graduates are eligible to write the OAVT registration examination. A limited number of spots are available for graduates of Northern College’s Veterinary Assistant or Animal Grooming programs.

Our Veterinary Technician program is accredited by:

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association OAVT Accredited College The College of Veterinarians

Semester 1
GN1083 Managing for Success

The course is designed to help students gain insights and skills to promote personal and professional development. Students will develop an understanding of how they manage their lives and incorporate skills to maximize their strengths and reduce the impact of less effective techniques. Students will learn about resources that are available to them and the intelligence of accessing additional support when needed. The content of this course provides students with the opportunity to lay a foundation for lifelong learning; learn to communicate effectively, build and value productive and satisfying diverse relationships and prepare for the challenges and rewards that make life meaningful.

VA1001 Animal Behaviour

Animal care providers often handle animals with behaviour problems. They must know what advice to give and when to refer the problem to the veterinarian. The technician/assistant/groomer must also know the procedure involved in referral to a behavioural specialist and/or an obedience trainer.

VA1043 Client Relations

This one semester course is designed for the Animal Grooming, Veterinary Assistant, Veterinary Technician and the Veterinary Technology programs. The course is designed to look at their role in the daily operation of a veterinary practice. The course will include sections on customer service, telephone skills, and welcoming skills, confrontation and conflict resolution. The course will assist students in becoming more comfortable assisting clients through the grief cycle. There will be a component on Client Communication utilizing both oral and written communication in the veterinary practice. This course will have a self-directed on line grammar component. This course will enable the students to practice the skills required for effective work in client relations.

VT1005 Laboratory Procedures and Techniques

This course is an introduction to laboratory procedures and practice. Students will become familiar with tests commonly and most frequently used in the veterinary laboratory. Students will acquire the proper techniques to perform tests and learn the significance of test results. An understanding of what is considered normal or abnormal will become clear. A large segment of time will be used to become familiar with quality control and the significance of its use. Hematology, sterilization, disinfection and aseptic techniques will be of special focus.

RE1011 Kennel Duty I

This course will prepare the student to function in a veterinary environment. Students will provide care for the animals owned by Northern College. The use of Standard Operating Procedures will assist the student. The Veterinary Science facility simulates the professional environment and enables the students to learn the skills necessary to function as a productive team member.

VT1013 Clinical Studies I

This course is an introduction to the responsibilities of a veterinary technician working in a clinic. It begins by emphasizing safety for both the animal and handler in applying appropriate physical restraint. Students are alerted to other common hazards of the profession, such as those found in anesthesia, radiology and zoonosis. Further areas of study include: taking the history, conducting a physical examination, keeping medical records, animal identification, skin and coat care, vaccination and parasite control In this course, students learn veterinary terminology so they can communicate with other members of the veterinary team and understand the literature of the profession. The course delineates the different roles for veterinarians, technicians and assistants on the veterinary team and discusses professional organizations that determine the scope of practice for each. Students are made aware of the continuing education opportunities open to graduate technicians.

VT1023 Clinical Calculations I

This first calculations course focuses on mathematical principles, dimensional analysis including unit conversions and the fundamentals of solutions and concentrations. Application from nursing and the veterinary sciences are explored to show where and how mathematical techniques are required in a lab setting.

VT1032 Necropsy Lab (A&PI)

This course is a practical lab that will allow the students to gain hands on experience enhancing the knowledge that they have acquired in Anatomy and Physiology I. The students will learn why and how necropsies are performed and also have a chance to practice sample collection of specimens. The course will use multiple modalities such as cadavers, individual specimens and necropsy manikins (Syndavers).

VT1034 Animal Anatomy and Physiology I

This introductory course begins with the basic principles of living matter and evolves to consider the mammalian body and how it works. While the focus is on the domestic dog and cat, comparative differences between small animals and livestock are covered. By the end of the course, the student has covered the following body systems- integumentary, skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory and digestive.

VT2032 Clinical Exercises I

This course is designed to give students the practical skills required to function as veterinary technicians in a clinical environment. Each student will be part of a group that has the responsibility of monitoring hospitalized patients on a daily basis.

Semester 2
VT1012 Animal Nutrition and Digestion

The comparative anatomy and physiology of the digestive systems of domestic animals will be studied. The nutritional requirements of the animal in health and disease with respect to proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins and minerals will be discussed. The course will cover feeding procedures and feeds for dogs, cats, cattle and horses.

VT2005 Laboratory Procedures and Techniques II

This course is a continuation of Laboratory Procedures and Techniques I. Students will study clinical chemistry, urinalysis, and cytology while practicing the techniques taught in the first semester. Special care will be placed on understanding the consequence of failure to report accurate results. Confidence limits will be stressed. The final exam for this semester will include material from the first and second semesters.

VT2011 Kennel Duty II

This course will prepare the student to function in a veterinary environment. Students will provide care for the animals owned by Northern College. The use of Standard Operating Procedures will assist the student. The Veterinary Science facility simulates the professional environment and enables the students to learn the skills necessary to function as a productive team member.

VT2033 Clinical Studies II

The role of veterinary professionals in managing behaviour problems of dogs and cats will be examined. The course includes discussion of ways to prevent and treat behavioural problems, as well as the appropriate procedure for referring clients who desire resolution of their animal’s behavioural problems. Common problems such as house training, destructive scratching in cats and destructive chewing in dogs are covered. An in depth discussion of anesthesia and analgesia completes the course.

VT2034 Anatomy and Physiology II

A continuation of Anatomy and Physiology I, this course continues with the study of the major body systems, from the nervous system to the reproductive systems. The unifying themes of the interrelationships of body organ system, homeostasis, and the complementary nature of structure and function will provide the basis for understanding the workings of the human body.

VT2051 Field Placement I

The field placement course provides a valuable opportunity for students to experience a veterinary practice first hand. The field placement also permits students to demonstrate and practice their theoretical knowledge, values and skills taught in the classroom and to be evaluated on those competencies. This field placement course provides an opportunity for students to apply and consolidate their education from the first and second semesters of their program of study.

VT2052 Clinical Exercises II

In this competency-based course, students build upon previously acquired skills and increase their efficiency and understanding. While functioning as part of a group, students participate in physical examinations, intramuscular, subcutaneous and intravenous injection techniques, restraint of small animal patients, surgical preparations, anal gland expression, enema administration and taking blood. Students are marked on skill and willingness to participate.

VT2053 Animal Anatomy and Physiology II

The course is a continuation of Animal Anatomy and Physiology I. Together, these courses are designed to give veterinary technician students a fundamental understanding of the parts of the body, how the parts are assembled into body systems and how these systems are controlled and relate to each other. This course completes the study of the body by examining special senses, as well as endocrine, renal, reproductive and immune systems.

VT2073 Clinical Calculations II

This is the second calculations course focusing on drug dosage calculations. The learner will perform calculations to reconstitute drugs, determine dosages based on body weight and body surface area and in the administration of intravenous drugs. Applications from nursing and the veterinary sciences are explored to show where and how mathematical techniques are required in a lab setting.

VT2083 Radiology I

In this course students study the parts and function of x-ray machines, the formation and properties of x-rays, the principles of image formation, radio graphic techniques and radio graphic processing. Standard views and radio graphic anatomy will be studied. Students will be provided with the knowledge required to obtain quality diagnostic radio graphs of small animals. The dangers of radiation and how to avoid radiation injury will be outlined.

VT4093 Dentistry I

This course is intended to be comprehensive, bringing students from relatively little knowledge in veterinary dentistry to a practical working knowledge. The course will include sections on oral examination and disease recognition, dental instruments and equipment, anesthesia and pathogens.

Semester 3
General Education Elective

General Education Courses are selected online each semester by the student from a list provided and exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline. Certain programs have predetermined electives. 

GN1011 Employment Preparation

This course will enable the students to become familiar with specific employment requirements for their field of interest. The students will also have the opportunity to learn how to self-market for job finding, as well as how to maximize their potential for success in an interview situation.

VT1001 Registered Veterinary Technician Prep I

This course consists of weekly study sessions to help graduating students prepare to challenge their professional registry examination, the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). The content reflects the practice domains covered by the VTNE. It is recognized that acquisition of medical vocabulary is essential in answering many VTNE questions, as is proficiency in basic mathematical calculations. Students will review strategies considered helpful in taking multiple choice tests.

VT2042 Management Technology

The purpose of this course is to develop the skills necessary to effectively use computer programs specific to the veterinary environment. This course will give the student practical skills on specialized veterinary software packages such as AVImark and Impromed. Students will be able to set up files for new clients and/or new patients. They will know how to bill for services and products, print appropriate certificates as well as prescription labels. Accepting payments will be practiced.

VT3005 Laboratory Procedures and Techniques III

This course is a continuation of Laboratory Procedures and Techniques I and II. A review of health and safety standards will help to ensure student’s well being and safety. Parasitology, virology and immunology will be stressed. Abnormal hematology and chemistry cases will be reviewed to provide continuing development of laboratory expertise. The final exam for this semester will cover material from the first two semesters as well as the third semester.

VT3022 Laboratory Animal

Students will explore the world of the laboratory animal. Students will learn nursing care and husbandry theory and apply this knowledge to the following species: rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs.

VT3031 Kennel Duty III

This course is a continuation of Kennel Duty I and II. The student will be responsible for the administration of medications, care and where required, bandaging of the kennel animals.

VT3032 Clinical Exercises III

This course is designed to give students the chance to build on skills already introduced in the first two courses in the Clinical Exercises series.

VT3053 Surgical Exercises I

This course is a practical training session for veterinary technicians to become familiar with anesthesia and surgical procedures. There is a heavy emphasis on supervised hands on experience. The class is divided into small groups for better supervision and learning. Each group is responsible for taking a patient from the preoperative examination and laboratory evaluation through to patient recovery and return to the owner.

VT3063 Pharmaceutical Principles I

This is the first of two courses which together provide a comprehensive review of important groups of drugs used in veterinary medicine. The course begins with general aspects of pharmacology such as the sources of drugs, their modes of action, dosage forms and pharmacokinetics but progresses to discuss in detail those drugs which are used to correct disorders in specific body systems. The student is introduced to specific legislation affecting the storage and dispensing of pharmaceuticals.

VT3083 Radiology II

This course offers students the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge obtained in Radiology I. Students will be placed in small groups and expected to take x-rays using all safety techniques and guidelines as demonstrated by the professor. Students will be evaluated on their professionalism and the quality of the x-rays produced.

VT3093 Clinical Studies III

The veterinary technician student will learn to prepare patients for surgery, and describe how to utilize surgical instruments and equipment. The student will understand the theory of setting up and controlling the surgical site and its environment. Students will be introduced to scrubbing in to assist the veterinarian in surgery. The student will learn how to properly open and handle surgical packs, and suture material. The student will learn the theory of maintaining a sterile environment without causing contamination. The student will learn how to carry out postoperative care, monitoring and final client instructions. Students will learn how to assess, treat, and stabilize an emergency situation by telephone or in the clinic. The student will study how to speak to clients and what procedures are to be carried out in specific emergency situations- bandaging procedures, wound care and when to apply splints, casts and other external supports.

VT3133 Veterinary Technician Surgery

This course is designed to provide practical training for students to become familiar with surgical procedures and to practice dental prophylaxis and anaesthetics learned in lectures. Students will carry out procedures at a veterinary clinic for one 3-hour period once every third week during the semester. The sessions are set up to mirror the normal procedures the veterinary technician student will encounter after graduation. The surgical procedures performed by the students are in keeping with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association guidelines.

VT4075 Large Animal Medicine

This course considers the basic maintenance and care of large animals. Management techniques for the equine, bovine, ovine and porcine species are considered. The emphasis is on health related issues. The objective is to introduce the student to the large animal industry production practices. The care of the newborn and common disease prevention protocols is discussed.

Semester 4
GN1443 Canadian Indigenous History & Relations

This general education course will provide students with an introduction to Canadian Indigenous Nations’ history, sovereignty, land titles, cultural history and current critical issues. Topics addressed include the content of aboriginal rights, economic and social development, community and political processes, and business law and policies, justice & social services.

VT4000 Field Placement II

Students will be expected to spend four weeks at the clinic where they have arranged placement. The clinic must be able to provide the necessary work experiences. It is expected that students will perform the duties regularly expected of a new graduate with the same experience level. This will give students the opportunity to experience clinic life, and then return to school to apply the newly gained knowledge and expertise to their schoolwork.

VT4005 Laboratory Procedures and Techniques IV

This is the final course in the Laboratory Procedures and Techniques series. The disciplines of microbiology and mycology will be taught in this semester. Additional time will be allocated to develop student’s proficiency in all areas of lab techniques. The final exam in this semester will include material from all four semesters.

VT4011 Kennel Duty IV

This course will prepare the student to function in a veterinary environment. Students will provide care for the colony animals housed at Northern College. The use of Standard Operating Procedures will assist the student. The Veterinary Science facility simulates the professional environment and enables the students to learn the skills necessary to function as a productive team member.

VT4021 Registered Veterinary Technician Prep II

The course prepares students to challenge their national professional examination and become registered veterinary technicians.

VT4033 Surgical Exercises II

This course is a continuation of the practical training for veterinary technicians to become familiar with surgical procedures. Students practice their skills while participant in a surgical team. New procedures that were not previously covered in Surgical Exercises I are added. The class is divided into small working groups to allow an optimum supervisor to student ratio. Each team is responsible for taking a patient from pre-surgical examination and laboratory screening through to patient recovery and return to the owner. Routine veterinary procedures are practiced under anesthesia.

VT4042 Clinical Exercises IV

This is the final course in the Clinical Exercises series. The students will be marked on their willingness to attempt the techniques practices in the course as well as the quality of their performance. Case studies will be introduced and each student will have the opportunity to participate in the investigative processes in an attempt to aid the veterinarian in finding a diagnosis.

VT4063 Pharmaceutical Principles II

This course is a continuation of Pharmaceutical Principles I. Together these courses are designed to give veterinary technician students a fundamental understanding of general aspects of pharmacology, while covering in more detail specific classes of drugs that are important in veterinary medicine such as microbials, anesthetics and antiparasitics.

VT4113 Radiology III

This course is a continuation of Radiology II. Each student will be assigned to a small group and this group will be expected to carry out the x-ray techniques as requested. Students will be marked on the quality of the x-ray film as well as their professional conduct.

VT4123 Dentistry II

This course gives the student the opportunity to practice the skills needed to perform dentistry. The knowledge gained in Dentistry I will be put into practice. Students will be marked on their best knowledge of instruments, techniques, and their willingness to attempt the skills demonstrated by the professor.

VT4143 Clinical Studies IV

This course is a continuation of the series of clinical studies courses which prepare students for work. The course deals with many aspects of small animal nursing care, ranging from the needs of neonatal patients requiring intensive care to the needs of senior patients with chronic conditions such as oncology patients. The course deals with nursing procedures; fluid therapy, blood transfusions, oxygen therapy, nutritional support of hospitalized patients, skin care and physiotherapy. The care and management of caged birds and exotic pets is also examined. There is a brief overview of advanced imaging technologies such as ultrasound and endoscopy.

VT4153 Wildlife and Exotics

This course is designed to introduce students to the world of wildlife rehabilitation and exotic animal care. Students will experience some hands on care to compliment classroom theory.

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