Veterinary Technician

Tuition and FeesSecond Career

Program Title: Veterinary Technician
Credential Earned: Ontario College Diploma
Delivery: Full Time
Program Length: 4 Semesters
Program Status: Closed

Program Codes
Program codes are for September intakes except those that are indicated differently.
NORT – H058 (HL) Haileybury Campus

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.

Program Specific Information and Forms
Below are requirements or forms that have to be completed before the start of the semester or the date specified.

Requirements for Veterinary Technician (PDF, 224 KB)

  • Program Description
    This two-year diploma program is suited to students who are interested in working with animals. The program will provide them with the knowledge and animal handling skills required to be an integral team player within veterinary practices, research facilities, or other animal related industry.

    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.

  • 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.

• 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.

Admission Requirements
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.

Semester 1
GN1083    Managing for Success
VA1001    Animal Behaviour
VA1032    Client Relations
VT1023     Clinical Calculations I
VT1005    Lab Procedures and Techniques I
VT1013    Clinical Studies I
VT1015    Anatomy and Physiology I
VT1123    Kennel Duty I
VT2032    Clinical Exercises I

Semester 2
VT1012    Animal Nutrition and Digestion
VT2073    Clinical Calculations II
VT2016    Lab Procedures and Techniques II
VT2033    Clinical Studies II
VT2053    Animal Anatomy and Physiology II
VT2083    Radiology I
VT2123    Kennel Duty II
VT3073    Clinical Exercises II
VT4093    Dentistry I

Semester 3
GN1011    Employment Preparation
VT1001    Registered Veterinary Technician Prep
VT2042    Management Technology
VT3004    Clinical Studies III
VT3011    Vet Tech Surgery and Dentistry
VT3013    Lab Procedures & Techniques III
VT3053    Surgical Exercises I
VT3063    Pharmaceutical Principles I
VT3083    Radiology II
VT3113    Laboratory Animal Studies
VT3123    Kennel Duty III
VT4003    Clinical Exercises III
VT4075    Large Animal Medicine
EV7003    Issues in Environmental Sustainability

Semester 4

SE6023    Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution
VT4000    Field Placement
VT4021    Registered Veterinary Technician Prep II
VT4033    Surgical Exercises II
VT4063    Pharmaceutical Principles II
VT4083    Lab Procedures and Techniques IV
VT4103    Clinical Exercises IV
VT4113    Radiology III
VT4123    Dentistry II
VT4133    Kennel Duty IV
VT4143    Clinical Studies IV
VT4153    Wildlife and Exotics

Year 1 – Semester 1

GN1083 Managing for Success
This course will provide students with the opportunity to explore and understand the process of gaining a post secondary education while developing learning skills and personal management techniques needed to be successful in an educational environment and in the workplace.

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.

VA1032 Client Relations
This course will assist students to develop skills they may use when dealing with the general public. Students will learn to greet clients, admit and discharge patients answer and direct phone calls, recognize and respond appropriately to veterinary medical emergencies and notify appropriate personnel. Students will develop effective client communication skills, demonstrate professional ethics and describe the roles and responsibilities of each member of the veterinary health team and the important part that each plays in the delivery of excellent animal care.

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.

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.

VT1015 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.

VT1123 Kennel Duty I
Kennel Duty offers the student access to the colony animals. Husbandry will be practiced during this time. The students will experience all areas of nutrition, exercise, animal’s life style enhancement and sanitation. Students from the Veterinary Assistant, Veterinary Technician and the Animal Grooming programs participate in this teamwork environment.

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.

Year 1 – Semester 2

VT1021 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.

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.

VT2033 Clinical Studies II
The role of veterinary professionals in managing behavior problems of dogs and cats will be examined. The course includes discussion of ways to prevent and treat behavioral problems, as well as the appropriate procedure for referring clients who desire resolution of their animal’s behavioral 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.

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

VT2016 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.

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.

VT2123 Kennel Duty II
This course offers the student the opportunity to interact with other students in the School of Veterinary Sciences. Animal husbandry will be practiced with emphasis on lifestyle enhancement.

VT3073 Clinical Exercises
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.

VT4093 Veterinary 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.

Year 2 – Semester 3

VT2042 Management Technology
The purpose of this course is to develop the skills necessary to effectively use computer programs specific to the veterinary environment. The student will learn to navigate through programs such as Impromed software.

VT3011 Veterinary Technician Surgery & Dentistry
Under the supervision of a supervising veterinarian, students anesthetize and carry out minor surgical procedures as directed.

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.

VT3004 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. VT3013 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.

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.

VT3113 Laboratory Animal Studies
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.
VT3123 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.

VT4003 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.

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.

EV7003 Issues in Environmental Sustainability
Our human society is at a crossroads in terms of our management of the environment. Population growth, and the demands it continues to place on our available resources, has resulted in a situation in which the judicious management of those resources is no longer an option. This multidisciplinary, general education course is of interest to students of all walks of life and all intended professions, as a guide to how they can learn to live more sustainability in their personal and professional lives, and, in so doing, preserve the environment for the needs and enjoyment of future generations.

Year 2 – Semester 4

VT4000 Field Work Placement
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.

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.

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.

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.
VT4083 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.

VT4103 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.

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.

VT4133 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.

SE6023 Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution
This course is designed to have the learner understand that conflict is a natural phenomenon, present in all relationships. Learners will examine the origins of conflict and its effects on individuals, groups, and organizations.  Participants will learn to recognize the behaviors related to different parts of conflict relationships.  Through understanding the current models of conflict resolution, mediation, alternative dispute resolution, problem solving, and group facilitation, participants will learn to apply different techniques to appropriate situations.  With a strong focus on prevention by design, participants will learn how to assist individuals and groups in resolving their differences and conflicts and lead in the establishment of a culture of collaboration and a focus on achieving common goals.

Graduates may obtain advanced standing equal to ½ (Veterinary Technician) or 3/4 (Veterinary Technologist – Wildlife Rehabilitation) towards a Bachelors of General Studies (120 credit) degree.

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