Stewart, RVT, Director
The veterinary technology program at
the Community College of Baltimore County is unique, offering
the only AVMA accredited training program for technicians in the
state of Maryland. And this year the entire thirteen-member
Class of 2012 passed the National Technician Board Examination.
Their success is unusual, since the nationwide pass rate is
usually 68-70%. Graduates of this CCBC program are well prepared
to function successfully as registered veterinary technicians (RVTs),
and the curriculum provides a sound basis for their ability to
learn quickly. They are well prepared to hit the ground running.
The two-year full time program
offers an Associate in Applied Science Degree, and is currently
limited to 20 students each fall semester. The curriculum
includes courses in clinical laboratory procedures for both
small and large animals; small and large animal diseases;
radiology and ultrasound; surgery procedures and anesthesiology;
dentistry; pharmacology and toxicology; veterinary nutrition;
laboratory animal medicine; veterinary anatomy and physiology;
veterinary medical terminology; microbiology; and hospital
Students receive instruction on
history-taking; physical examination, including auscultation;
giving injections; drawing blood; alternative modalities
currently used in practice; and training in endoscopy, dental
radiography as well as dental extractions; and an overview of CT
and MRI. Significantly, the program includes a practical,
240-hour internship at a VCA clinic in MD, PA, NJ, DE, or the
District of Columbia. The internship hours include emergency
medicine, specialty practice and shelter medicine.
The program has the following
equipment for training students: models for cephalic and jugular
phlebotomy; models for learning IV catheterization; models for
training intubation and CPR; digital radiography; ultrasound
machines; fiber optic dental unit; models for suturing
instruction; Cornerstone software; isofluorane anesthesia
machines; pulse oximeters; EKG; blood pressure monitors; a laser
surgery unit; IDEXX in house diagnostic equipment; and various
large animal materials.
The veterinary suite, which is in
the basement of the “F” building on the CCBC campus, contains a
separate dog and cat kennel area; surgery suite;
pre-surgical/treatment room; imaging room; laboratory for IDEXX
equipment; a small smart classroom; and an office for a clinical
First year students spend time at
two local farms for their introduction to large animal care.
Second year students spend a day at the New Bolton Center in
Pennsylvania gaining practice with equine and bovine procedures.
Second year students also spend time at Hanover Shoe Farm
assisting with the foaling operation at this leading
The educational opportunities
offered to veterinary technician candidates at CCBC are broad
and diverse. Graduates are in high demand by small and large
animal practitioners, so they can be selective about their
employment. Veterinarians should appreciate that hiring a
formally trained veterinary technician is a winning proposition,
and a strategy for successful practice.