CCBC Es­sex’s vet tech pro­gram dou­bles ca­pac­ity with new fa­cil­ity

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­[email protected]­

The cats, ca­nines, and other crit­ters of Bal­ti­more County will have a cleaner bill of health now that CCBC Es­sex of­fi­cially cut the rib­bon on its new Ve­teri­nary Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 7.

The up­grade and ex­pan­sion of the 5,000 square foot space at the base of the school’s Math & Sci­ence Hall have al­lowed the school to dou­ble the pro­gram en­roll­ment ca­pac­ity from 25 stu­dents to 50.

At the cost of ap­prox­i­mately $1.2 mil­lion, the space is now equipped with a com­bined stu­dent lab and class­room, a sur­gi­cal and re­cov­ery area, a microscope lab, an in-house lab, ra­di­og­ra­phy room, a well­ness clinic with two exam rooms, of­fice space, flex­i­ble learn­ing space, ken­nel rooms.

Dur­ing the rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony, CCBC pres­i­dent Dr. Sandy Kur­tini­tis ex­plained that the project was

a long time com­ing. Be­fore this re­model, the space hadn’t been up­dated since 1975.

Over 5 years ago, she said the school put $1 mil­lion from it’s ac­count into a spe­cial fund to be used to dou­ble the vet tech pro­gram.

“Now, it’s a trans­for­ma­tional cen­ter,” she said. “I think you’ll un­der­stand when I say, ‘If we’re go­ing to of­fer a pro­gram, we need to be able to of­fer it at the ab­so­lute high­est level of cut­tingedge cur­ricu­lum, fa­cil­i­ties, equip­ment, and all that goes with it.”

She added that un­der direc­tor Carol Schwartz and Dean of the School of Health Pro­fes­sions Shawn McNa­mara, the pro­gram has “come of age” with a 100% pass rate. She said the in­vest­ments that CCBC made into the pro­gram get re­turned with ed­u­cated and trained stu­dents that go out across the state, us­ing their de­grees to find em­ploy­ment in a va­ri­ety of health­care set­tings such as ve­teri­nary clin­ics and hos­pi­tals, emer­gency and re­fer­ral hos­pi­tals, zo­o­log­i­cal parks, aquar­i­ums, and lab­o­ra­to­ries.

“Our vet techs get ed­u­cated in ev­ery­thing. They learn how to do X-rays, they learn how to in­ter­pret and per­form blood tests, they sur­gi­cally as­sist in the OR and are anes­the­si­ol­o­gists for our an­i­mals,” said McNa­mara, who added that learn­ing all this in just two years was an im­pres­sive feat.

One such vet tech was sec­ond-year stu­dent Emily Hively who spoke about her ex­pe­ri­ence as a soon-to-be vet tech.

Fol­low­ing the event, at­ten­dees were taken on a tour of the fa­cil­ity, with fac­ulty mem­bers and stu­dents point­ing out the new fea­tures they are most ex­cited to uti­lize.

“Qual­ity pa­tient care and qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion are the tenets of the pro­gram,” said Schwartz. “The goal is to pro­vide stu­dents with toplevel ed­u­ca­tional and in­tern­ship ex­pe­ri­ences, pro­vid­ing a foun­da­tion upon which ex­pe­ri­ence is gained. We have an obli­ga­tion to our stu­dents to be cur­rent with knowl­edge and prac­tice stan­dards. We must also present a prag­matic and com­pas­sion­ate ap­proach to pa­tient care in a pos­i­tive and en­cour­ag­ing learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment.”

The Ve­teri­nary Tech­nol­ogy pro­gram at CCBC Es­sex is ac­cred­ited by the Amer­i­can Ve­teri­nary Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion’s Com­mit­tee on Ve­teri­nary Tech­ni­cian Ed­u­ca­tion and Ac­tiv­i­ties. It is also a Mary­land Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion statewide des­ig­nated pro­gram mean­ing any Mary­land res­i­dent can en­roll in the Ve­teri­nary Tech­nol­ogy pro­gram at CCBC’s in-county rate.

Kur­tini­tis cuts a rib­bon to the new CCBC Ve­teri­nary Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter with the help of CCBC grad­u­ates and stu­dents.

Tours of the new fa­cil­ity were given af­ter the rib­bon-cut­ting. Don’t worry, the dog is fake!

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