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Online Vet Tech School Curriculum

A Veterinary Technician Associate Degree is a 4-semester program that provides specialized education in the day-to-day duties of a vet tech. Vet techs work side-by-side with veterinarians and veterinary assistants in work environments ranging from animal hospitals to zoos. On any given day a vet tech may be administering medications, collecting samples and performing clinical and laboratory tests, assisting veterinarians in surgery, and comforting and educating pet owners, among other tasks. With two to four years of academic experience and on-the-job training, veterinary technicians are qualified to provide critical and technical care to injured and recovering pets.

With our AVMA CVTEA degree program curriculum, you’ll prepare for a successful career as a veterinary technician, gain a strong foundation in basic sciences, and sharpen your technical- and critical-thinking skills. Along with your online studies, you’ll work with a veterinary practice to get hands-on training.

Semester 1

OR110 - Achieving Academic Excellence 

Achieve your true potential! This course will help you sharpen existing skills, build on your strengths, and discover the best ways to learn. You'll identify your learning styles, learn new behaviors to ensure college success, and maximize your learning as you complete your program of study.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Identify personal strengths and traits used to succeed in motivating and setting goals to complete higher education.
  • Describe the requirements for successful online learning.
  • Discuss the value of goal setting and time management.
  • Explain methods to achieve effective reading comprehension and note-taking.
  • Recognize effective academic writing and types of plagiarism.
  • Describe strategies for online testing.
  • Explain the role of critical thinking in problem solving.
  • Identify the necessary skills for successful online research.

Credit Hours: 3

C02 - Business English  

This course examines the fundamental processes, theories, and methods that can enhance the overall writing initiative. You'll examine the process of prewriting, drafting, editing, and revising various types of content including sentences, paragraphs, and business documents and review standard English grammar, punctuation, and style. You'll gain information on how to structure negative, positive, persuasive, and informational writing as well as how to design document layouts. You'll also learn the business practices of writing application letters, resumes, and interview follow-up letters. All of these skills will provide you with the tools necessary for writing in today's business environment.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Describe the basic elements and steps of writing.
  • Describe the types, patterns, and components of sentences and paragraphs.
  • Develop correct usage patterns in writing.
  • Apply the proper use of punctuation.
  • Apply special rules of punctuation in writing.
  • Explain agreement in writing.
  • Develop knowledge extension about parts of speech.
  • Construct a refined writing approach.

Credit Hours: 3

SC160 - Basic Biology  

Basic Biology introduces you to a world of exciting biological discoveries. Included in these discoveries are biological organization; prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and ecosystems; chemistry; Darwin's theory of natural selection; and fungi, plant, and animal phyla and kingdoms. In addition, you'll discover how biology impacts your life, its relationship with technology, and how it's differentiated from other disciplines. This course also covers the evolution of animals, vertebrates, and invertebrates.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Describe the relationship of biological organization and the fields of biology and chemistry.
  • Explain the structure and functions of cells.
  • Describe Darwin's theory of natural selection views and differentiate the domains and kingdoms of eukaryotic life.
  • Discuss DNA and its relationship with inheritance.
  • Extend the DNA discussion to include technology and related fields and issues of concern.
  • Describe biological diversity, its evolution, and the discovery of microbial life.
  • Develop knowledge extension about parts of speech.
  • Describe colonization and diversification of plants and fungi.

Credit Hours: 3

VT101 - Introduction to Veterinary Technology  

This course will provide an overview of the veterinary industry and the roles and responsibilities of the veterinary healthcare team members. Legal and ethical issues related to the veterinary industry will be discussed. An introduction to medical terminology, communications, and professionalism in the workplace is also included.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Describe educational requirements for the members of the veterinary healthcare team.
  • Differentiate between certification, registration, licensure, and specialization for veterinary technicians.
  • Describe professional organizations that support veterinary technicians.
  • Discuss legal and ethical issues and guidelines relevant to the veterinary profession.
  • List and describe general categories of laws relevant to the veterinary profession.
  • Define laws protecting veterinary employees against physical injury, sexual harassment, and discrimination.
  • Define laws regulating the biomedical industry and occupational health safety related to research.
  • Discuss aspects of effective communication in the veterinary clinic.
  • Utilize medical terminology.
  • Discuss the human-animal bond.
  • Describe normal and common abnormal behaviors of dogs and cats.
  • Discuss treatment of behavior problems in dogs and cats.

Credit Hours: 3

VT103 - Small Animal Husbandry and Restraint  

This course will provide an overview of animal husbandry, including housing and basic animal care of companion animal species. An overview of animal behavior, methods to safely handle and restrain dogs and cats, and procedures for obtaining and recording patient vital signs will be presented. You'll begin documentation of competence in animal handling in the veterinary practice setting.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of restraint procedures in dogs and cats.
  • Identify and correctly utilize restraint aids.
  • Demonstrate ability to obtain patient medical history and vital signs.
  • Describe appropriate housing and sanitation of veterinary facilities.
  • Perform basic grooming procedures in dogs and cats.
  • Discuss animal nutritional requirements, including variations for different life cycle stages and specific disease states.
  • Discuss general care and monitoring of hospitalized patients.
  • Describe procedures for administration of otic and ophthalmic preparations.

Credit Hours: 3

Semester 2

VT110 - Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology  

This course focuses on in-depth discussions of anatomy and physiology of domestic animal species and the clinical, pathological, and surgical applications of the unique aspects of anatomy and physiology of these species. Aspects of comparative anatomy of all common domestic and companion animal species will be presented.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Discuss anatomic terms of direction and basic biochemistry.
  • Distinguish among cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems both structurally and functionally.
  • Compare and contrast the types of muscle tissues and bones, their structures and functions, and describe the functional groupings of muscles and mechanisms of muscle contraction.
  • Describe the structural and functional characteristics of the cardiovascular system.
  • Describe the structural and functional characteristics of the respiratory and digestive systems.
  • Identify the senses whose primary function is to provide animals with an awareness of their environment and describe the structural and functional characteristics of the nervous system.
  • Describe the structural and functional characteristics of the urinary and endocrine systems.
  • Discuss components of the reproductive system, including pregnancy, birth, and lactation.

Credit Hours: 3

C17 - College Mathematics  

College Mathematics focuses on the fundamental math concepts through the use of real-world scenarios and step-by-step instruction. You'll perform operations and problem-solving with whole numbers, fractions, percentages, and decimals. Units of time, weight, capacity, length, and mass are applied to mathematical calculations, and basic geometric shapes are categorized. Statistical values for mean, median, mode, and standard deviation are determined, and basic statistical graphs are created. Other topics include ratios, proportions, US standard and metric units of measure, algebraic expressions, and equations.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Solve problems with whole numbers.
  • Solve fractions.
  • Solve problems using decimals.
  • Solve problems using ratios, proportions, and percent.
  • Solve problems using measurement and geometry.
  • Solve problems using statistics and probability.
  • Solve problems with integers.
  • Solve linear equations.

Credit Hours: 3

VT112 - Veterinary Pharmacy and Pharmacology  

The course provides detailed information regarding the storage, handling, dispensing, and disposal of medications, as well as legal requirements related to use of medications. Specific information on the classes of medications used on animal species and their indications, contraindications, and side effects is included.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Discuss absorption, excretion, and metabolism of drugs, and define common terms related to pharmacology.
  • Demonstrate understanding of routes and methods of drug administration and choose appropriate administration equipment.
  • Perform dosage calculations.
  • Recognize groups of nervous system drugs, anti-inflammatories, and pain management medications, along with their mechanisms and clinically relevant side effects.
  • Recognize groups of fluid therapy and emergency drugs, their mechanisms, and clinically relevant side effects.
  • List and describe medications used to treat diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urinary systems.
  • List and describe antimicrobials and antiparasitics, ophthalmic and otic medications, and topical therapies.
  • List and describe chemotherapeutics and immune system drugs, endocrine system drugs, and vitamins and supplements.

Credit Hours: 3

VT114 - Veterinary Practice Management  

This course provides an in-depth discussion regarding routine office procedures in the veterinary practice, including scheduling of appointments, financial transactions, and maintenance of client and patient records. Aspects of facility management, inventory control, and client communications will be presented.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Schedule appointments and admit and discharge patients.
  • Compare and contrast various pet health insurance policies.
  • Create and maintain individual client/patient records, vaccination certificates, and other appropriate forms.
  • Create and maintain all appropriate facility records and logs in compliance with regulatory guidelines.
  • Manage inventory control.
  • Handle routine financial transactions.
  • Discuss aspects of marketing veterinary services and products.
  • Develop disaster plans.

Credit Hours: 3

VT116 - Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques  

This course provides detailed information to allow students to develop competence in collection of diagnostic samples for analysis, including blood, urine, and fecal specimens. Procedures for administration of enteral, parenteral and topical medications will also be presented. Routine diagnostic procedures in ophthalmology are also included. You'll document competency in performing diagnostic and therapeutic techniques as well as routine office procedures in the veterinary practice setting.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Triage, admit, and discharge patients.
  • Create and maintain client and patient records.
  • Handle routine financial transactions.
  • Describe and perform administration of medications via enteral, parenteral, and topical routes in dogs and cats.
  • Describe and perform administration of otic and ophthalmic medications.
  • Describe and perform collection of blood, fecal, and urine samples in dogs and cats.
  • Discuss and perform ocular diagnostic tests.

Credit Hours: 3

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Online Vet Tech School description

The Associate in Applied Science Veterinary Technician program is designed to provide you with the entry-level knowledge and abilities to obtain employment as a veterinary technician. The goal of the program is to produce graduates that function as exceptional members of the veterinary health care team. The program provides a strong foundation in basic sciences along with detailed course material needed to develop the technical and critical thinking skills that entry-level veterinary technicians require.

Vet Tech Program objectives

After completing the Veterinary Technician program, you’ll be able to do the following:

  1. Explain the legal and ethical issues that affect the veterinary industry.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency at basic animal care and handling on companion animals, exotic animals, and farm animals.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of basic principles of business management, client education, and communications.
  4. Explain requirements for storage, handling, dispensing, and disposal of medications as well as legal requirements related to use of medications.
  5. Demonstrate competence in performing procedures related to veterinary anesthesia, surgical and medical nursing, diagnostic imaging, and other diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.
  6. Demonstrate competence in performing laboratory procedures in veterinary parasitology, clinical chemistry, hematology, urinalysis, cytology, and immunology.
  7. Demonstrate competence in performing basic nursing procedures on companion animals, exotic animals, and farm animals.
  8. Achieve a passing score on the Veterinary Technician National Examination.

Getting from class to clinic

The Veterinary Technician Associate Degree program can help you develop the knowledge and confidence you need to reach for your career goals. By integrating job search prep into your studies, Ashworth College gives you a hand along the way. Take a closer look at how we help you get there by visiting the Career Services page.

Advance your career in our online API Program Name program. Call 1-800-957-5412