A new partnership with Veterinary Technology Program at Gwinnett Technical College means hands-on, real-world opportunities for Veterinary Science students in the Grayson High School Technical Education Program.
Last month, an open house at Grayson showcased the school’s new veterinary surgical suite. The new facility will serve as a location for elective surgical procedures, such as spaying and neutering, for cats and dogs from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. Once the furry patients recover from surgery, they will be available for adoption by the public.
The surgical suite and surgery prep area include the same equipment that students would see in a veterinary hospital. Gwinnett Tech veterinarians will perform all surgeries, with assistance from Gwinnett Tech Veterinary Technology students who will practice skills such as venipuncture, catheter placement, surgical prep, and recovery procedures. And Grayson students will gain valuable experience as they observe, keep records, and obtain vital signs of the four-legged patients.
The partnership is a win-win-win for students and the community. The younger students will have hands-on experiences in the surgical suite that will help prepare them for a 15-week internship during second semester. Gwinnett Tech students will have the opportunity to master the skills required for graduation and state licensure. (Program graduates receive a veterinary technology associate of applied science degree and are eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination to become qualified as registered veterinary technicians in the state of Georgia.) And spaying or neutering animals helps reduce pet overpopulation and helps pets stay healthier.
Of course, giving our students one more way to extend their experiences and prepare for their future is the biggest win.
About Veterinary Science at Grayson HS Technical Education Program
Veterinary Science at Grayson High School Technical Education Program gives students the opportunity to explore the veterinary field before investing in years of further study. In Grayson’s state-of-the-art facility, students work with domesticated animals, such as dogs and cats, gaining the skills needed to pursue a number of postsecondary programs of study… from a Veterinary Technology program at a two-year college to an Animal Science or Animal Health program at a four-year college or university. Careers in animal science range the gamut, from veterinarian (DVM) and veterinary technician (RVT) to veterinary assistant, animal caretaker, and animal scientist/researcher.
Veterinary Science courses at Grayson cover the history and evolution of animals, specific breeds and their characteristics, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, preventive medicine, disease processes, general care and much more. In the program, students learn about the anatomy and physiology of animals and how all the systems work together through labs and in the program’s newly constructed on-site surgical suite. The new facility gives students the option to gain surgical experience during blended schedule days, working alongside Veterinary Technology students from Gwinnett Technical College assisting professional veterinarians.
Participants in the program learn hands-on skills such as proper handling and restraint of animals, how to take blood, and how to suture wounds. And students put those skills to use during a 15-week internship during second semester, working two hours each week in a partnering local veterinary hospital. They take four aligned courses in order to complete a career pathway in Companion Animal System or Veterinary Science, and take an End of Pathway Assessment— Precision Exams Veterinary Assistant— to earn credentials for their future work portfolio.
Through HOSA, a co-curricular student organization for future health professionals, Veterinary Science students compete with their peers, learn valuable leadership skills, and network with companies and colleges. During the past five years, Grayson Veterinary Science students have represented the state of Georgia at international competition, proving their knowledge and skills to be among the elite.