TCC program for veterinary assistants wins national recognition

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TCC trains veterinary assistants

Dr. Megan Taliaferro is the program director for the veterinary assistant program at Tidewater Community College, whose students can now sit  for a national exam that will help them stand out in the job market. (Photo courtesy Tidewater Community College)

Students in Hampton Roads who want to work with animals have a new way to stand out in the job market.

A program for veterinary assistants at Tidewater Community College has received approval from the National Association of Veterinary Technicians, the college said Tuesday. The recognition, a feat only 32 programs have achieved nationwide, means graduates of TCC’s veterinary assistant program can take a national exam to become Approved Veterinary Assistants. That distinction lets potential employers around the country evaluate their training.

“It shows what they already know,” said Dr. Megan Taliaferro, a veterinarian who serves as program director of TCC’s veterinary assistants program.

TCC launched its 17-credit, two-semester certification program for veterinary assistants in the spring of 2016. The first class, with 15 students, will graduate in December. Local veterinarians have already hired seven of the students, or roughly half the class.

TCC’s program responds to a broad trend in the past 15 years: providing high-quality medical and surgical care for pets, meaning that veterinary assistants must be highly trained, according to Taliaferro.

It also reflects a local need.

“We have a huge population of people who own animals in Hampton Roads,” Taliaferro said.

For information on the program, call 757-822-7264.

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