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When most people think of a great career in healthcare, they picture jobs in nursing or the dental field. But few imagine pursing a career in animal care as a veterinary technician.

With the country facing a shortage of vet techs, however, demand for qualified technicians is rising. Employment in the field is expected to grow 15 percent by 2030, making it a great time to consider becoming an essential part of the animal care team.

Renee Hensley is the director of MedQuest College’s Veterinary Technology Program. Check out this Q&A with her to learn more about why a career as a vet tech may be the right fit for you.

What is a vet tech?

We are the lifeblood of the clinic. We’re talking to clients day to day; we’re keeping them updated on their pet. We’re overseeing anesthesia, and we’re making sure their pet is safe under anesthesia and recovering after surgery. So, we wear a lot of hats.

Our patients can’t speak to us like in human healthcare. So, we kind of have to play detective a little bit. And for me, that’s something I found really interesting. I really had to work at trying to figure out what’s going on with the animal and how can I help.

What are the benefits of being a vet tech?

Being a vet tech has a lot of benefits. Obviously, we get to work with animals every day, which is extremely rewarding. But it’s also a job where you’re not necessarily going to be doing the same thing every day. Something’s always different. There are always different pets, different challenges, different skills that you’re utilizing. It’s a career that really keeps you on your toes and keeps you learning.

It also is mentally rewarding, and you get to work with the clients and become really close with them and the pets that you help take care of. It’s a family feel, and it’s a really good environment to be in.

Why is now a good time to become a vet tech?

Here in the Commonwealth, we have experienced a shortage of licensed qualified trained technicians, and it is something that we’re seeing across the United States. So the job market is very open.

Pets bring us so much happiness. They’re our family members, and we want to take good care of them, just like we do our siblings and our parents and families and friends. So it’s important that we have the staff and the trained professionals in our field to help provide that very top-notch healthcare for the animals.

What sets MedQuest’s program apart?

We’re centrally located in Kentucky, and I think the location and providing that workforce for our community is paramount to what we’re trying to accomplish. There are so many wonderful veterinary clinics in our area that really need a good support system to help their businesses be successful and thrive and to provide that excellent healthcare for our pets.

We also pride ourselves on small classroom sizes. We want to have that intimate connection and be able to work with students one-on-one. With a large group of students, you may not get that opportunity. The students may feel like they are a number, not a name. They’re not a person in that class. And that’s what we don’t want.

Students who complete the Veterinary Technology Program will receive a veterinary technology associate of applied science degree and be eligible to take the Veterinary Technology National Examination through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. Students who pass the exam can apply for licensure by the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners.

In addition to the Veterinary Technology Program, MedQuest also offers programs in Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Practical Nursing and Sonography. For more information or to schedule a tour, click here.