CCP Supports Humane Society with New Veterinary Assisting Course and Scholarship | New
PCC Supports Humane Society with New Veterinary Assisting Course and Scholarship
Labor shortages are affecting many businesses in Person County and Caswell. The Caswell County Humane Society (APS) is no stranger to this as it continues to struggle to find full-time and part-time staff to help care for the animals and maintain the facilities. Piedmont Community College (PCC) has developed a cure that will connect the shelter with students who are passionate about working with animals.
CCP’s new Veterinary Assistant course, which begins September 6, provides hands-on training for students to deepen their knowledge and improve their comfort in working professionally with animals, including working in a veterinary practice or animal shelter .
The CCP Program Coordinators originally created this course due to the high level of interest among high school students in Bartlett Yancey Senior High School’s (BYSHS) Veterinary Assisting Program, although the CCP Veterinary Assistant expands the scope of specialized veterinary training beyond the BYSHS agriculture program. to anyone in the community aged 16 or over. After learning about the difficulty of local animal-focused businesses and organizations in recruiting employees, these coordinators realized how much more this course will benefit the community.
“Our greatest needs right now are to find help,” said Caswell County APS Director Susan Pendergraph. “It has been difficult trying to find dedicated full-time and part-time staff members who are willing to provide comfort and cleanliness for our animals while they wait for their chance to find a family and have a better life.”
Each Wednesday throughout the Veterinary Assistant course, two to three students will join Melanie Gibson, Veterinary Assistant Instructor, at the Caswell County APS Shelter for the opportunity to work with animals and observe behaviors normal and abnormal.
“A benefit for our students working with the Animal Protection Society is that they can see firsthand the difference between a healthy animal and an unhealthy animal,” Gibson said. “They can listen to how the heartbeats differ, they can see the difference in the sheen of the coat or the color of the gums, and also start tapping into other medical things”
In addition to assisting with daily tasks, students will also observe animal weighing, heartworm checks, vaccination injections, application of flea and tick prevention, implementation of treatment, as well as other animal-related medical tasks.
“With our partnership with APS, I ultimately want the class to be a help for them,” Gibson said. “We don’t want them to feel like they have to take care of us. Any exposure students get with the animals, whether or not related to the topic of that specific week, is beneficial. We want our students to serve and learn from the shelter during these two hours and help with any necessary tasks.
Gibson continued, “Community building is a key aspect of this new program. I look forward to connecting potential employees and employers in the veterinary field.
The collaboration between Piedmont Community College, the Caswell County Humane Society, and nearby veterinarians helps ensure that local veterinary offices and animal facilities are staffed with knowledgeable, caring, and highly trained staff.
Veterinary Assistant I is the first in a series of courses, where students can earn their industry certification after completing 300 hands-on hours with a veterinarian. During this first course, students will be trained in two very valuable technical skills for a veterinary assistant: accurately measuring patients’ vital signs and properly restraining animals. The course will also provide students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to confidently deal with two challenging veterinary scenarios: veterinary emergencies and animal euthanasia.
“There is also a scholarship for Caswell County and Person County residents who enroll in the course,” Gibson said. “The course normally costs $188, but now when a qualified student who is within PCC’s service area enrolls, $100 will be deducted through PCC’s Pacer Promise Scholarship.”
Course details and a link to register are online at www.piedmontcc.edu/vet-assist.
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