LEXINGTON, Ky. — MedQuest College in Lexington is celebrating the grand opening of its new Veterinary Technology program. The two-year associate’s degree program launched last year after the college saw a need in the community.
Before graduation, MedQuest College Veterinary Technology students are expected to complete 1,200 hours of lectures and 400 hours of off-campus externships and clinical rotations. Emma French is one of the 30-40 admitted students a year who will receive hands-on training to complete a Veterinary Technology Associate of Applied Science degree.
“I honestly thought it was going to take a lot longer. It’s flown by pretty quick,” said French.
From lectures to labs, it’s something 19-year-old French has dreamed for a long time.
“My whole life I grew up on a Black Angus cattle farm, and did that on any type of school break that I had,” said French.
The Irvington native started out at Bluegrass Community & Technical College and quickly jumped at the opportunity at MedQuest College. Her class is learning about pre-op patient considerations.
“Whenever the patient and owner first comes in, you’ll do the history taking and then they’ll come into the room,” said French.
Just like many professions, vet techs are the latest to be hit with a shortage of staff. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, a shortage of 15,000 vet techs is expected to still exist by 2030. And that’s why Renee Hensley, the program director, says the vet tech program was needed.
“It was really important that when we started this program to look at what our community needed and our community spoke up and they let us know this is a program we want here in Kentucky, right here in Central Kentucky in Lexington,” said Hensley.
Knowing the shortage weighs on the shoulders of these students, French says it increases the value of the profession.
“It kinda makes you feel more wanted in a way, if that makes sense,” said French.
French and her classmates are looking forward to graduation in July 2023.