But Glenn Jackson, D.V.M., Ph.D., wants potential vet techs to know there's so much more available to them if they choose to take up the profession.
Dr. Jackson is an assistant professor at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, the University of Nebraska's two-year ag education college in Curtis, Neb. NCTA's vet tech program was one of the first two accredited programs in the country.
In a partnership with UNMC, NCTA will be offering a new two-year vet tech program on the med center's Omaha campus starting in 2014.
Dr. Jackson has an office in Bennett Hall. The vet tech program is set to be housed on the first floor of Eppley Science Hall, with its students also making use of the Sorrell Center.
Dr. Jackson will direct the new program, which in addition to offering a standard vet tech education, will present a focus on laboratory animal medicine. The program will take advantage of the atmosphere at UNMC to further emphasize opportunities in comparative medicine and biomedical research.
Comparative medicine is similar to the concept of "one health."
"The idea being that there is a connection between the health of the environment and the health of the animals that are in that environment and the health of the people who are in that environment as well," Dr. Jackson said. And, vet techs who know the biomedical research aspect of the profession could land jobs at universities, pharmaceutical companies or other labs.
"They are there as advocates for the animals," Dr. Jackson said. "And, knowing that the work you are doing is not only benefitting your local community, but also can go on to benefit millions of people and millions of animals around the world, is very satisfying."
Veterinary technician students will receive an associate's of applied science from NCTA, but will pay student fees at UNMC in order to be fully integrated into campus life. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) will administer student accounts. Students graduating from NCTA's vet tech program can apply those credits to UNL's bachelor's degree in veterinary technology. The University of Nebraska at Omaha and Wayne State College have inquired about establishing similar relationships with NCTA's vet tech program, Dr. Jackson said.