Oley Valley adds vet tech courses

Oley Valley School District  |  Posted on

Oley Valley’s agriculture program incorporates vet tech courses.

Integrating more courses into the Oley Valley High School’s agricultural curriculum has allowed more students with an opportunity to take classes of their interest. Recently, the school introduced Vet Tech A and Vet Tech B, both allowing students hands-on experience with animals. Vet Tech A introduces matters of animal behavior, handling and restraint, patient history, and physical exams to the students. Individuals taking this course also learn how to properly monitor and report the animal’s condition as well as communicate with owners. Learning about examination room procedures as well as surgical preparation and equipment is another aspect of this class. Additionally, students learn to identify all of the various breeds of animals they may encounter in a veterinary practice.

This first-semester course offers hands-on experience with several animals, some of which students bring in. Grace Prout, an Oley Valley senior and Future Farmers of America (FFA) member, brought in her dog, Daisy. Using Daisy, vet tech Kerrie Yost was able to demonstrate a physical examination for the students enrolled in the course. Senior student and FFA member Taylor Coccagna owns several exotic birds, one of which she brought into the school for education purposes. Austin Kopfer, a junior FFA member, brought in two bull calves, Bruce and Bronco, which Kopfer used to demonstrate management practices including ear tagging and bottle feeding. Another highlight of the first-year course was when Oley Valley graduate Jaimie Reinard, owner of Breezy Valley German Shorthaired Pointers, brought in 13, 4-week-old puppies for the students to handle and learn more about canine breeding and puppy care management.

With the second semester beginning, students are being introduced to the curriculum on Vet Tech B. This course provides students a comparative overview of the gross anatomy, microscopic anatomy and physiology of large and small animals, as well as common diseases and ailments that affect specific systems and organs. The students are educated on organ systems structure and function as well as stages of pregnancy in different animals. They will be given the opportunity to examine the interrelation between disease, pathology and immunology and analyze the effects of different drugs on the animal body and their uses for combating various ailments. Calculating and measuring appropriate dosages for each animal, administering, storing and inventorying pharmaceuticals are also important factors learned about in this course. Integrating laboratory components into the class, students may dissect animals and examine tissues under a microscope.

Written by FFA reporter Julie Weidma