MedQuest College opens new veterinary technology learning space

By Emma Collins, Building Kentucky

Photo by Kaitlin Keane, Building Kentucky

Several months after the launch of its veterinary technology program, MedQuest College has opened its newly completed veterinary technology learning labs and lecture space.

Located on the college’s Lexington campus, the two-year veterinary technology program prepares students to meet regional workforce needs in agriculture, veterinary care and animal food production. The new space will serve students as they learn the skills necessary to provide regular and emergency animal care and receive training in client relations, communication and management.

“MedQuest College has become known for producing high-quality healthcare workers,” said Dr. Russell Mauk, Lexington campus director. “We’re excited to step into the animal healthcare field, and these new learning labs will help prepare our students to enter the workforce.”

The new learning space includes space for anatomy labs and microscopes, a treatment area for animals, a mock surgery space where students can learn to scrub in for surgery and identify instruments and a mock pharmacy similar to what students will see in a real veterinary clinic.

The grand opening comes amid a growing veterinary technician shortage that is expected to worsen by 2030, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. And in a state like Kentucky, where agriculture is key to the economy, the importance of veterinary technicians cannot be understated.

“We’re very excited to bring this program to Central Kentucky,” Program Director Renee Hensley said. “It’s something that Lexington has not had before, so we’re excited to reach out and partner with the community and see how far we can take the program.”

The new learning space will help MedQuest College prepare students for a career as an integral part of the animal care team whether that be in animal hospitals, shelters or private clinics. In addition to the nearly 1,200 hours of lectures and labs on MedQuest’s campus, students will also complete over 400 hours of off-campus externships and clinical rotations, solidifying their skills ahead of graduation.

Students who complete the 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.

“When we built the program, I wanted to make sure anything they might see on a national board exam they were going to have a course to thoroughly cover that topic,” Hensley said. “That’s key because the students want to become licensed. So that’s why we organized the program the way we did.”

The program will provide 30 to 40 qualified veterinary technicians each year, with the first cohort set to graduate in winter 2023.

In addition to the veterinary technology program, MedQuest also offers programs in medical assisting, dental assisting, diagnostic medical sonography and practical nursing to the Kentucky and Southern Indiana area. For more information about MedQuest College’s programs, visit medquestcollege.edu.

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