Home > Blog > May 2015 > Pima Medical Institute to Offer Only Veterinary Technician and Vet Assistant Programs in Montana

Pima Medical Institute to Offer Only Veterinary Technician and Vet Assistant Programs in Montana

Posted: May 26, 2015 by Elizabeth Baker

Two veterinary technician students practice taking blood from a dog's armLearning how to give injections and take blood samples are two important skills all veterinary technician students gain at Pima Medical Institute.

DILLON, Mont. (May 27, 2015) – Pima Medical Institute is proud to announce the introduction of a veterinary technician associate degree and veterinary assistant certificate in collaboration with the University of Montana Western. Classes begin in November.

Pima Medical Institute – founded in 1972 in Tucson, Ariz. – offers both the degree and certificate at several of its campuses, including in Arizona, Colorado, California, Colorado, Texas, Nevada and Washington State. Pima Medical also offers other certificate, associate and bachelor’s degrees in multiple healthcare-related specialties at its many campuses and through its online education.

No other educational institutions in Montana offer a veterinary technician associate degree or a veterinary assistant certificate. Both programs will be offered on Montana Western's campus in Dillon.

“Students will come from all over the state and beyond to attend these programs,” said Pima Medical Institute Chief Executive Officer and President, Fred Freedman. “This new partnership with the University of Montana Western is strategic in that all parties benefit from the relationship, especially the students.”

Students who enroll in the veterinary technician associate degree or veterinary assistant certificate program will have access to a state-of-the art learning facility, study under instructors with years of professional experience and have access to the university’s facilities, such as housing, dining and recreation.

“There’s already huge interest in these programs,” said University of Montana Western Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Karl Ulrich. “Many of our equine studies students are interested in the programs our collaboration will create as a way to enhance their education.”
Veterinary technician students practice taking an X-ray of a horse's legPima Medical Institute veterinary technician students learn how to X-ray a horse’s leg during class.

With more than 2.5 million head of cattle and an estimated $1.4 billion in annual livestock sales, it only makes sense to increase the number of highly trained veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants within the state of Montana.

“Currently I have to go out of state to recruit vet techs,” said Dr. Rick Scherr, chairman for the Montana Veterinary Medical Association’s Vet Tech Board and founder of Big Sky Animal Medical Center in Great, Falls, Mont. “I often fly to Denver to recruit techs because there aren’t any in Montana. It’s a problem for veterinarians across the state. Adding these programs will really help to fill that gap.”

In order to enroll in the veterinary technician associate degree program, students must have finished Pima Medical's veterinary assistant certificate program first. Both programs combined are approximately 18-months in length. Veterinary technician students learn how to become veterinary nurses. The curriculum focuses on animal behavior and care, surgical assisting, laboratory testing and nursing procedures.

The veterinary assistant certificate is an approximately seven-month program that trains students to be skilled in providing post-operative animal care, surgical assistance, teeth cleaning, medication administration, blood draws, lab work and much more.

“We need highly trained people in these roles,” Ulrich said. “Pima Medical has played a vital role in making these programs a reality.”

Both programs will allow students to work with small and large animals in a newly equipped facility on the University of Montana Western’s campus. Students who enroll will be eligible to live on campus, use the university’s facilities, such as the library and gym, and get meals on campus.

In addition, Pima Medical students will work with the Beaverhead Animal Shelter in Dillon to provide animals with services such as spaying and neutering, dental cleanings and lab work. Pima Medical often works with a city’s shelters and humane societies, resulting in a greater level of animal care and increased adoption rates.

Beaverhead Animal Shelter’s director, Susie Brown, is excited to start the partnership with Pima Medical students. The shelter has on average 150 animals a day that are brought in from four counties and beyond.

“It doesn’t matter what it is – a dog, cat, horse, pig, hamster – we take it. We provide a lot of care for these animals, but naturally it takes funding. This partnership with Pima Medical will really help,” Brown said. “Students will get hands-on experience working with animals, and the animals will get the care they need.”

To learn more about Pima Medical Institute, visit pmi.edu. The University of Montana Western can be found online at umwestern.edu. To speak to someone about enrolling, call 1-888-442-5998.

Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute is a private, accredited school dedicated to provide students classroom studies paired with real-world training at medical facilities. Established in 1972, Pima Medical Institute helps students become career ready, focusing exclusively on health care professions, including medical, dental, veterinary and nursing fields. Curriculum includes certificate, associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs, ranging from nursing, medical assistant and radiology technician to veterinary assistant and dental hygienist.
Pima Medical Institute operates 16 campuses as well as an online division. The medical career college has a presence in eight western states with ground locations in Albuquerque, N.M.; Tucson, Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz.; Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Seattle and Renton, Wash.; Las Vegas, N.V.; Houston and El Paso, Texas; Chula Vista, Calif.; and Dillon, Mont. For more information and a complete list of programs offered at each campus, visit pmi.edu or call 1-888-442-5998.
Montana Western
The University of Montana Western is the only public higher education institution in the country offering the innovative Experience One where students take only one class at a time. A small, caring university with all the opportunities of larger campuses, Montana Western encourages real-world, hands-on experience and each student’s total participation in their education.

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