Veterinary Technology Student Policy Handbook | OCTC

Education & Training


Program Contacts

Laura Boarman, DVM

Veterinary Technology - Assistant Professor

Program Director

(270) 686-4585

Jacqueline Jackson, BS, LVT

Veterinary Technology - Associate Professor

(270) 686-4442

Tara Groves, BS, LVT

Veterinary Technology - Instructor

Veterinary Technology Student Policy Handbook

veterinary technology
Student Policy handbook/manual
2022 - 2023

The Veterinary Technology Program Mission Statement

To provide the student with basic knowledge, management, and practical skills to assist practicing veterinarians in providing high-quality and efficient animal health care.

The Veterinary Technology Program’s Primary Goals

  1. Ensure each graduate can perform the essential tasks in the Accreditation Policies and Procedures of the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) manual.
  2. Provide effective instruction that will prepare the graduate for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). Successful completion of this examination will allow the graduate to be licensed in Kentucky and be eligible for licensure in other states.
  3. Develop a sense of responsibility toward animals and people.
  4. Instill an appreciation of ethics and professionalism in veterinary medicine.
  5. Promote the humane care of all animals.

OCTC Mission
To enhance our community’s vitality and economic development by providing high-quality educational opportunities through:
·       Career Degree Pathways
·       Transfer Degree Programs
·       Workforce Development
Our vision is to transform our community by inspiring and empowering individuals to enhance their lives and careers.

Accessibility and Affordability
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Student-Centered Faculty and Staff
Collaborative Community Partnerships
Innovative and Cutting-Edge Technology
Critical Thinking

Life-Long Learning
Endorsed by the Executive Team: February 14, 2022
Approved by the Administrative Council: March 21, 2022

OCTC Goals

By combining the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) and Strategic plan together the college focuses on student success as the guiding parameter to achieve goals based on each department's abilities to support the objectives of:
1.     Scheduling & Curriculum
2.     Student Support
3.     Careers
4.     Transfer
5.     Marketing & Image
6.     Recruitment & Outreach

  • Dr. Laura Boarman, DVM
    Veterinary Technology Assistant Professor
    Program Director
  • Jacqueline Jackson, BS, LVT
    Veterinary Technology Associate Professor
  • Tara Groves, BS, LVT
    Veterinary Technology Instructor

Admission Policy

A.     Must be 18 years or older by time of admission.

B.     Must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.7.

C.    Must have an ACT composite score of 18 or above (or equivalent SAT score).

D.    Must complete a TEAS Assessment and submit official scores along with application.

E.     Must complete and submit all Veterinary Technology Program application forms.

F.     Must complete a sixteen-hour observation of the activities and duties of a licensed veterinary technician, and a verification form must be signed by a licensed technician or veterinarian.

G.    Must pass a background check and pass a drug screening after tentative acceptance. Failure to do so before the start of the academic school year will result in disqualification from the program.

H.    Must receive all required immunizations including Human Rabies Prophylaxis and Tetanus.

I.      Must sign and submit a verification form upon complete review of the Veterinary Technology Program Student Policy Manual.

J.     Must attend one online or in-person Pre-Admission Information Session. Dates may be found on the Program’s website.

Completion of the admission requirements certifies eligibility, but does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission is limited due to accreditation requirements and facility constraints.

Promotion and Readmission Policy

  1. To be eligible for continuation into the following semester, the student must meet the following requirements:
    1. Earn a “C” or better in each Veterinary Technology course.
    2. Maintain an overall GPA of 2.00 or better.
    3. Student must complete the core Vet Technology courses required for this degree in sequence as outlined in the curriculum. Failure to do so will result in your dismissal from the program. You may reapply for the program the following academic year, but this does not guarantee acceptance.
    4. Maintain professional conduct in program related settings
    5. Successfully complete required essential skills testing.
  2.  Readmission will be granted at the discretion of the Veterinary Technology program faculty based on: professional behavior of the student, GPA, clinical evaluations, instructors’ evaluations, disciplinary actions, and conduct with fellow students, etc.
  3. Readmission Process:
    1.     Student must submit an Application for Readmission and all required documents to the Program Director at least 60 days prior to the first day of the semester in which the student would like to reenroll. 
    a.     Required documents:
                                                                  i.     Application for Readmission
                                                                 ii.     Recommendation for Readmission- must be completed by an instructor, school counselor, tutor or success coach outside the Veterinary Technology Program
                                                                iii.     Personal Statement written by the student (not to exceed one page) stating why readmission is warranted.
  4. Readmission to the Veterinary Technology Program after dismissal is not guaranteed.
  5. No student will be readmitted after a second dismissal.
  6. If the student has been out of the program five years or more, the student must repeat all Veterinary Technology courses.
  7. Student seeking readmission must have a GPA of 2.0 or better.

Conduct and Professional Behavior Policy

  1. Demonstrate development of interpersonal skills appropriate for the classroom, laboratory and clinical settings:
    For example:
    1. Resolve conflict and crisis without emotional outburst.
    2. Maintain a positive attitude.
    3. Courtesy and concern for fellow students, staff, patients and clients.
    4. Be responsible for your actions.
    5. Promote common goals and avoid disruptive behavior.
    6. Be assertive when appropriate.
    7. Demonstrate initiative and assume responsibility for completion of routine tasks.
    8. Student/instructor conferences are confidential and are not to be discussed.
  2. Professional behavior includes:
    1. Attention to personal appearance.
    2. Attention to personal hygiene.
    3. Support and loyalty to Veterinary Technology as a profession.
    4. Support of departmental and clinical policies.
    5. Cooperation with fellow students and faculty.
    6. Respect for client and patient interaction and confidentiality.
    7. Maintain composure, no emotional outbursts.
    8. Maintain a positive attitude and courteous behavior with instructors.
    9. The Veterinary Technology Program is a non-profit organization. Students involved in
      fundraising activities must not have direct or indirect profit from these activities.
    10. Facebook conversations between students or other people associated with the Veterinary
      Technology Program must meet the guidelines outlined by the professional behavior
      1. Be pleasant and polite. Don’t use offensive language, and don’t be
      2. Rules of confidentiality DO apply! Pictures from clinical sites and lab activities are considered confidential. Pictures of a confidential nature must not be posted.
  3. Professional conduct expectations: Review the expectations in the OCTC Student Code of Conduct.

At the discretion of the instructor, students not abiding by the above mentioned professionalism standards may be asked to leave class for the day, resulting in 0 points for missed quizzes, exam, assignments and activities.

Grading Scale Policy

The standard grading scale for all Veterinary Technology courses is as follows:

Letter Grade Percentage
A 92 - 100
B 82 - 91
C 75 - 81
  1. The student must receive a “C” or better in all Veterinary Technology courses in order to continue
    in the program.
  2. Academic dishonesty on a specific assignment will result in the student receiving a “0” for that
  3. Grades will not be mailed or given to students over the phone; nor will they be sent to the
    student via the internet (e.g. e-mail).
    1. Once grades are posted, students may view their grades by accessing
    2. Requests for transcripts can be completed online via your PeopleSoft account.

Clinical Rotation Policy

Policies regarding clinical practicum site rotation

  1. Clinical shifts are assigned by the Veterinary Technology program faculty.
  2. Clinical rotations are assigned for the entire semester.
    1. Assignments are posted at the beginning of each semester.
  3. Attendance is required at all clinical rotations.
  4. The student is solely responsible for transportation to and from the clinical site.
  5. Clinical sites are required to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with OCTC.
  6. Clinical sites must meet CVTEA Accreditation standards.
  7. The doctor or credentialed technician on duty at the clinical rotation sites will evaluate the student’s
  8. A standard evaluation form (“Essential Skills Check-List”) is used at all clinical
    rotation facilities.
  9. Verification by the clinical supervisor is used in the evaluation process.
  10. The student’s grade is decided by the Veterinary Technology Program faculty and is based
    1. Results received from the clinical rotation evaluation form.
    2. Other Veterinary Technology Program assignments.
      1. Please refer to the Grading Scale Policy for the grade computation procedure:
      2. If verbal or written comments by clinical evaluators contradict the score on the Essential Skills Check-List, faculty will investigate and adjust the scores when warranted.
      3. Validated complaints and/or violations of policy documented by clinical evaluators may warrant the loss of a letter grade.
  11. Absence from assigned clinical shifts without prior permission is an unexcused absence.
  12. Unexcused absences are not rescheduled.
  13. A letter grade deduction is made for each unexcused absence.
  14. If a clinical day is missed, if the student is late for a rotation, or if the student must leave early, the following must be done in order for it to be considered an excused absence or tardy (includes snow days):
    • Immediately contact the clinical site prior to arrival time and leave a message with the clinical supervisor.
    • Immediately contact a faculty member by email and phone.
    • Submit written documentation regarding the reason for absence.
      Submit an appropriate document supporting the absence (Doctors excuse,
      traffic ticket, pediatric appointment slip, etc.) along with the above forms. All documentation needs to be turned in as soon as the student returns to main
      campus. No documentation will be accepted after one week from the date of absence. After that, it will be considered unexcused. A limit of two (2) reasonable
      “personal” days without documentation will be allowed. Any more than that will be considered unexcused. The same steps must be followed as above in order to be considered an excused absence.
      The above steps must be followed each time in order for the absence to be considered excused. Unexcused absence will result in a letter grade deduction from the final average.
  15. It is the responsibility of each student to make up all missed hours and submit in writing to
    faculty the date(s) that they will be completed. The student must clear this in advance with
    the rotation site. Just showing up at a clinical site to make up hours is not acceptable. If the
    required hours are not completed by the end of the semester, the student will receive an “incomplete.” See the KCTCS Catalog for policy details.
  16. The student is tardy if arrival time is one minute past expected arrival time.
  17. The student who is repeatedly tardy or absent may be subject to temporary or
    permanent dismissal from the Veterinary Technology Program.
  18. Schedule changes will be considered only in extreme hardship situations.
  19. Repeated validated complaints from clinical supervisors concerning student behavior
    and/ or performance could lead to grade reduction for that rotation, removal from the
    facility, and/or dismissal from the Veterinary Technology Program.
  20. The clinical site affiliate reserves the right to ask any student to leave the premises for failure to comply with clinical policies.
  21. The student may not have guests or visitors (e.g. friends, family, boyfriends,
    girlfriends, or children) on premises during clinical rotation assignments.
  22. If the student has a conflict regarding the clinical site, these concerns should be discussed with the clinical supervisor and OCTC instructors only. Matters regarding the clinical site
    are strictly confidential and should not be discussed with outside sources. Failure to
    comply with this could result in disciplinary action.
  23. When working in clinical rotations, the student should follow the direct orders given to them from their assigned supervisors. Care should be taken when entering non-supervised areas of the clinic/facility.
  24. The student is required to report any inhumane treatment of the animals, improper
    conduct of employees, harassment, etc. to their instructor and clinical supervisor immediately.
  25. No pictures shall be taken at rotation sites unless permission is given by the clinical facility.

Attendance Policy

General Attendance Policy

  1. This policy includes attendance at lectures, laboratory assignments as well as barn and kennel duties.
  2. Attendance in class and at other official appointments is required.
    Unexcused abscesses will result in a 25-point grade deduction from each Veterinary Technology class being missed that day.
  3. An explanation of all absences must be given to the instructor in advance.
  4. Steps to take if you are going to be absent from lecture/lab/barn/lab animal duties:
    1. Contact the instructor responsible for overseeing the assigned class/duties prior to being absent. The student must call or email the instructor before the assigned time. Please leave a message if no one answers the phone.
    2. Barn: You are required to give notice with a
      phone call a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time. If you do not give a minimum of 30 minutes prior notice, you will have a 25-point grade deduction from the Veterinary Technology class being taken that semester.
  5. In order for an absence to be considered excused, it must be accompanied by written
    documentation from the proper authorities (doctor, counselor, police etc.).
    1. Documentation written by the student will not be accepted for absence incidents.
    2. Examples of Excused Absences
      1. Death in the immediate family.
      2. Student is hospitalized.
      3. Student is ill.
      4. Student’s child or family member is sick.
      5. Student’s pet is in an emergency health situation.
      6. Persistent unexcused absences are cause for dismissal from class. See instructor’s course syllabi for further explanation.
  6. Each student will be allowed two (2) tardies for lecture classes. On the third occurrence, you will lose 25 points off your final grade.
  7. Students may not leave campus during class breaks, except for lunch breaks. Doing so will result in a 25 point deduction from the final grade.
  8. Unexcused absences- the student is unable to make up missed material and laboratories. Each student is allowed 2 excused absences after 2 excused absences is exceeded the absences are considered unexcused and the student is unable to make up missed material and laboratories.

Exam Policy

  1. Students are expected to take exams on scheduled dates and times.
  2. Only students with excused absences will be allowed to make up missed exams.
  3. Only students with excused absences will be allowed to make up quizzes.
  4. Pop quizzes cannot be made up.
  5. Extra credit opportunities may be made up at the discretion of the instructor.
  6. All exams and lab practicals are comprehensive and may contain questions from previous exams and past VET courses.

Laboratory Policy

  1. Due to the availability of materials and set-up time requirements, it is not feasible for the makeup of most laboratory activities. Makeup of labs will be at the instructor’s discretion for students with excused absences. Arrangements for making up a lab must be made with instructor within (3) days of excused absence.
  2. Lab work will count for a portion of your grade in each course that includes a lab.
  3. All laboratory exercises will be evaluated as outlined in the course syllabus.
  4. Students may not leave lab class until all jobs are completed.
  5. Students may not leave lab class until the lab areas have all been cleaned.
  6. Students missing lab class for excused reasons may make up the class by attending another lab session. However, the material the student missed may not be duplicated due to time constraints.
  7. If a missed lab is not excused, the lab class may NOT be made up. The student will lose 25 points from the final grade. It is YOUR responsibility to bring proper documentation of an excused absence.
  8. Eating, drinking, and gum are prohibited in all laboratory situations.
  9. Students must comply with the dress code policy outlined below.
  10. Student may not switch lab sections without approval from the instructor.
  11. Faculty will reassign students to different lab sections each semester.
  12. The clinical sites do not have safe places for student’s belongings. DO NOT bring purses or other valuables.
    *Note: Refer to “Clinical Rotation” section for more information on attendance.

Cell Phone Policy

  1. No cell phone usage will be permitted in class, laboratories, or clinical site rotations.
  2. Cell phones must be turned off (not on vibrate) during class, laboratories or clinical rotations
  3. There will be no texting in class, laboratories or clinical rotations.
  4. Usage of cell phones for calculator, clock, stop watch, calendar, email, internet or pictures will not be permitted during class unless instructor/supervisor grants permission.
  5. Failure to comply with the above cell phone policies will result in a 10 point deduction from grade
    for every offense, even if during same class session. Students causing a disruption to the class may be asked to leave class for the day, resulting in 0 points for missed quizzes, exam, assignments and activities.
  6. Students who have an emergency situation at home should alert the instructor prior to class.
    Permission will be granted to step outside and talk on the cell phone for emergency-type situations.
  7. Students may not call or text instructors during holidays, weekends or after work hours to discuss
    information about assignments or any other school-related issue. Such conversations need to occur during school/work hours. Do not call or text instructors on their cell phones unless it
    pertains to an animal emergency with a program-owned animal.

Dress Code Policy

Students will not receive credit for lab work or clinical work unless they are dressed in the required attire. The dress code is as follows:

Small Animal Lab and Clinical Rotations

  1. Grade deductions will be made for failure to wear approved dress or have required materials. A
    10 point grade deduction for each infraction will be made. Student must be appropriately dressed at the beginning of the session. Students may be asked to leave class for the day until they can return in appropriate attire, resulting in 0 points for missed quizzes, exam, assignments and activities.
  2. The scrub style and color will be assigned by faculty at the beginning of each academic year and will be required for every student.
  3. The student is expected to keep their scrubs clean, neat and ironed. Pant bottoms should not touch the floor.
  4. The Veterinary Technology Program patch must be sewn to the left sleeve of the scrub top.
  5. The student must wear their nametag on the scrub top.
  6. The student must wear their radiologic film badge clipped to the neck of the scrub top.
  7. Student should wear tennis shoes with laces (or other appropriate foot wear) with socks. No open-toe shoes allowed.
  8. Students must wear an approved lab jacket/warm up jacket (no white) over their scrubs when
    handling infectious or hazardous material.
  9. Only tops approved by the Veterinary Technology Program will be worn under scrub tops.
    They must be a solid color of white, gray, khaki or navy blue and tucked in at the waist. No writing/print tops should be present. Turtle necks are acceptable.
  10. To comply with professional appearance expectations of the profession, no visible tattoos
    are permitted. Tattoos must be covered.
  11. To comply with professional appearance expectations of the profession, the student’s hair color must be of a natural appearing hair color (no bright or loud colors).
  12. For safety reasons, the following are not allowed during any lab:
    1. Long fingernails
    2. Jewelry
      1. Only small rings, wrist-watch and up to two (2) pair of small stud earrings in lobe of ear (at bottom only) are allowed.
      2. No jewelry is permitted in surgery.
    3. Visible body piercings (including tongue piercings)
    4. Dangling earrings; open ear gauge inserts.
    5. Long hair
      1. Students with long hair (shoulder length or longer) must have hair tied up. No hair should be in face.
    6. Headgear (caps, hats, protruding hair accessories, etc.)
  13. The student should have the following items on their person at all times:
    1. Pen and Sharpie
    2. Calculator (small, lightweight, basic)
    3. Bandage scissors
    4. Suture removal scissors
    5. Name tag
    6. Radiologic badge
    7. Wristwatch with secondhand or digital counter
    8. Thermometer
    9. Notepad (pocketsize)
  14. The student should own and have access to the following items:
    1. Stethoscope
    2. Nylon leash
    3. Penlight
    4. Container to place items in when not in use (tackle box, art case etc.)
  15. Radiologic Film Badges
    1. Students must not exchange film badges with other individuals.
    2. Students without film badges may not participate in the radiology area during lab or clinical rotation sessions.
    3. Film badges must be turned in by the end of the semester.
    4. Students will have one point deducted from the clinical practicum grade for each day the badge is not returned.
    5. Film badges must be returned at the end of each semester in order to receive a final grade.
    6. At the end of the final semester of the student’s career at OCTC, the film holder and badge must be returned.

Dress Code Policy

Students will not receive credit for lab work or clinical work unless they are dressed in the required attire. The dress code is as follows:

Large Animal Lab and Clinical Rotations

  1. All items listed above apply to this category as well.
  2. Students must wear nice jeans/khaki pants and a scrub top of the appropriate assigned color, appropriate footwear (hard-soled boots that cover the ankle), name tag and film badge. Coveralls are also acceptable in khaki, navy blue or grey.
    1. At equine practice rotations students must abide by the same dress code listed in item ‘B’.
      Students should have scrubs available to go into surgery if needed.
      Remember: No visible signs of body piercing are allowed at any rotation site (or VT lab) and all body tattoos must be covered up. Ear gauge inserts must be solid.
      Deductions of 10 points for each dress code/equipment infraction will be made off the final grade.
  3. The student should have leather boots (or approved Muck boots) available for large animal
    work. Boots should cover the calf, approximately 3-4 inches below the knee. Boots should be solid, dark color. No tennis shoes will be allowed on large animal calls.
  4. Students assigned to mixed-animal practices should keep large animal attire and boots available.
    1. Some students find it helpful to keep these items in the trunk of their car.
  5. Students should be aware that lab class at OCTC may consist of spur-of-the-moment large animal work, and the above items should be ready for use if needed.

Barn and Lab Animal Duty

Dress code for OCTC barn and lab animal duty
Two (2) choices:

  1. Wear scrubs and boots for barn duty; scrubs and tennis shoes for lab animal duty
  2. Wear large animal attire and boots for barn duty
    1. Ten (10) points will be deducted from the student’s final grade for ignoring the above two choices.

Responsibilities for barn and lab animal duty

  1. Students will be assigned barn and lab animal duty by Mrs. Jackson or Mrs. Groves.
  2. Students will not perform duty in between semesters.
  3. Students are responsible for weekends and holidays during semesters.
  4. Students late for barn/lab animal duty three times in one semester will have 25 points deducted from their final grade.
  5. Students who knowingly cover up the tardiness of a fellow classmate will have their final grade
    deducted by 25 points.
  6. Students who are absent for barn/lab animal care three times in a semester will have 25 points
    deducted from their final grade.
  7. Students who are extremely late (>15 minutes) must make up missed time by staying late at their next assignment of duty.
  8. Students who are absent (with prior authorization) must reschedule another duty to make up their absence. Duties not made up will result in 25 points being deducted from their final grade.
  9. No one may start barn/lab animal duty until everyone who is scheduled for duty is present and accounted for.
  10. Students must sign and complete animal care logs each assigned day

Master Schedules

  1. The barn and lab animal master schedules are posted on the board in the rear hallway of the teaching hospital.

Steps to take if you are going to be late or absent from barn or lab animal duty

  1. Barn Duty
    1. Call and email Mrs. Jackson to let her know you will be late or absent. You must call at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time.
      • No phone call = 25 point deduction from your final grade.
    2. Call your partners to let them know you are going to be late or absent.
    3. Call a classmate to cover your shift.
  2. Lab Animal Duty
    1. Call and email Mrs. Groves to let them know you will be late or absent. You must call at least 30 minutes before you are scheduled to be at school.
      • No phone call = 25 point deduction from your final grade.
    2. Call your partners to let them know you are going to be late or absent.
    3. Call a classmate to cover your shift

Steps to take if you want to switch barn and lab animal duty with someone

  1. Switching must occur at least one week in advance.
  2. Notify Mrs. Jackson (barn); Mrs. Groves (lab animal care).
  3. Type a note stating day(s) to be switched or day(s) to be covered.
  4. All students involved signatures and date must be on the note.
  5. The student will be able to switch the same day up to (2) times.

Barn and Lab Animal Management Policy
The student is required to participate in barn and lab animal duty as outlined in the Veterinary Technology Management Plan. A copy of the Management Plan will be issued to each student. No exceptions to the times assigned will be allowed.Failure to comply with barn and lab animal regulations will result in a grade point deduction for each incidence.

Examples of Grade Deductions for Lab, Class, Barn and Kennel Duty

Example Point Deduction
A. Not properly attired in program-approved scrubs -10 points
B. Scrub outfit not ironed -10 points
C. Scrub pants touch the ground -10 points
D. No name tag -10 points
E. Lack of required accessories (see pages 10 and 11) -10 points
F. No radiology badge -10 points
G. Wears visible body piercing, including tongue piercing -10 points
H. Wears open-toed shoes or other unapproved footwear -10 points
I. Wears more than two sets of stud earrings -10 points
J. Wears hoop or dangling earrings or open gauge inserts -10 points
K. Wears long hair down (e.g. not tied back from face) -10 points
L. Wears necklaces, bracelets or excessive rings -10 points
M. Visible skin tattoos not covered -10 points
N. Scrubs not worn to lab on the final exam day -10 points
O. Wearing long fingernails and nail color -10 points
P. Not wearing boots for barn duty or large animal labs -10 points
Q. Students not wearing their lab jackets when handling body fluids -10 points
R. Visitors accompanying student while performing barn/kennel duty -10 points
S. Wearing open-toed, open-heeled shoes, or flip-flops during
barn or kennel duty
-10 points
T. Students not pulling their share of the work for barn and kennel duty will lose 25 points after two (2) written warnings. -25 points
U. Not keeping required items in scrub pockets during lab class. -10 points
V. Groups leaving any barn door open. After second time, 25 points will be deducted from any student involved in this violation. -10 points
W. Groups not latching feed room or stall doors. After second time, 25 points will be deducted from any
student involved in this violation.
-10 points
X. Groups not using a halter and lead rope when working on the horses (each person in the group) will have 10 points deducted
from their final grade.
-10 points
Y. Any barn group who forgets to let the horses out of their stalls after feeding. After the second time, each person in the group will lose 25 points. -10 points
Z. Students not bringing the required textbooks to class. -10 points

Safety Policy

The chance of injury is very low in the Veterinary Technology Program; however, students enrolled in this program must be aware of potential dangers involved in working with animals and related equipment. The student should always take appropriate precautions to avoid injury. The student should observe all program safety procedures and those of clinical affiliates. The student should be familiar with the following guidelines that help to keep the incidence of injury low:

  1. Students are advised to carry health insurance during enrollment in the Veterinary Technology
    Program at OCTC.
    1. Owensboro Community and Technical College and the Veterinary Technology Program will not be responsible for the cost of emergency room treatment or hospital expense resulting from injury to a student by an animal while student is performing barn and kennel duty, participating in lab sessions, or performing clinical rotation assignments.
  2. Do not wear jewelry (except small rings and/or two pair of stud-type earrings) while
    participating in lab sessions or clinical rotations.
    1. Injury may occur to the student if an animal’s paw, nail or tooth is caught in jewelry.
  3. Wear a hard hat when working the controls of a large animal chute.
  4. Work with a partner when restraining or performing procedures on horses
  5. Do not operate electrical appliances while standing in or near water.
  6. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when applying insecticide dips to animals.
  7. Wear rubber gloves, eye protection, and ear protection (e.g. ear plugs) when cleaning kennels.
  8. Wear protective lead shielding (e.g. apron, gloves, and thyroid protector) when performing
    radiographic procedures.
  9. The student’s current film badge must be worn during all exposures.
  10. The film badge must be attached to the collar of the lab jacket and worn on the outside of the lead
    apron or thyroid protector.
  11. No student is allowed to make radiographic exposures at OCTC without appropriate faculty present.
  12. No student may operate the ultrasound machine at OCTC without appropriate faculty present.
  13. Wear gloves and protective eye devices when using acid materials to clean lab animal cages.
  14. Students must attend a demonstration of the eye-wash station in the lab and barn area.
  15. The student must take special precautions when administering prostaglandin products, certain antibiotics or live vaccines (e.g. brucella vaccine or sore mouth vaccine).
  16. When electroshock is administered to animal patients in the CPR process, the student must take
    special precautions not to touch the animal or table on which the animal is placed.
  17. If you are attacked by a large dog and cannot escape or defend against the attack, cover your throat and lie in a fetal position until help arrives.
  18. When performing procedures on horses, remain close to the animal to minimize the chance of injury.
  19. When grooming or restraining horses, use a halter and lead rope. Do not hold the halter of a rearing horse.
  20. Proper protection (e.g. face mask or other eye protection and gloves) is required when
    performing dental prophylaxis.
  21. Students are required by the Veterinary Technology Program to obtain pre- exposure rabies vaccinations. Please see the Rabies Notification portion of this document for further details.
                1. Only vaccinated students will be allowed to handle unvaccinated animals.
  22. Students are expected to adhere to the “Policy of Universal Precautions.”
  23. Students are required to keep a current status for tetanus vaccination.
  24. If a dog or cat fight occurs in a lab or at clinical sites, do not to attempt to break up the fight alone. The student is encouraged to:
    1. Obtain help.
    2. Use a catch pole if the fight must be broken up.
    3. Never use your hands to break up a fight.
    4. Never break up a fight alone.
  25. If you are pregnant, notify your instructor so appropriate safety measures may be taken. Check with your doctor about any physical limitations and report those to your instructor.
    • The choice to declare a pregnancy is voluntary; however, students who are, or become, pregnant are encouraged to notify the Program Director. Veterinary medicine has many inherent dangers for the developing fetus. Hazards such as inhalation of anesthetic gases, exposure to radiation, toxic chemicals, exposure to chemotherapeutic agents, trauma by a horse or cow or an animal bite or scratch are just a few that are inherently more dangerous to the pregnant individual and her fetus. The pregnant student is advised to seek advice and counsel from her qualified health care provider concerning continuing involvement in the OCTC Veterinary Technology Program.

Personal Injury

Students incurring a bite or scratch should follow the Management of Animal Bites/Scratches Policy.

Students who are injured at OCTC or at a clinical site must complete an incident report for the college or the health care agency within 48 hours. In the event of an injury, medical expenses are the responsibility of the Veterinary Technology student.

Disposable Needle Policy

Due to the risk factor involved in transmission of blood-borne pathogens and the liability related to injury from discarded needles, all accidents involving needle sticks must be reported to the Program faculty/staff.

Do not take syringes or needles out of the Vet Tech Lab or large animal lab areas. Dispose of used needles and syringes in the red biohazard container. It is the student’s responsibility to keep all potentially hazardous skill testing items in a safe and secure place.

Disability Accommodations

Students with disabilities who require accommodations (academic adjustment and/or auxiliary aids or services) for this program must contact the Disability Services Office in the Counseling Center, Campus Center Building, Room 102B. The DSO telephone number is (270) 686-4528. Dial 711 for TDD protocol. Please DO NOT request accommodations directly from the instructor without a letter of accommodation from the Disability Services Office.

In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC) does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service in its programs or activities: its admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic and other College-administered programs; or employment. In addition, the College does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation consistent with KCTCS nondiscrimination policy. Inquiries or comments regarding these issues should be directed to the Disability Services Officer/504/ADA Compliance, OCTC, 4800 New Hartford Road, Owensboro, KY 42303. Telephone (270) 686-4528, Fax (270) 686-4648.

Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease. It can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system. If a person does not receive the appropriate medical are after a potential rabies exposure, the virus can cause disease in the brain, ultimately resulting in death. According to the CDC, most veterinarians and veterinary technicians fall into Risk Category 3 (out of 5). Recommended protective measures include a 2-dose pre-exposure immunization spaced 7 days apart, followed by routine titer checks.
Upon admittance into the program, students are required to receive the Human Rabies Pre-exposure Vaccination. Documentation of this vaccine must be provided to the Program Director and will be kept on file for the duration of the student’s enrollment in the program and for a minimum of 5 years beyond the last date of attendance. 
Students that with a documented medical disability or sincerely held religious beliefs, practices, or observances may be eligible for reasonable accommodations. Students should contact the appropriate college representative to request an accommodation and begin the interactive process.  Students who do not receive the rabies vaccine due to medical or religious reasons must understand their increased risk of contracting rabies. These students are required to abide by the Comprehensive Rabies Mitigation Policy put in place by the Program to help decrease the risk.
            1. Only vaccinated students will be allowed to handle unvaccinated animals.
For additional information regarding zoonotic disease and rabies protection visit
Unvaccinated students should only touch vaccinated animals. If they do touch unvaccinated animals, PPE (gloves, mask, long sleeves, long pants, closed toed shoes) is required. Eye protection is highly encouraged. 
Clinical Practicum sites will be notified of a student’s Rabies vaccination status to establish proper safety guidelines. Students should discuss these precautions with their clinical site supervisor before starting the practicum. Students and Clinical Practicum sites are required to abide by the policies outlined in the Comprehensive Rabies Mitigation Policy.

Discipline Policy

  1. It is important that Vet Tech students adhere to all college, program, clinical rules and regulations as well as local, state and federal laws in order to remain a student in good standing.
  2. Students are subject to the “Student Rights and Responsibilities” section of the KCTCS Code of Student Conduct.
  3. Vet Tech students attending a clinical rotation are subject to all rules and regulations of that clinical facility.
  4. Vet Tech students will be subject to disciplinary action for any of the following offenses:
    1. Unprofessional or unethical conduct
    2. Insubordination
    3. Misconduct that endangers the health or safety of another person
    4. Misconduct that endangers the health or safety of an animal
    5. Misconduct that endangers the well-being of another person or an animal
    6. Violation of any of the disciplinary offenses listed in the KCTCS Student Code of Conduct
  5. If a violation occurs, the program director will issue a written reprimand. Copies of the reprimand will go to the student, program files, and Student Affairs Officer. If the student’s actions also violate a college rule, the student will be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in the KCTCS Code of Student Conduct.
  6. The second violation of a college, program, or clinical rule will result in the student being sent directly to the division dean or vice president of student affairs for further action.
  7. Students violating rules may be removed from the classroom or lab by program faculty. If a student refuses to leave a classroom, lab, or building when asked, college security and/or local law enforcement officers will be called and further disciplinary action may be taken under the KCTCS
    Student Code of Conduct
  8. Students violating academic dishonesty policies will be sent to the Vice President of Student Affairs for disposition.
  9. Violations that may be considered grounds for dismissal include:
    1. Intentional violation of the veterinary practice act.
    2. Conviction of animal abuse.
    3. Conviction of felony drug charges.
    4. Falsifying clinical competency checklists
    5. Falsifying clinical time sheets
    6. Falsifying absence/late records
    7. Failure to adhere to the confidentiality of client records, hospital records, or other hospital
  10. CHEATING AND FABRICATION will not be tolerated. Cheating or fabrication by a student
    related to any academic exercise, assignment, evaluation, documentation, or assessment may result in a failing grade for the assignment or the entire course. Fabrication includes, but is
    not limited to, falsifying or inventing information. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the use of unauthorized materials or aids, borrowing from the work of others, or allowing another to borrow work for assignments intended to be completed independently
  11. PLAGIARISM IS CHEATING. Working collaboratively with other students or student tutors is acceptable; however, all writing or other  assignments or tests for this class must represent the student’s own thought, research, and self-expression. If a student cannot discuss or explain the work, the work may be viewed as plagiarized. A student who submits work as original but has borrowed ideas, organization, wording or other elements from another source without appropriate acknowledgment has plagiarized from that author. Plagiarism is a serious offense resulting in a failing grade for the assignment or the entire course depending upon the intent and severity of the offense.

Grievance Procedures

If a student has a grievance concerning an evaluation, grade, scheduling, or other matters of Vet Tech program policy, the student will be given the opportunity for a due-process hearing with the program faculty. The procedure will be as follows:

  1. Submit the grievance in writing to an instructor or the program director.
  2. A meeting will be held with the following people in attendance:
    1. Veterinary Technology Program Director
    2. Veterinary Technology instructor
    3. Person submitting the grievance
    4. Division Dean
  3. The grievance will be reviewed and a written deposition made by the Program Director.
  4. If the matter remains unresolved, the student should refer to the grievance or grade appeal procedure outlined in the KCTCS Student Code of Conduct.

Miscellaneous Policies

  1. Educational goals must take top priority. Employment/outside activities will not be a reason for
    tardiness, leaving early or missing or rescheduling:
    1. Classes
    2. Lab exercises (class time)
    3. Clinical rotations
    4. Barn and lab animal duty
  2. The student is expected to contact the instructor if additional help is needed in any Veterinary
    Technology course.
  3. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor if there is concern about a grading error.
  4. The student should adhere to the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA)
    regulations as they pertain to veterinary medicine.
  5. The student should refrain from engaging in conversations among classmates during
    audiovisual presentations, guest lectures, and laboratory exercises.
  6. A student engaged in personal conversations may be asked to leave and required to follow the
    make-up policy for work missed.
  7. Sleeping during class and laboratory sessions will not be tolerated.
  8. A student sleeping during class may be asked to leave and required to follow the make-up policy
    for work missed.
  9. The student is expected to clean up after all lab and other appropriate course-related activities.
  10. Students finding a situation in need of cleaning are expected to do so whether they caused the
    situation or not.
  11. Animals belonging to students must be kept in OCTC crates/cages/runs when in the Vet Tech
    Teaching Hospital. A card identifying the animal and its owner must be attached to the cage, crate or run.
  12. No animals will be permitted in the surgical area except the patient.
  13. Personal pets will not be allowed in the barn or paddocks.
  14. Personal pets should be on a leash when brought to campus
  15. Electronic devices used by students are subject to faculty inspection to determine appropriate use.
  16. Students are responsible for conducting an audit of their academic transcript periodically to ensure
    that they are on track to compete their degree within the five-semester timeframe. Students should note that coursework from other institutions transfers for credit only if at least a “C” has been earned in a course.
  17. Keep a copy of your class contact list with you at home and also in your car.
  18. OCTC students are expected to be able to produce a valid
    student ID upon request by faculty/staff/employees.
  19. Recording of learning activities is allowed only with faculty permission and is to be used for educational purposes by individual students. When recording is permitted, all students should be aware that voices/images may be captured during the process. No portion of instructional recordings may be reproduced or published by students.

General Information

Computer Equipment Use

The computer equipment available in the OCTC Veterinary Technology Program is for educational purposes only. Using computers for recreational purposes during class/lab time will result in the students’ dismissal from the class/lab. Students must agree to abide by OCTC Veterinary Technology Program guidelines utilizing laptops, computer tablets, and cell phones.


Academic questions should be directed to the appropriate instructor or academic advisor. If additional assistance is required please contact the student affairs specialist, and then the program director. General counseling services are available for assistance with personal issues at no charge. Contact the student affairs specialist or the Counseling Center for information on these services.

Vet Tech Club

Vet Tech Club officers are to be elected annually during the January meeting. Offices elected: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Public Relations, and Student Representative for the Advisory Board. If an officer position becomes vacant prior to the end of their term, elections may be held at faculty discretion. Meetings are to be conducted outside of class time with at least one faculty member present.

Sharing the Downtown Campus Building

We share the building with other programs. We ask you to use courtesy and good manners when you are in the building.


Students are advised to check their e-mail daily, as various messages from your instructors may be sent. Students without e-mail capability at home are encouraged to use the computers here at the college.

Student Study Sessions

We ask that group study sessions be held at a location other than DT 23, VT Teaching Hospital; unless prior faculty approval has been obtained or given.

VT Teaching Hospital

The Veterinary Technology Teaching Hospital consists of areas where laboratories are held. In accordance with OSHA standards, students are not allowed to eat or drink in these areas.

Withdrawing from the Veterinary Technology Program

Students wishing to withdraw from the Veterinary Technology Program, or any course needed to obtain this degree, must meet with their advisor and the Program Director prior to withdrawing.

Illness of Personal Pets

If the student’s animal is severely ill, and the illness has occurred within the past 48 hours (strictly emergency cases – or if the animal is scheduled to see a specialist for a severe illness), the student can be excused from class with proper documentation (written documentation from the clinic). Explanation of all absences must be given to the instructor in advance.

Bringing personal pets to clinical rotations is prohibited.

Program Requirements

Failure to meet all program requirements will result in exclusion from the program.
All students are required to have student liability insurance, clear background check, and provide documentation of completion of all required immunizations. Failure to do so will result in exclusion from the program.

Student Liability Insurance: Required every semester

Clear Background Check: Upon initial enrollment and prior to VTNE if more than two years since last completed.

Drug Screen: Required upon initial enrollment. A failed drug screen will result in exclusion from the program.

History & Physical: Required upon initial enrollment; must be completed and signed by a physician or APRN

TB test: Provide written evidence of negative skin test or blood test within last 12 months; results written in 0mm or if a history of positive skin tests, provide documentation of a chest x-ray report showing no active disease.

Tetanus: Provide documentation of booster shot within the last 10 years

Rabies: Provide documentation of rabies vaccination and/or recent titer. Review CDC website for latest guidelines.

Skill Testing

Students will be allowed three (3) attempts of those skills deemed critical according to the CVTEA Essential Skills list. If the third attempt is Unmet (UM) the student must immediately withdraw from the OCTC Veterinary Technology Program. Clinical skills competency may be tested either in the campus laboratory setting or in the clinical setting. Individual course instructors will choose the form of competency testing to be utilized.

One VT faculty member will observe the student during skill testing. If a student fails their first attempt, they will be informed which critical requirements were Unmet (UM). It is the student’s responsibility to schedule practice time with a VT faculty member prior to the re-skill date as determined by the course instructor. During the subsequent re-skill performance, the student will be observed by two (2) VT faculty members. If the third re-skill attempt is Unmet (UM), the student must immediately withdraw from the program and a “W” will be assigned. A minimum of one week and a maximum of two weeks will lapse between re-skill attempts. All re-skill attempts must be completed one week prior to final exams.


In addition to regular college tuition, fees and cost of books, OCTC Veterinary Technology students in the program will incur additional expenses for the following:

National Standardized Testing: VTNE

Criminal Background checks and Drug screen

Professional liability insurance

Lab tests and immunizations required by health agencies

Student Veterinary Technician uniforms and equipment (includes radiology badge, wristwatch with second hand, stethoscope, scissors, etc.)

Transportation to all clinical sites, large animal facility, field trips, and off-campus laboratories.

Campus Security

Be safe at OCTC and take care of yourself and your valuables by locking your car, taking your keys, not leaving valuables in view, especially purses and book bags. If using the VT Teaching hospital lab after hours or on the weekend, please keep the doors closed and locked. For an escort to your car, call (270) 688-5040 from any campus phone or cell phone.

Gift Policy

No gifts are to be accepted from clients. Gifts or acknowledgements for classmates and faculty will be at the discretion of the OCTC Vet Tech Club.

Building Policies: Smoking

OCTC is a tobacco-free campus. Smoking and tobacco use is prohibited at all clinical agencies. E-cigarettes are also prohibited. Students found out of compliance either on campus or at a clinical facility may be assigned an Unsatisfactory (U) evaluation/absence.

Students who smoke are encouraged to enroll in smoking cessation. Self-help groups are available at the local hospitals and the American Cancer Society.


It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of the schedule and to be aware of regularly scheduled exams, lab practicals, and assignments. 10 Points will be deducted from ALL late papers or assignments for every day it is late (this includes weekends and holidays) and they will not be accepted after one week from the due date.

Weather Related Class Cancellation/Delay Policy

SNAP (Safety Notification Alert Process) will alert students via e-mail, phone call or text message of school closing, delays or dangerous conditions including security threats.

If you are unable to attend clinical due to inclement weather, please notify the instructor at least 30 minutes in advance of the scheduled class or activity. In the event of threat of severe weather, the instructor will make a determination to continue with clinical or to dismiss students.

COVID‐19 Statement

OCTC must remain flexible to meet challenges that may include epidemics, pandemics, natural disasters, human-influenced disasters, and any and all threats to the College campus, students, employees, and surrounding communities. To ensure the safety and well-being of our constituencies, the College maintains the right to move classes temporarily or permanently to online, remote platforms; to a hybrid section that includes some face-to-face learning and some remote learning; or to a different campus, location, building, or time. Additionally, the College reserves the right to institute plans or practices in the physical classroom/lab/activity spaces and common areas to protect students and employees. The College will attempt to make these changes as minimally disruptive as possible, but the College reserves the sole right to alter the particular type, place, and/or time for their classes. Students will be notified of any necessary modifications as quickly as possible.


Click here for a printer friendly version of the OCTC Veterinary Technology Student Policy Manual: Student Signature Page

Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC) and the Kentucky Community and  Technical College System (KCTCS) are committed to a policy of providing educational opportunities to all qualified students regardless of economic or social status, and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, beliefs, age, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability.