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New instrument optimizes training for CCCC Veterinary Medicine students

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11.30.2015College & CommunityCollege GeneralCurriculum Programs

SANFORD - Students in Central Carolina Community College's Veterinary Medicine Technology program will have the opportunity to work with the new video Otoscope or "SmartScope."

VMT students recently watched a demonstration of the new equipment. As the instrument passes through the dog's ear canal, a perforated tympanic membrane is revealed and its image is projected onto a screen. Video otology and rhinoscopy with the vetOvation SmartScope system uses an iPhone to view anatomy inside a patient's ear or nose. The images and video are captured on the iPhone and can be shared with a client via email.

"This instrument will be of great use to my students," said Dr. Arlen Mills, instructor in the VMT program. "As veterinary technicians, they must assist in surgical and diagnostic procedures. This will be a great advantage to their studies and make them more competitive in the veterinary technology field."

A minimally invasive instrument, the video Otoscope can be used to examine and perform procedures on an animal's nose or ears such as removing hair, wax build-up, or cleaning out materials that contain harmful bacteria. The tool was adapted for veterinary use by Meadowcroft in collaboration with Professor Parks Newby and student Catherine McVey at the N.C. State University School of Engineering.

"Many of the Vet Techs will be going to hospitals that already have this equipment to start their careers," said VetOvation founder and CEO Les Meadowcroft. "By already being familiar with the equipment, learning procedures that use this equipment and how to handle and clean it, the students will become a valuable resource to the veterinary hospital."

VMT student Sydney Johnson, of Fayetteville, said she has always loved animals and has always had an interest in helping them. Johnson, who helped in a demonstration of the new equipment, has a Bachelor of Science and is working on her Associate in Applied Science degree at CCCC.

"I've always wanted to be a veterinarian, but with the amount of time it takes to become one, I felt like veterinary technology would be better suited for me," said Johnson. "I can finish the program in two years and still get to do what I love. I love this program at CCCC because it is very hands-on like the demonstration this morning. This program is so much more than just learning from a book. It is a lot better and you are a lot more qualified when you graduate."

The CCCC Veterinary Medical Technology program was the first of its kind in North Carolina. Since 1974, the program has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association's Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

The VMT program exposes students to a variety of animals, including rodents, rabbits, dogs, cats, cattle, and horses. In addition to extensive hands-on lab experiences, the program also uses numerous teaching models and demonstrations. A variety of job opportunities await graduates of the program. Employers include private veterinary practices, research facilities, pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic laboratories, zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centers, state and federal agencies, veterinary teaching hospitals, and specialty and emergency practices.

Students enrolled in the program study nutrition, diseases, anatomy, radiology, parasitology, pharmacology, dental, surgical and clinical procedures, anesthesiology, lab techniques, and office practices. The program has a diverse animal population, a large dog and cat ward, on-campus labs, and an off-campus large animal facility. The program also features guest speakers from the N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine, pharmaceutical and research facilities, and specialty hospitals, as well as members of the North Carolina Veterinary Board.

For more information about the Veterinary Medicine Technology program at CCCC, contact Department Chair Dr. Kim Browning at 919-718-7393 or visit the web site at