JTED Veterinary Science Program


Samantha Valdez , Opinion Editor

Last year in my Sports Medicine class we had a guest speaker from JTED.  She came, introduced herself, and the program. I knew what JTED was because my older sister had done it, but I didn’t think JTED would have anything that I was interested in. But still when she asked who wanted a packet, I said well I guess. I got home from school and showed my mom. As we went through the packet together, both of us looked at each other when we turned to a page that said Veterinary Science. It was a two-year program that would give you elective credits and by the time you graduated the program, your became a certified Veterinary Assistant. I love animals and it took me less than a second to be convinced I was joining that program.

I followed the instructions on the packet on how to register. I went to the web page, completed the registration, received an email informing me my application had been accepted and now I had to wait for a letter in the mail. If I got in I would receive a congratulations letter along with a supplies list. I waited for what felt like forever and finally it came, I had been accepted! Of course the next day I made my mom come with me to the store and help me pick out all my stuff.

The first day of JTED was August 3rd, that was also the first day of my Junior year. Thus became the first longest day of my life. School was long and then I had to go to JTED, which was what I was really excited about. After school I drove to JTED and began my first day. It was mainly policies and procedures. Ever since then, we came a long way. We had a behavior unit which showed us how to identify a dog’s behavior based on body cues. Later on, we moved on to restraint and handling. Then hazards we could find around our clinic or around a Veterinary hospital.

Mainly we will be working with dogs and cats, just because it’s easier for us to be able to work with them. However, they have promised us to bring special guest speakers. We have already taken a field trip to The Humane Society, and will soon be going to TRAK, a facility for therapeutic riding. We’ve also had a chance to handle sheep.  Even though we will mainly see dogs and cats, they do try their best to get us experience with as many animals as possible. Our campus is located at the Amphi Land Lab where students take care of their farm animals. Even though they aren’t ours, they have invited us to the back where they are all kept. They have many pigs (two actually pregnant), cows, sheep, a steer, and a buck.

Overall, the program has been great. We learn so much and get many opportunities for practice. Our teacher told us that at every clinic practice day, we will have some sort of failure, but it’s what we learn from it that counts. Yes, a lot of the time is taking notes and not work with animals every day, but all of the stuff you learn is so new and exciting. I would definitely recommend this to someone who loves animals and is planning on majoring in Veterinary Science.

There are several things I feel I wished I knew before joining JTED. When I first signed up, they offered classes at two different locations. A Tanque Verde campus and at the Amphi Land Lab. I had picked the Tanque Verde campus classes because they were closer to school. At one point throughout the summer, they called me and said they didn’t have a teacher for that campus so they were calling all students to see if they still wanted to do the program. I had already looked up both locations before signing up so I knew where it was and said yes. However I didn’t think about the distance. School ends at 3:15 on the days I go to JTED and leaving the parking lot takes several minutes depending where you park (I learned the secret to leaving campus early is to park right next to the exits). Then the Amphi Land Lab is Right across the street from the Tucson Mall. It’s very stressful to get there on time because after-school is always rush hour, and its generally really far away. I change during my 6th period so I don’t have to worry about changing in the car, or at JTED and wasting more time. I usually arrive to JTED at around 3:58 which gives me two minutes to walk to my classroom and sign my name on the attendance sheet.

It’s also very tiring. During clinics you have to stand for hours just as you would in a real life Veterinary hospital. On normal class days, JTED ends at 6:30 and you get home late and still have all the regular homework left from school to complete, so you are always busy.

However, through the stress of arriving on time and having less hours to accomplish your school tasks, I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who loves animals, or wants to major in Veterinary Science. It is a fun time and you get to help out some nice friends of ours. We become their voice and share our knowledge with others.

If you want more information about the Veterinary Program the link is here:  https://pimajted.org/programs/veterinary-assistant/