dillon veterinary tech

DILLON- On Friday, PIMA Medical Institute put on a public open house at their Veterinary Technician School. It's the only vet tech program in the state.

The school is located on Montana Western's campus, which allows students to still be able to get the full college experience.

One of the kids on the tour, Celia, is 5 years old and says when she grows up she wants to be a vet because she wants to see a bunny. Celia was excited to see all the tools and gadgets the school offers. Her 7-year-old brother, Cedric, joined on the tour.

Cedric says he wants to be a Lego builder when he grows up, but he still learned a lot on the tour. He said, "I learned how to put oxygen in there, and help the animals get air."

PIMA opened the school on Western's campus in 2015. Each year, about 40 to 50 students come from across Montana to Dillon for the only veterinary technician school in the Treasure State.

School staff says they've had students come from as far as New York for their program.

Trisha Stone, PIMA certified veterinary technician said, "Having that small town, small class sizes is really beneficial to the students."

Stone says the school has invested in the same equipment as veterinary hospitals.

She said, "We have a surgical suite which has monitors, fluid pumps and this is equivalent to what you would see in a veterinary hospital."

Students can either choose to become a veterinary assistant or technician. The technician program is the longer program and takes over a year and a half. Once students complete the program they take their boards to become certified.

Stone said their students are always well prepared for the real world. She said, "After they graduate they feel like they have a very well-rounded education and feel like they're ready to go out into the work force."

The next round of classes starts on Sept. 9 and PIMA says they're still accepting applications.

Students can receive financial aid for the program and have the option of living on Western's campus or in Dillon.

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