Cascade Veterinary Clinics
The first Licensed Veterinary Technician Apprenticeship Program
What is the Licensed Veterinary Technician Apprenticeship Program?
Upon approval, this program consists of three years (6,000 hours) of On-The-Job training (OJT) supplemented with 766 hours of classroom and lab instruction endorsed by the Veterinary Board of Governors (VBOG). Apprentices train within Cascade Veterinary Clinics as paid employees, gaining crucial skills and knowledge within the field of veterinary medicine. This is a small-scale, local program to address the local needs in our community. Current programs are not meeting the demand, especially in rural areas like ours. This program will allow our employees who otherwise are unable to attend LVT school due to financial, educational, geographical, or socio-economic factors.
Who We Are
Cascade Veterinary Clinics is a locally owned general practice and urgent care center located in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, and Leavenworth. We are a group of 15 DVMs along with an outstanding support staff who practice progressive medicine and surgery while developing innovative solutions to difficult problems and emphasizing teaching and learning at our three local locations.
Why can’t CVC employees take advantage of current programs? LVT programs already exist in Washington state. Why is this needed?
CVC initiated the program to address the need for a local training solution that combines rigorous instruction with practical, hands-on experience. Developing a registered apprenticeship program is the preferred approach for several compelling reasons:
No viable locally available instructional option (the closest LVT instructional program is two and half hours away)
Will the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) allow students in an approved registered apprenticeship program to take the required Veterinary Technical National Examination (VTNE)?
Is the proposed program approved by the regulatory licensing body?
There is high demand for LVTs in Washington state. Why not expand current offerings at the five accredited programs instead of creating a new apprenticeship program?
The proposed LVT registered apprenticeship program acknowledges the crisis of care that all veterinary providers are facing locally, statewide, and nationally: there are not enough LVT graduates to meet the overwhelming demand for skilled veterinary technicians. We reviewed the VTNE three-year pass rates at public and private colleges in Washington. By our estimate, the number of LVT graduates successfully passing the VTNE at AVMA-accredited institutions in Washington state meets about one-fourth (27 percent) of the projected position openings statewide. In other words, almost three-fourths (73%) of the demand for LVTs in Washington state remains unmet. This is a veterinary care staffing crisis demanding effective solutions that registered apprenticeship can and must provide. We are determined to provide our employees with an equitable, innovative, and cost-effective educational solution that they may not otherwise be able to afford or practically access through traditional college training programs.
How much does your program cost?
Are the training standards equivalent to the national LVT standards?
Will the skill standards be assessed for OJT competency?
Will there be time-based requirements and learning objectives to measure the acquisition of knowledge?
Who will assess whether students are achieving the training standards and how will that be measured?
Is this a return to the previous OJT licensing model discontinued by the VBOG in 2015?
Will this set back the veterinary technician profession and demean the credentials of veterinary technicians that have been/are being/will be trained in rigorous CVTEA-accredited programs with high educational standards?
Why doesn’t CVC use currently available college or online options?
There are no local community college program options available (the closest program is two and a half hours away in Yakima). Wenatchee Valley College will be providing several courses and has expressed interest in offering additional veterinary courses. Online programs in our view do not sufficiently provide the critically important, practical hands-on experience that is integral to a registered apprenticeship and our training philosophy.
We are not alone in our decision to adopt an apprenticeship model. Other high-skill healthcare professions in Washington state have similarly recognized the need for apprenticeship and have successfully adopted registered apprenticeship programs, including:
- Licensed Dispensing Optician
- Medical Assistant
- Peer Counselor
- Behavioral Health Coordinator
- Mental Health Professional
- Medical Assistant
- Central Sterile Processing Technician
- Pharmacy Technician
Upon approval from the WSATC, our recruitment process will begin on November 1st, 2022. Please look for online application information at that time.
If you have any questions regarding the Apprenticeship Program, please use the form below.