The teaching animals from shelters are generally considered healthy, but most of the animals we will be working with have unknown backgrounds and medical histories. Northern Virginia is an endemic rabies area, and the potential for exposure to a rabid animal is high in our profession. All students are required to be vaccinated against the rabies virus. Students must provide documented proof of pre-exposure rabies vaccination series completion or a current rabies titer before starting the program. Failure to provide the requested documentation for rabies vaccination or current rabies titer could result in withdrawal of program placement until the documentation is provided. Regardless of vaccination status, if a student is exposed to rabies, they will still need medical treatment.
Generally, pre-exposure vaccine series is needed only once in a lifetime, with blood titers confirmed every two years per Center for Disease Control (CDC) current recommendations. A booster rabies vaccine is warranted if a student has a documented non-protective rabies titer. There is more information to be found on the Center for Disease Control website, but please consult with a healthcare provider for specific questions about rabies vaccination and titers.
Stethoscope: Littmann brand is recommended due to its quality and acoustic performance
- White lab coat
- White tennis shoes