Veterinary technicians are animal nurses that work in veterinary offices, animal clinics, emergency hospitals, rescues and shelters, and more. These individuals receive training and education at a vet tech school during a 2-year associate’s degree program which equips them to address basic and advanced animal health care issues. Here are a few of the primary things that veterinary technicians can expect to do on a daily basis once they get their first paying job.
Is Vet Tech an Ideal Career?
A career as a vet technician starts with proper training via a good vet technician program. An aspiring vet tech has to hurdle two obstacles on the road to accreditation; a two or four-year formal academic course, and a state-administered certification. Whether it's an associate's or a bachelor's degree, a reliable training program will prepare the aspiring veterinary technical for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) and for placement in a clinic or laboratory. The certification process is overseen by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).
Vet technician programs include internship and externship opportunities in their curriculum. A basic understanding of animal nursing is a requirement for all aspiring technicians. The student has to be knowledgeable in laboratory procedures, and must be willing to assist in all aspects of animal care, including surgical procedures.
A typical vet tech education curriculum includes the seven major areas of knowledge that have been identified by the AAVSB, namely: pharmacy and pharmacology, surgical preparation and assisting, dentistry procedures, laboratory procedures, animal nursing, radiology and ultrasound, and anesthesia. Additional knowledge in public health, physiology, and zoonotic diseases will further enhance a veterinary technician's performance.
Newly certified vet technicians work under the direct supervision of licensed technicians for proper on-the-job training and hands-on experience in working with animals. They also need to be totally familiar with all laboratory and medical equipment required in doing surgery and laboratory work.
In summary, there is no short cut to becoming a vet technician. Proper training and preparation are very important. From thereon, they can then steadily build up their careers and grow into the profession. Education, along with a positive work attitude, good interpersonal skills and teamwork, will help the veterinary tech move up the career ladder. Love and compassion for animals is not sufficient; being properly trained to respond to their needs is important.
Best 5 Veterinary Technician Schools
Veterinary science is a highly specialized field of study and as a veterinarian technician you would occupy an important niche in this career path. You can even use the vet tech job as a springboard to become a veterinarian technologist in the future.
As a veterinary technician you will be responsible for helping in the care and treatment of animals. The types of animals that you will be seeing in the course of a day will depend on the veterinarian you work.
Today, there are vets who care for exotic animal species such as reptiles and amphibians while others may choose to treat typical family pets such as dogs and cats. There are even veterinarians who specialize in large animals such as cows and horses and vets who work with the animals living in zoos. Vet techs are the ones who handle many of the important tasks related to the care and treatment of all types of animals.
For one of the positions as an entry-level vet technician, it will be necessary for you to have a 2-year associate degree. A beginning veterinarian technologist will have earned a BS degree from a 4 year college.
To help prepare yourself for a job as a vet technologist or a veterinary technician you should familiarize yourself with animal care by volunteering at a local animal rescue. You might even ask if there are any jobs available at a nearby veterinary office. After all every little bit of animal care experience will help you get your foot in the door when you are ready to apply for work as a vet tech.