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.
How Much Does a Veterinary Technician Degree Cost?
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.
Veterinary Technicians - How to Find a Great Vet Tech Training Program
So just where do veterinary technicians work? This is an important question to answer if you're going to be training and working in this industry. You might assume that the only place you can get a job as a veterinary technician or technologist is at a veterinarian's office, but this is far from true. While many vet techs do work at veterinary offices, there are many other places they can work as well.
The basic job of a veterinary technician is to act in the same function a nurse does to a doctor; the doctor being the veterinarian in this case. Vet techs do not need to complete bachelor's degrees as nurses do, though. They can complete their training in less than two years and begin working in the field. Veterinary technicians often work in private veterinarian practices, performing clinical work such as conducting tests to diagnose illnesses. This may involve taking blood and other samples, using x-ray machines, preparing tissue samples and using test tubes. Technicians in veterinary offices also keep records, file paperwork, make appointments, answer phones and greet pet owners as they arrive. In this type of setting they are normally working with small breeds of domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs and lizards.
There are many different places where vet technicians and technologists work. There are jobs for the government, in the livestock industry, in pharmaceutical research and many other categories. While the vast majority of veterinary technicians do work in veterinarian's offices, this is far from the only option in this career world.