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.
What Do Veterinary Technicians Do?
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.
What Do Veterinary Technicians Do?
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 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.
General nursing duties. The bulk of a vet tech's time is spent performing general nursing duties like patient restraint, dressing wounds, weighing animals, taking body temperature, and taking lab samples (e.g. blood, urine, and fecal samples). Doing these tasks free up the veterinarian for more complex procedures like diagnosing patients, writing prescriptions, and performing surgical procedures.
Working with your team. Being a tech isn't always about working with animals! You're part of a bigger animal care team, and working with them to share information about different patients is a big part of the job. Even more time will be spent in this area if you are promoted to a managerial or supervisor role. If this is the case you'll be in charge of a team of veterinary technicians, and it will be up to you to make sure everyone is performing their duties correctly.
These are just a few of the many things a vet tech does on a daily basis!