How to Become a Laboratory Animal Vet Tech
Vet Tech Job Description: Animal Hospital
So now that you have an idea of what a veterinary technician is, what is a vettech job description? We’ll start off by walking through the day-to-day workof what you might first think of when you think vet: someone who works in ananimal hospital or clinic and helps sick and injured pets and other animals.What does the job of a veterinary technician look like in this environment?When you visit the doctor, a nurse will assess your reason for your visit andperform some initial tests such as taking your blood pressure or listening toyour heart. In the same way, a veterinary technician performs these tasks onan animal. They are an integral part to animal care, whether the issue is anillness or injury.When an injured or sick animal comes into an animal hospital, it is aveterinary technician who often starts the process of care. They will take thepatient’s history, making note of the reason for the animal’s visit. Why isthe animal there? Is this an isolated incident or part of ongoing care? Thetechnician may perform a physical exam of the animal, acquiring information topass onto the veterinarian. This physical exam may include listening to theanimal’s heart, taking its temperature, and running lab tests, among otherduties.The vet tech will communicate the animal’s needs to a veterinarian. Dependingon the illness or injury, a veterinary technician may be able to complete allportions of care. This career includes a wide range of duties which areinstrumental to care of animals. Just some examples of a veterinarytechnician’s duties include the following:Recording medical dataDrawing bloodPrepping animals for surgeryInjecting IVsDental careAssisting in surgeryInforming owners of results of surgery and procedureAs just this initial list shows, the responsibilities of a vet tech are wide-reaching and instrumental. The job focuses on two sets of important roles. Thefirst is to interact with the animal owners. This includes taking medicalhistories and updating pet owners on their animal’s health before and after aprocedure or surgery. The second set, however, is a more technical side of theposition. The technician has technical medical responsibilities such asdrawing blood and injecting IVs. A career in veterinary technology is a greatoption for someone looking for both social and technical aspects to their job.
How to Become a Vet Tech?
You can start a vet tech career today by enrolling in an associate degreeprogram in veterinary technology like the one offered at Vista College. AnAssociate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology can be earned in80 weeks with full-time enrollment. Once the training has been completed, youwill have all the necessary skills employers are looking for in veterinaryfields.In training to become a veterinary technician, you will receive plenty ofhands-on laboratory experience. You will learn to treat sick and injuredanimals. Having this hands-on experience is instrumental to gaining the skillsnecessary to become a vet tech. You will not only learn the duties andprocedures of the work, but you will also become more comfortable workingdirectly with animals. You will continue to develop manual dexterity, as wellas attention to detail, communication, and compassion.
Requirements for Veterinary Technicians
Veterinary technicians in Washington must be licensed by the state in order topractice. Licenses are issued to qualified candidates through the WashingtonState Department of Health. In order to qualify for licensure, candidates mustfirst successfully complete a veterinary technician program that has beenapproved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Next,candidates must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE),administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. The finalstep to qualify for a license is passage of the Washington state exam, whichtests each candidate’s knowledge of Washington state law as it relates toveterinary practice.Featured School
Veterinary Technician Education
In order to become a veterinary technician, one must earn an associate ofapplied science degree in veterinary technology. This normally takes two yearsof education for students who attend an AVMA (American Veterinary MedicalAssociation) – accreditedcollege on a full-time basis. Alternatively, someschools offer two-year degrees in animal science with a specialization inveterinary technology. In order to gain admission to any of these programs,applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED equivalency.The veterinary technology curriculum is very detailed and often requires acertain amount of observation hours within a veterinary hospital. Someprograms require students to complete externships or internships in order toattain the necessary field training. The overall coursework needed to attain adegree involves an in-depth exploration of subjects like animal behavior, vetpathology, clinical practices, biochemistry, animal pharmacology and muchmore.This degree prepares students to enter a bachelor’s degree program in animalscience, if desired. It can also serve as a stepping stone for an ongoingeducation with the ultimate goal of becoming a veterinarian. However, it isnot necessary to have those two extra years of schooling required forveterinarians in order to begin work as a veterinary technician.
Role of Vet Techs vs Vet Assistants
Knowing the roles of vet techs vs. vet assistants may make it easier to decidewhich one is the perfect path for you. As you read through the expectations,keep in mind how you would respond to each task.
Educational Requirements of Vet Techs vs Vet Assistants
This is by far the most important distinction between the two. A vet assistantmay perform some of the same tasks as a vet tech. But the vet tech may havereceived higher education. A vet assistant might be hired without any kind offormal degree or accreditation. You should know that there are programs forvet assistants though. This may help an assistant become more qualified for aposition.
Vet Tech Program Accreditation
Although vet tech candidates can submit non-accredited programs to the AlabamaState Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (ASBVME) for approval, it isrecommended to enroll in an accredited program for several reasons. First,graduating from a program accredited by the American Veterinary MedicalAssociation’s (AVMA) program-approval body—the Committee on VeterinaryTechnician Education and Activities (CVTEA)—is a prerequisite to credentialingin most states. Second, it’s a possibility that a program which is not AVMA-accredited will not be approved by the ASBVME, therefore disqualifying thecandidate from taking the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)and barring professional licensure. Therefore, seeking out AVMA-accreditedprograms is important.The CVTEA weighs the following 11 factors in its standards of accreditation: * Institutional accreditation (e.g., CHEA-recognized organizations) * Finances * Organization & communications * Facilities and equipment quality * Resources for clinical training * Libraries and other resources * Admissions processes * Students * Faculty and staff * Curriculum * Outcomes assessmentFor more details on how each of these categories is evaluated, please visitthe CVTEA accreditation page.How to Become a VTSAs the nurses of the animal medicine world, veterinary technicians are anessential part of the animal healthcare team. By taking on administrative,customer-facing, and routine clinical tasks, vet techs extend the capacity ofa veterinarian to focus on diagnosis, surgery, and treatment planning. Whilemany vet techs enjoy fulfilling careers working as generalists, some find thatthere is a specific arm of animal medicine in which they’re particularlyinterested and skilled. Vet techs who wish to follow their passion into aspecialization will find that they can level up to become veterinarytechnician specialists (VTS).In 1994, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)established the Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties (CVTS) torecognize specific credentialing bodies (i.e., academies) and professionalassociations seeking to unite vet techs who are interested in a specificveterinary discipline (i.e., societies). In order to qualify for credentialingin any vet tech specialty, candidates must typically belicensed/credentialed/registered vet techs who have the requisite training,experience, and education to qualify for an academy’s specialty exam.As of March 2021, NAVTA listed five fully recognized and 11 provisionallyrecognized academies offering specialized certification for qualified VTScandidates. The subfields are as follows: * Emergency and Critical Care * Dental * Internal Medicine * Anesthesia and Analgesia * Zoological Medicine * Laboratory Animal (provisional) * Veterinary Behavior (provisional) * Clinical Pathology (provisional) * Clinical Practice (provisional) * Dermatology (provisional) * Equine (provisional) * Physical Rehabilitation (provisional) * Veterinary Nutrition (provisional) * Ophthalmology (provisional) * Surgical (provisional) * Diagnostic Imaging (provisional)This piece examines why a vet tech may want to pursue a VTS certification, andhow to become a VTS, including a discussion of the education and certificationrequirements of each specialized academy.
How to Become a Laboratory Animal Vet Tech
Lab animal techs offer humane care to creatures used for the advancement ofscience, and the services they provide include animal husbandry, cleaning, andbasic scientific experiment support.The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) offers threecertifications in this VTS field: assistant laboratory animal technician(ALAT), laboratory animal technician (LAT), and laboratory animal technologist(LATG). To qualify for each exam, VTS (Laboratory Animal) candidates must havea combination of experience and academic education.ALAT Exam Requirements | LAT Exam Requirements | LATG Exam Requirements —|—|— Schooling + Lab Animal Science Experience (one of the following) * No HS Diploma + two years * HS diploma/GED + one year * College degree + 0.5 years| * HS diploma/GED + three years * AA/AS + two years * BA/BS + one year * ALAT Certification + HS Diploma/GED/Degree + 0.5 years experience after ALAT * ALAT Certification + no HS diploma + two years experience after ALAT| * HS diploma/GED + five years * AA/AS + four years * BA/BS + three years * LAT Certification + HS Diploma/GED/Degree + 0.5 years experience after LAT Fees $160 AALAS members $235 non-members | $210 AALAS members $295 non-members | $260 AALAS members $335 non-members Lab tech specialists looking for additional resources, CE opportunities, andprofessional support can visit the Society of Laboratory Animal VeterinaryTechnicians (SLAVT).
How to Become an Equine Vet Tech
Equine vet techs offer tooth floating, vaccinations, surgical assistance,midwifery and other healthcare services to horses under the supervision of aveterinarian. They are credentialed by the Academy of Equine VeterinaryNursing Technicians (AEVNT)To sit for the VTS (Equine) exam candidates must submit: * A letter of intent * Proof of LVT/CVT/RVT * CV * Proof of at least 5,000 hours (three years) of work experience, including 3,750 hours working in equine nursing; proof of vet tech credentialing * Completed advanced skills checklist * Two letters of recommendation * Proof of 50 CE hours completed in the previous four years, with at least ten in the previous year * A case log with 50 to 75 cases * Five detailed case reports * $50 application fee * $100 exam feePlease note that starting in 2022, candidates will need 8,000 total hours ofexperience (four years), including 5,000 (70 percent) in equine veterinarynursing.
How to Become a Vet Tech
The first step to becoming a vet tech is to select an accredited trade school.Look for programs with the following accreditations: * Accreditation Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) * Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA)Upon completion of an accredited program, most states allow you to take theVeterinary Technician National Exam.Vet tech training programs commonly involve the following general course work: * Introductions to animal nursing care * Training in animal anesthesia * Biochemistry * Animal anatomy and physiology * Surgical nursing care for animals * Animal diseases * Animal pathophysiology * Animal pharmaceutical trainingYou may also need to take general core curriculum courses for the associatedegree. This may include math, English and language arts, history, and sciencecourses.If some of the courses listed above seem intimidating or difficult, don’tworry. You are in the same boat as other new students and the courses aredesigned to provide you with the knowledge and training you need to succeed.Your instructors can help you if you get stuck on a particular topic.
What Does a Vet Tech Do?
The daily tasks of a vet tech can vary based upon specialty and type ofpractice, including working indoors or outdoors, on a farm or at a zoo, in aclinic or traveling.Day-to-day tasks also change based on the animals scheduled to be seen thatday. As a vet tech, you will work with the veterinarian, office staff, and petowners. People and animal skills are a must, including compassion and empathy.The following are some examples of tasks vet techs perform on a routine basis.
Requirements for Veterinary Technicians
Vet techs in California must be licensed to work in the state. Licensing isthrough the California Veterinary Medical Board (CVMB). Vet techs applying forlicensing must be able to prove completion of a vet tech program at a schoolaccredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association or that is approvedby the CVMB. Applicants must also submit FBI fingerprint clearance and proofof a minimum of 4,416 hours of practical experience in veterinary work.Finally, applicants must pass both the California Veterinary TechnicianExamination and the Veterinary Technician National Examination.Featured School
Online Programs for Vet Techs
Since there’s only one AVMA-accredited program in MD, some students may findit difficult to attend an in-state program. Others may have schedulingrestraints due to familial or other types of commitments. Luckily there arecurrently several online, CVTEA-accredited vet tech programs. These programsgenerally offer coursework online and have students complete their clinicalsessions at approved local facilities such as veterinary hospitals and privatepractice clinics. While there, a licensed veterinarian can progressively signoff on skills attained.One distance-based vet tech program is offered through Dallas College(Formerly Cedar Valley College) of Lancaster, TX. Dallas College—which has hadAVMA-accreditation since 1978—teaches students through multimedia courseworkin a flexible schedule. Students can begin in the fall, spring, or summer andtake one or more courses per semester as their schedule permits.Courses are delivered through multimedia that combines videos, webassignments, textbooks, and in-clinic exercises supervised by a preceptorwhose duty it is to verify completion of assignments, exercises, and exams.Preceptors act as mentors to help and tutor the student and must be aveterinarian, veterinary technician, or licensed as an RVT, LVT, or CVT. Someof the courses in this program include veterinary office management;anesthesia & surgical assistance; and veterinary technology. Between 2017 and2020, 68 percent of online students passed the Veterinary Technician NationalExamination (VTNE) on their first attempt.Additionally, Purdue University offers a competitive associate of appliedtechnology (AAS) degree in veterinary nursing. With 35 courses and 18 clinicalmentorships, Purdue’s program is arguably one of the most comprehensive. Someof the web-based classes include anatomy for veterinary technicians; smallanimal nursing and health management; introduction to ophthalmology,dermatology & oncology; and imaging for vet techs. Mentorships include largeanimal medical nursing, equine medical nursing, parasitology & microbiology,clinical pathology, and small animal diagnostic imaging.Interestingly, the first-time pass rates on the VTNE differed between on-campus and online students in veterinary technology, but both were very high.At Purdue, 87.7 percent of the on-campus students passed the test on theirfirst attempt between 2017 and 2020, while 95.2 percent of online studentspassed their first time.For a detailed look at distance-based veterinary technician programs, pleasecheck out the online vet tech programs page.