Pursuing A Career as a Veterinary Technician

Veterinary medicine has changed in the last few years. The expectations of the public for the care of animals include state of the art veterinary care. Today’s veterinary profession uses the expertise of a well-trained individual known as a veterinary technician. Individuals who enjoy working with their hands, are good at decision-making and basic math, have a love for animals, and enjoy handling various responsibilities and working with people, may benefit from a challenging career working with veterinary technology.

Responsibilities and Duties of a Vet Tech

A veterinary technician is an essential part of the veterinary health care system. These technicians have received an education from a Veterinary Assistant program in the handling and care of animals, the fundamental principles of abnormal and normal life processes, and clinical and laboratory procedures. Every veterinary technician works under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian. Veterinary technicians may aid in completing a great range of tasks but they cannot prescribe, diagnose, complete surgery, or engage in any activity that is banned, by the state that they practice, in the veterinary practice act. Upon completion of veterinary technician school, individuals may perform any of the following common duties:

• Records and obtains patient case histories
• Specimen gathering and laboratory procedures
• Preparing equipment, instruments, and animals for surgery
• Develop and expose x-rays
• Assists in surgical, medical, and diagnostic procedures
• Educate and advise animal owners based on the veterinarian’s recommendations
• Trains and supervises practice personnel
• Execute dental prophylaxes
• Assist in the completion of research projects
• Oversee the handling and humane care of research animals

Educational Requirements

Individuals interested in veterinary technology should possess knowledge in general math, science, biology, and be able to perform basic communication and language skills.

The AVMA also known as the American Veterinary Medical Association gives accreditation to all veterinary technician programs throughout the U.S. and Canada. Most accredited AVMA programs offer associate degrees.

All students in an accredited AVMA Veterinary Assistant program, are required to have a period of clinical experience in the area of veterinary practice. This period consists of hands-on training that is called an externship, practicum, or preceptorship and is a vital element of the veterinary technology program.