Veterinary Technician’s: The Overlooked & Misunderstood Profession In Pet Care
I never realized how difficult it was to be a Certified Vet Tech
until my daughter decided she wanted to pursue a degree in the field. A vet tech is a graduate from a two-year, the American Veterinary Medical Association
(AVMA) accredited program. This is a grueling two years of study, which include science, biology and anatomy. Once class work is completed, a semester of practical work is included as well. After passing the national exam (VTNE
), there is additional work to be done to keep your license current. The course work is very similar to nursing school, without the job security or salary once you graduate.
Similar to how a physician has a nurse or nurse practitioner, veterinarians have certified vet techs in their practice as well. Veterinary technicians are educated to be the nurse, radiography technician, laboratory technician, anesthetist, surgical nurse, dental assistant and client educator. On any given day a vet tech may administer anesthesia, care for a wounded pet and/or support a family that had to make the difficult decision to put down their pet. This job is extremely stressful and not easy. It taxes an individual's mental and physical health daily.
Veterinary technicians can find employment in veterinary practices, biomedical research, zoo/wildlife medicine, industry, military, livestock health management, pharmaceutical sales, and more.
In recognition of the National Vet Tech Week I asked my daughter a few questions about the profession and what being a tech means to her.
Q: Why did you decide to become a vet tech? I’ve always had a passion and connection with animals for as long as I can remember, and wanted to help them in some way. I’ve also been really interested in medicine and figured that becoming a vet tech was a great option for me. Q: What’s your favorite part about the job? My favorite part of the being a vet tech was helping with surgery, from cleaning the teeth during dentals to running anesthesia in the surgical
suite during routine or emergency surgeries. I always loved knowing that the animal was safe and if something were to go wrong that I knew what to do. Q: What’s your least favorite part about the job? My least favorite part was working with owners who didn’t have money to treat their pets so they would euthanize them instead of relinquishing them so that the pet would be treated and could live a full life. Q: What advice can you give to people who are interested in becoming vet techs? To make sure that they know it’s not just working with puppies and kittens all day. A typical day is filled with a lot of stress and every emotion possible, you need to be able to handle these things to be strong for the clients during their time of need.
Next time you take your pet to the veterinarian, be sure and acknowledge the vet tech facilitating the doctor. Their job is not all puppies and playing. It’s incredibly hard work, physically demanding and emotionally draining. Let’s give them the warmth and recognition they need and deserve because without them, animal care would not be as compassionate and loving. Thank you, veterinary technicians, for all you do!