What Does a Vet Tech Do?

Find out what a vet tech does on a daily basis, including responsibilities, skills, and education requirements.

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The Job of a Veterinary Technician

Veterinary technicians are an important part of the veterinary team. They work closely with veterinarians and provide medical care for animals. A typical day for a vet tech may involve taking X-rays, drawing blood, and giving injections.

Providing nursing care

As a veterinary technician, you will be responsible for providing nursing care to animals. This includes tasks such as monitoring vital signs, administering medications, and performing minor surgical procedures. You will also need to keep accurate medical records and provide emotional support to animal owners. In some cases, you may be required to euthanize animals.

Assisting in diagnostic procedures

As a veterinary technician, you will play a vital role in assisting the veterinarian in performing diagnostic procedures. This may include taking x-rays, drawing blood, or collecting tissue samples. You will also be responsible for preparing the animal for surgery and providing postoperative care. In addition, you may be asked to educate pet owners on proper pet care, such as diet and exercise.

Collecting samples

Veterinary technicians may collect samples for testing from animals. They collect blood, urine and fecal samples using special techniques and instruments. The samples are then sent to a lab for analysis.

Laboratory work

Laboratory work is another important aspect of a veterinary technician’s job. They may collect and analyze samples of blood, urine, or other body fluids. They also might perform microscopic examinations of these samples or run tests on them to check for the presence of disease-causing organisms. In some states, veterinary technicians are allowed to perform limited kinds of animal dental work, such as cleaning an animal’s teeth.

Anesthesia

As an anesthetist, you will be responsible for preparing and administering drugs to induce anesthesia, as well as monitoring patients during surgery. You will need to have a thorough knowledge of the different types of drugs used, their potential side effects, and how to counteract them. You will also need to be able to monitor patients closely and make quick decisions in the event of an emergency.

Surgery

Orthopedic surgery may be performed to correct muscular skeletal abnormalities, repair ligaments or tendons or to remove foreign bodies. Neurological surgery corrects problems with the nervous system. Ophthalmic surgery corrects problems with the eyes. Thoracic surgery corrects problems in the chest area and abdominal surgery corrects problems in the abdominal area.

The Education of a Veterinary Technician

A veterinary technician or technologist is someone who supports veterinarians in animal hospitals, clinics, and research laboratories. They are responsible for a variety of tasks, such as animal nursing, anesthesia, laboratory work, radiology, and more. A vet tech typically has an associates degree or a bachelors degree in veterinary technology.

Veterinary Technician Associate’s Degree

The education of a veterinary technician usually takes two years and results in an Associate’s degree.

During the first year, students take classes related to animal anatomy and physiology, captive animal care, biology, and other basic sciences. The second year is mostly spent in clinical rotations, where students gain hands-on experience working with animals under the supervision of licensed veterinarians.

After completing an accredited veterinary technician program, graduates must pass a national exam to become certified veterinary technicians.

Veterinary Technician Bachelor’s Degree

A veterinary technician bachelor’s degree program usually takes four years to complete and is available at many colleges and universities. After completing a vet tech program, students take a national exam to become certified veterinary technicians.

In order to be eligible for a veterinary technician bachelor’s degree program, students must have a high school diploma or equivalent. They must also complete any prerequisite courses required by the program, which may include classes in biology, chemistry, math and physics.

Veterinary Technician Certification

There are two ways to become credentialed as a veterinary technician. The first is to earn an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology from an accredited community college or technical school. The second is to earn a certificate in Veterinary Technology from an accredited vocational school, technical institute, or community college.

To be accepted into a Veterinary Technician program, you will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also need to take and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The VTNE is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) and is used to measure a candidate’s knowledge and skills related to the practice of veterinary technology.

The Future of Veterinary Technicians

Veterinary technicians are in high demand and the demand is only expected to grow. With the baby boomer generation retiring, there will be a greater need for workers in the healthcare field. Veterinary technicians typically work in veterinary clinics and hospitals, assisting veterinarians in the care of animals. They may also work in research laboratories, zoos, or for pharmaceutical companies.

Job outlook

The job outlook for veterinary technicians is expected to be good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment will grow by 19 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. A growing number of animal lovers are seeking veterinary care for their pets, driving demand for vet techs Additionally, as the baby boomer population ages, there will be an increased need for vet techs to care for older animals.

Salary

The average salary for a Veterinary Technician is $33,470 per year. The pay scale differs based on experience, education, and geographic location. The top 10% of earners make over $45,000 per year while the bottom 10% make under $25,000 per year.

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