Veterinary technicians are also referred to as veterinary technologists. They are the doctor’s primary medical support person and are responsible for assisting in the care of animals.
The Responsibilities of a Veterinary Technician
Veterinary Technicians perform similar tasks to nurses for humans. They begin the examination process and continue to help the doctor throughout the examination, diagnosis, and treatment phases. They take medical histories and vital signs, administer medications and treatments, collect samples, assist with diagnostic testing, and clean wounds.
The duties of a veterinary technician often extend beyond animal care to include record-keeping, inventory management, and office tasks for veterinarians. Additionally, they have the opportunity to educate pet owners about their pet’s health and provide emotional support. Their work helps the doctors achieve greater efficiency by relieving them of technical work and administrative details.
We love all six of our amazing veterinary technicians at Sierra Veterinary Hospital! Each one brings something unique to the team and we appreciate all of their hard work around the clinic. Next time you’re at the office, please take the time to say hello and thank you for all that they do to help your furry friend during their visit!
How to Become a Veterinary Technician
Most veterinary technician programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredits vet tech programs, and most techs finish their education with an associate degree. Always check with the state veterinary board for locally accredited programs and educational requirements for the license. You must pass the national exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards to receive your license. Vet techs who pass this exam are referred to as Registered Veterinary Technicians (also known as Licensed Veterinary Technicians or Certified Veterinary Technicians). While completing a two-year associate degree program is the most common way to prepare for this career field, there are also bachelor’s degree programs available that combine clinical education with research into animal diseases and technologies. Regular continuing education is also a requirement to maintain certification, and is available through a wide range of resources and programs. In most cases, you must renew your certification every two years.
Veterinary technicians work in a variety of settings including private practices such as Sierra Veterinary Hospital, zoos and animal shelters. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterinary technicians work mostly in private clinics or veterinary hospitals.
There is currently a nationwide shortage of veterinary technicians, making this an in-demand occupation. The future employment of veterinary technicians is projected to experience tremendous growth, with about 10,000 new jobs expected to hit the market each year. Becoming a veterinary technician is definitely worth the time and effort for individuals who enjoy working with animals and desire job security and growth within their field.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, but aren’t sure if you want to commit to being a veterinarian, consider becoming a veterinary technician. Working as a veterinary technician can be gratifying, especially for those who want to work with animals. If you would like more information about becoming a veterinary technician, please contact our staff at Sierra Veterinary Hospital!