Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Veterinary Technician
A veterinary technician is a licensed professional in the field of veterinary technology that assists all kinds of animals in leading strong and healthy days. Under the supervision of a veterinarian, veterinary technicians employ medical knowledge and clinical skills to deliver routine and emergency nursing services. Veterinary technicians aid veterinarians in addressing sick and healthy animals’ diagnostic and therapeutic needs by doing examinations, conducting laboratory testing, and assisting throughout the surgery.
Under the supervision of a certified veterinarian, a veterinary technician performs a wide range of animal nursing activities. The content of their responsibilities may change depending on where they work because states control the sorts of jobs that vet techs are allowed to complete. A vet tech may generally accomplish any work assigned to them by a licensed veterinarian, except for diagnosing medical issues, prescribing drugs, and conducting surgery.
Most of the tasks performed by vet techs are like those carried out by certified nurses for patients who are human. Typical veterinary technician duties include the following:
- Give emergency care or general nursing care.
- Conduct diagnostic exams and X-rays.
- Administer drugs, vaccinations, and treatments
- Perform calculations associated with dispensing drugs
- Prepare the animals and surgical instruments
- Assist with medical procedures and provide anesthesia
- Observe and document animal behavior and health.
- Gather and document animal case histories
- Restrain animals for inspection or treatment.
- Help veterinarians and scientists do biomedical research
- Educate pet owners about proper animal care.
- Recommend anesthetic and pain drugs
A veterinary science career may be started steadily and offers a lot of room for advancement by working as a veterinary technician. A 15% rise in job possibilities is anticipated until 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as veterinary technicians take on more and more nursing and laboratory responsibilities.
Veterinary technicians may be able to rise within their organizations into positions where they oversee the work of veterinary assistants and other vet techs, which might result in a pay raise.
Veterinary Technician and Veterinary Assistant
Vet techs and vet assistants collaborate to support veterinarians’ work, although their jobs differ in the kind of tasks, they are each permitted to conduct. In addition, because being a veterinarian technician necessitates formal education and professional certification, vet techs are often competent to do more clinical activities.
Vet assistants, on the other hand, usually do not need formal education. While some vet assistants start with a diploma in the industry, others pick up knowledge while working. Typical responsibilities for these occupations include clerical work and upkeep of the workplace. For example, to help technicians and veterinarians, a vet assistant schedules appointments, feeds, and exercises animals, and maintains equipment to be ready for the next treatment.
Veterinary assistants do not perform invasive procedures, administer anesthesia, nor do they do calculations associated with dispensing drugs. They also do not have the academic and clinical training possessed by veterinary technicians, thereby making veterinary assistants less valuable to veterinarians. Veterinary assistants make much less money than veterinary technicians.
There is no certifying procedure for veterinary assistants, even though most states control the accreditation of veterinary technicians. However, most states indicate the duties each position is qualified to carry out. Check the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) state-by-state comparison list of responsibilities for specific criteria related directly to vet techs and assistants.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Colorado Springs
To work as a veterinary technician, you may need to obtain certification, a license, or registration, depending on the state where you want to operate. Although each jurisdiction has its terminology, you will need some authorization to work in your state. In addition, you must fulfill general educational requirements, have relevant work experience, pass required exams, and adhere to additional state-specific standards to become a credentialed vet tech.
The most frequent educational path for veterinary technicians is a 2-year associate degree, while some students pursue a 4-year bachelor’s degree. Veterinary technology higher education programs are available at technical schools, community colleges, and four-year universities. There are also alternatives for online education, but you will still need to participate in some practical clinical activities. All facets of caring for and managing animals, such as laboratory and surgical procedures, are included in the curriculum of a vet tech degree.
The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) accreditation is something to look for when evaluating veterinary technician schools. Only graduates of AVMA accredited schools are allowed to take the VTNE (the veterinary technician national boards exam) and become a credentialed veterinary technician. There are no exceptions. These programs will typically have 2000 clock hours of on-site practicum and classroom work.
Choosing an approved vet tech program will assist you as a potential student in the following ways:
- Make sure you obtain an education that adheres to the highest standards possible.
- Acquire credits that can be transferred to other recognized colleges.
- Increase employer trust in your educational qualifications.
- Provide access to financial aid from the United States government.
Consider the scenario where you want to use your associate degree as the foundation for a four-year bachelor’s degree. In such a situation, verifying your school has institutional accreditation from a U.S. Department of Education-recognized body is imperative. In addition, if you wish to transfer your associate degree credits to another college to go toward a higher level, this will increase your chances of having those credits approved.
National Examination for Veterinary Technicians
Even though each state has its standards for governing vet techs, most entry-level candidates are required to pass a credentialing exam. The only test is the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), developed by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). There are 170 multiple-choice questions on this 3-hour computer-based exam.
The nine main topic categories for the VTNE are as follows:
- Pharmacy and pharmacology
- Emergency medicine and critical care
- Surgical nursing
- Animal care and nursing
- Pain management and analgesia
- Diagnostic imaging
- Laboratory procedures
On the VTNE website, you may access practice tests and study guides to help you prepare for the test. The AAVSB also offers online practice exams to help you prepare for the exam. You will obtain a score report at the testing site immediately after taking the exam; however, this is exclusively for personal use. Within a few weeks, your state veterinary board will get your official test results, and if you pass, you can proceed with the remaining credentials requirements.
Most states demand that you complete a certain amount of continuing education (C.E.) credits to renew your certificate, license, or registration after receiving your vet tech credential. Requirements vary by state, so check with your state board of veterinary medicine for more information.
Continuing Education with Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology
Most veterinary technicians must complete a certain number of hours of continuing education in addition to the requirements for their initial qualifications to maintain their credentials. In addition, with every license renewal, most states (except for the District of Columbia) demand continuing education credits, while the specific number of credits required varies by jurisdiction.
The proper accreditation must be acquired by the program students enroll in. In addition, the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) guarantees uniform standards across veterinary care continuing education providers and programs through its Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) program.
Programs are evaluated and approved by the RACE program, but they are not accredited. However, organizations that offer continuing education courses for animal technicians are certified by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).
Most state regulatory bodies recognize continuing education credits that have been recognized by RACE and CVTEA. The admission to continuing education is not uniform, though. For example, states may withhold credit from classes or providers. Therefore, before applying for any program, students are urged to make sure that their state will accept credits.
For our veterinary team members and yours in the Colorado veterinary community, the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology (CAVT) is committed to continuing education (C.E.).
In addition to becoming a part of our caring community and establishing new relationships, our staff is motivated by understanding and fostering the development of veterinary students who want to enhance patient outcomes in the veterinary profession.
We have held a variety of continuing education lectures and events for vets, vet techs, and other veterinary professionals. We consider it a responsibility and a pure joy to help your staff remain abreast of cutting-edge services and trends by encouraging knowledge extension.
RACE-Approved Continuing Education
The veterinary C.E. offered by CAVT is RACE-approved for veterinarians and veterinary technicians in states that accept AAVSB RACE approval. However, candidates for the academy should be aware that certain boards impose limitations on the number of hours permitted categories or specific modes of administering continuing education.
To further aid them in caring for their patients, veterinary technicians and assistants can increase their clinical knowledge and become more technologically savvy. Many C.E. courses also feature client service education for technicians and front-of-house workers to improve customer interaction skills, which may be the cornerstone of a successful business.
Continuing Education for Vet Techs
The CAVT in Colorado Springs also offers the Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in veterinary technology, accredited by the AVMA. In addition, veterinary technicians can join a group that supports their interests if they want to specialize or pursue a certain area of study.
The Colorado Academy takes pride in its small class sizes, extraordinarily knowledgeable team of veterinary specialists, and practical instruction. This program’s curriculum includes medical mathematics, biochemistry, an introduction to veterinary technology and animal behavior, parasitology, and diagnostic imaging. It is intended to be finished in two years.
Veterinary Orthopedic C.E.
The CAVT offers a comprehensive training program for Veterinary Orthopedic C.E., promoting the health and modern treatment of small animal surgery candidates via the continuing education of staff veterinary technicians. In addition, it features workshops where you may interact with your class and teacher in real-time.
With CAVT, you may increase your knowledge and proficiency in surgical patients’ preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative anesthetic monitoring.
All evidence-based medical and surgical specialties are covered in medical curricula and the science of disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention as it applies to patients. Additionally, it covers veterinary science subjects beyond clinical aspects to encompass the complete spectrum of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology.
Any speaker for the Medical Program must be qualified to engage in clinical veterinary practice or hold academic distinction in a subject area related to veterinary medicine. For speakers in this category, any of the following can serve as proof of qualifications:
- A licensed veterinary surgeon
- A credentialed veterinary technician
- A postgraduate academic degree in the subject
- Demonstrate a profound knowledge of the subject being addressed (such as a certification from an accredited program)
At least 50% of the C.E. hours submitted for certification renewal must be in the field of medicine.
If it meets the prerequisites specified above, medical C.E. can be completed offline or online, in-state or out-of-state. One submission per renewal cycle is allowed for each Medical C.E. course or lecture.
Remember that Medical C.E. for veterinary professionals must be offered at an advanced medical level. Presentations directed at or accessible to the public are not recognized as Medical C.E., irrespective of who gives them.
Non-medical programs, which are not always scientific or have clinical importance, assist veterinary medical professionals in becoming more skilled in providing veterinary services.
The presenters of non-medical programs must be qualified to provide veterinary medical practitioners with continuing education. Credentials for presenters in this category can be checked using any of the following:
- A licensed veterinary doctor
- A credentialed veterinary technician
- Formal education or a university degree in the subject
- Strong expertise or knowledge of the topic under discussion (such as a certification from an accredited program)
For non-medical C.E. hours, there is no requisite. However, if you have earned the requisite amount of Medical C.E., these credits will count toward your overall C.E. hours if you acquire them.
As long as it satisfies all requirements, non-medical C.E. can be obtained in-person or online, inside or outside the state. However, it is only possible to submit non-medical C.E. lectures and courses once each renewal cycle.
To further aid them in caring for their patients, veterinary technicians and assistants can increase their clinical knowledge and become more technologically savvy. In addition, a successful practice may be built based on effective customer interaction, which is why many C.E. programs offer client service training for technicians and front-of-house staff.
To gain major CE credits, all practicing veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and other team members must participate in veterinary C.E. Not only is it a fundamental aspect of lifelong learning, but it is also essential to sustain your license and generate more profit.
From May 1 to June 30 of each year, C.E. will be reviewed by the Certification Committee after being submitted as part of your complete certification renewal application. Until CACVT gets the required C.E. and the Certification Committee approves, note that your certification will not be finished or updated.
C.E. Certification Renewal
The Board will renew C.E. certificates for veterinarians and technicians every three years. Before, licenses had to be renewed every two years.
The credentials of the initial group of veterinarians, who were required to complete C.E. to renew their licenses, expire on December 31. These vets will be eligible to start monitoring and registering their C.E. the following year. After December 31, 2022, all renewals must meet the C.E. standards.
If you joined the CACVT before July 1, 2020, your 2022–2024 renewal application must also include 20 hours of C.E., at least half of which must be medical. In addition, between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2022, all C.E. for the 2022–2024 Certification Cycle must be achieved.
Required Hours for Renewal
If you receive your initial Colorado license in the same year that your original license expires, no additional C.E. hours are required before the license may be renewed for the first time. However, if your original license expires a year after you receive it, you will need to complete 16 hours of C.E. before renewing your license for the very first time.
Your required number of C.E. hours must include at least 50% of the medical category. That translates to at least 10 hours of C.E. in the Medical category, as it does for most members. If you have finished the necessary 10 hours of medical C.E., the remaining 0–10 hours may be non-medical.
Renewal Requirements for C.E. Presenters
You may submit a lecture for hours allocated as lecture or lab time as a presenter. However, please be aware that you may only provide this lecture once each cycle. Handing it more than once a year is thus only permitted once every renewal cycle.
The C.E. must be a CACVT pre-approved program that complies with CACVT regulations, a state- or nationally recognized conference or a RACE-approved program.
Colorado Requirements for Veterinary Technicians
Colorado does not certify or provide licenses to veterinary technicians, unlike many other states. But through the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians, technicians may get authorized and improve their chances of landing a job in the state. A passing score on the Veterinary Technician National Exam, completing a veterinary technology program certified by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and maintaining continuing education credits are prerequisites for certification.
By becoming a member of the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians, veterinary technicians in Colorado can pursue certification. Members get access to job advertisements, chances for continuing education, special events, and certification. In addition, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, or NAVTA, can be of interest to veterinary technologists in the state. This national organization gives its members access to even more tools for professionals and group rates on travel and health insurance.
More on CAVT
The Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology is located at 2766 Janitell Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80906-4944.
A certificate and associate programs are among the many training choices the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology provides. At our facility in Colorado Springs, students attend classes straight through graduation. Seventy-five students attend the campus, and most are enrolled in two-year courses. The Council on Occupational Education has granted the college accreditation. At our campus, more than 80% of full-time students stay enrolled. Around $11,435 is spent on tuition each year. And depending on the curriculum chosen, the cost of the study materials may range from $400 to $800.
If you need further information on our vet tech programs, contact us!