Veterinary technicians, although not as popular as hospital medical technicians, are some of the most respected in the world. In addition, they are also quite in-demand and well-compensated, especially in the Colorado area. But the road to becoming a good vet tech is not an easy one. There are a lot of things that you need to consider aside from your love of animals.
In order to understand what the requirements are to get into a vet tech school, you need to first understand what a vet tech is.
What is a Veterinary Technician?
A vet tech works under the guidance and direct supervision of a licensed, professional veterinarian. What a nurse is to a medical doctor, the vet tech does for the veterinarian. Aside from assisting in the first aid and healthcare needs of animals, a vet tech also performs the following tasks:
- Provides assistance to vets during procedures and examinations.
- Provides all nursing care to patients except that vet techs do not perform surgery, prescribe medication, or diagnose.
- Performs diagnostic tests for animals.
- Monitors and records conditions and developments of veterinary patients.
- Cares for animal patients, particularly the ones under medication or treatment.
- With the supervision and approval of the veterinarian, a vet tech dispenses medications.
- Talks to and establishes a professional relationship with pet owners.
- Helps in educating and making pet owners aware about proper and humane pet care, disease prevention and treatment, and animal behavior.
The vet tech is a well-rounded and level-headed person. He or she loves animals and is passionate about taking care of the veterinary patients’ needs. They may or may not specialize in a particular field, including dermatology, behavior, rehabilitation, equine nursing, internal medicine, and nutrition, among others.
Colorado Vet Tech School Requirements
Now that you know what a vet tech is, you’re ready to start your journey towards becoming one. The first thing you need to do, however, is to prepare all the requirements that the Colorado vet tech school of your choice might ask for.
A CVT or Certified Veterinary Technician is a graduate of a program that is Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities-approved. The CVTEA operates under the AVMA or American Veterinary Medical Association.
Likewise, he or she has to apply for membership at the CACVT or the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians. The CACVT is Colorado’s largest vet tech association.
Before you can get to these two levels, though, you need to find a good vet tech school first and make sure that you are qualified to enroll in their program. Here are some of the most important Colorado vet tech schools requirements:
A Solid Background in Math, Chemistry, Biology, and Microbiology
Veterinary technicians are expected to do a lot of dosage and medication measurement, as well as use equipment like microscopes. As such, it is important to have a strong foundation in math and science subjects. It can greatly help if training in the said subjects started in high school.
Good Communication Skills
Veterinary technicians interact with people a lot. Therefore, he or she needs to be comfortable talking with pet owners from different walks of life.
A Basic Understanding of Animal Physiology and Anatomy
Some knowledge on animal physiology and anatomy is important because a good vet tech needs to know how to handle dogs, cats, and other pet animals. A good vet tech knows the ins and outs of proper animal care.
A Good High School Education
Most vet tech schools require students to complete high school before joining the veterinary technician program.
Apart from these academic and school-related requirements, an aspiring vet technician should also possess the following qualities:
An aspiring vet tech should be compassionate especially since he or she will need to talk to worried or distraught pet owners. A good vet tech empathizes with these pet owners.
Pays Attention to Detail
An aspiring vet tech should be attentive to his or her surroundings. He or she should know how to look at even the tiniest detail. When the time comes, he or she will have to take note of patient information, give medication to dogs and other pet animals. Likewise, a good vet tech knows how to record precise information or details, particularly when carrying out diagnostic tests for the animal patients.
Proficient or Adept in Handling Tasks
The more proficient a vet tech is; the more effective he or she can be. Tasks like measuring medication, checking medical instruments, or administering anesthesia to animal patients will require a high level of proficiency.
Excellent Problem Solving Skills
An aspiring vet technician should have excellent problem solving skills. In certain situations, like when an injured pet is rushed into the clinic, a vet tech is expected to come up with an innovative way of dealing with the injury.
What to Expect From A Vet School
Generally, schools offer a two-year veterinary technician course that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association or AVMA. Most of these are associate degree programs, but aspiring vet technicians can choose to take a 4-year veterinary technology course if you want a more comprehensive coverage. The vet technology bachelor’s degree is ideal for those who plan to build a career working in research laboratories.
Examples of the programs and course curriculum in vet technology schools in Colorado include lab animal medicine, pharmacology, pathology, veterinary anatomy, surgery, animal behavior, and anesthesia.
Vet tech students are given the chance to work closely with animals. Likewise, they have hands-on training, which is a major help in developing the confidence and skills of aspiring vet techs.
As previously mentioned, vet technicians have the option to choose a specialization. These programs vary from one school to another, but all share the same goal of exposing students to actual veterinary scenarios and getting students to experience hands-on training .
High School Students
In some cases, there are high school students who plan to get into a vet tech school. For those who plan to do so, a good background in math and science can be a big help. To prepare, aspiring vet tech students are required to find a summer or part-time job in animal clinics. This will help initially expose them to the world of veterinary technicians.
Anyone planning to become a good vet technician should first choose a good school offering the highest quality vet tech programs. Here in Colorado, there are more or less eight educational institutions that you can choose from. Pick the best one for you now!
Veterinary Technicians empower their patients with more than just a diverse skill set.
They pamper and attend to your pet in a veterinary setting while you are gone. Technicians are frequently part of the veterinary team in every vet clinic. They spend considerable time with your pet and are attentive to how animals feel. They can detect stress in your pet, recognize indicators of pain, and ensure that patients are happy, calm, and cleaned.
Above all, technicians are animal advocates who aim to treat each patient with the same tenderness they would expect for their pet.
What does a veterinary technician do?
Being a pet technician or veterinary technician allows you to care for animals regularly while making significant scientific and medical improvements.
They will work with lab animals daily and care for them in scientific and medical research laboratories. They will also be accountable for ensuring they receive the best care and well-being.
Techs function in a role that is essential in facilitating unique scientific research in the field, such as establishing novel treatments and looking at alternative methods of diagnosis. The working environment for your cats and dogs might vary based on the species and the research being carried out.
They may be encouraged to participate in experimental laboratory procedures at an advanced rank with a veterinary team, aiding researchers in developing research projects about exotic animals.
Can a Vet Tech prescribe medication?
Vet Technicians do not have the authority to prescribe medications, unlike veterinarian doctors. Still, they may fill prescriptions at the pharmacy, distribute meds to clients, and calculate doses. They can also give patients medications in various methods, such as tablets, eye drops, ointments, or IV injections.
Can a Vet Tech diagnose my pet?
Veterinary Technicians are not authorized to make official diagnoses. They are, nevertheless, accountable for executing all activities required to assist the doctor in reaching a diagnosis for the patient. Drawing blood, collecting x-rays, processing samples in the laboratory, gathering detailed patient history from clients, and giving primary client education are a few possibilities.
Can a Vet Tech operate a surgical procedure?
A technician is not capable of doing surgery. They are, however, in charge of administering and maintaining anesthesia, providing comprehensive dental cleanings, monitoring vital signs on sedated patients, and even scrubbing in to help the Veterinarian during surgical procedures.
What are the different Vet Tech Specializations?
Once you have your first qualification and some job experience, you may pursue various courses to supplement your current knowledge or specialize in an area you are interested in.
Among these specialized roles are:
Under the guidance of a veterinarian, veterinary dental technicians perform dental operations, care, and cleanings on animals.
Vet Techs specializing in veterinary nutrition help manage the nutrition of animals and pets. If nutrition is your thing and you enjoy working with animals, this may be a great area to specialize in.
Veterinary surgical technicians assist veterinarians during operations. They are also in charge of animal care before and after surgery.
Veterinary Clinical Pathology
Vet Technicians in clinical pathology receive further training to specialize in testing animal bodily fluids for diagnosis.
This can be a good specialization for you if you enjoy the behavioral aspect of animal care. Veterinary behavioral Technicians work with animals to evaluate and improve their behavior.
If you like working with horses, you may pursue an Equine Veterinary Tech career. Equine Vet Technicians are exceptionally trained to help Equine Veterinarians. When choosing this area of expertise, you can work in an animal hospital or a position requiring you to travel to farms needing veterinary services.
Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
If you are good at dealing with crises, you might want to try becoming an emergency and critical care Technician. These Veterinarian Technicians handle emergency cases where animals have experienced severe trauma and require immediate treatment. And because most emergency care clinics are open 24/7, this specialization may demand you to work nights, weekends, and even holidays.
What are the prerequisites for Veterinary Techs?
To prevent misunderstandings among state-based accreditation, certification, and registration systems for vet technicians, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) uses the term “credentialed veterinary technician” to encompass all options.
While not all states need vet techs to be certified, doing so may advance job eligibility, earning potential, career advancement, and specialty prospects.
The following are standard prerequisites for becoming a credentialed vet tech:
- Proof of graduation from a program approved by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA)
- Passing the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)
- Paying the application fee
Some of the skills examined on the VTNE, a $320 exam administered three times a year, include:
- 9 Domains
- 38 Task Area Statements
- 50 Knowledge Area Statements
What are the 9 Domains of Duty?
The nine domains are the Vet Tech specializations or the primary areas of duty for Veterinary Technicians. These are as follows:
- Pharmacology and pharmacy
- Pain Management (Analgesia)
- Surgical Nursing
- Laboratory Procedures
- Nursing and Animal Care
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Emergency Medicine (Critical Care)
What is the difference between a Veterinary Technician and a Veterinary Assistant?
In smaller veterinary clinics, there may overlap between Vet Technicians and Assistants. However, in general, Vet Technicians do more technically complex surgical nursing activities like anesthesia administration and reading x-ray images to assist the Veterinarian in improving the patient’s health. Veterinary assistants do not perform invasive procedures (such as injections), administer anesthesia, or perform medical calculations associated with dispensing drugs.
Vet Assistants tidy exam rooms and groom small animals such as household pets. This is because Vet Techs must complete a two-year track and an apprenticeship program before becoming certified. As a result, most Vet Assistants learn the required skills on the job and earn less.
The additional education is also why Vet Technicians are paid more. Vet Techs must also be certified by their state to work, whereas certification is optional for Vet Assistants.
What is the difference between a Veterinarian and a Veterinary Technician?
Veterinary Doctors and Veterinarian Technicians work closely together in a veterinary clinic to guarantee the optimum medical welfare of animals.
Veterinarians need significantly more education and take on far more responsibilities than Veterinarian Technicians. As a result, they earn considerably more than Technicians since they also perform clinical rotations to find visual insights into their patients, especially before any surgical procedure.
Vet Techs undergo a two-year post-secondary program to acquire the licensing and certification required to work in the industry. They may also undertake an apprenticeship program to boost their chances of employment.
On the other hand, Veterinarians first get a bachelor’s degree with a pre-medicine specialization before continuing their education for four years to earn the title of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Some additionally pursue residency training to become qualified in a particular field.
What is the Veterinary Technician National Examination?
The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is intended to assess the ability of entry-level veterinary technicians to practice and become credentialed.
If you fail the VTNE, you have four chances to retake it. Although you must pay the registration cost each time, you only need to submit your transcript once, like first-time candidates.
Do Vet Techs put animals to sleep?
One of the most basic operations in veterinary medicine is euthanasia. It is loaded with emotional and ethical complexities that need careful consideration before proceeding. And with its universality comes the necessity to have qualified veterinary medical experts on board.
Approximately ten states presently allow veterinarian technicians to execute euthanasia with or without the presence of a veterinarian. Nine states, including Colorado, specify that the technician may conduct it if the Veterinarian is present and available to assist if needed.
In any case, the Veterinarian may only prescribe euthanasia as the appropriate medical approach for the patient if their physical and mental condition is severe. Without the Veterinarian’s approval, the vet tech cannot perform it.
Is it worth it to become a Vet Tech?
Becoming a Vet Tech is unquestionably rewarding for those who desire to give proper care to animals outside the workplace. The field is expanding rapidly, with 10,000 new employment positions being added to the market each year.
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