Becoming a Veterinary Tech in Nebraska
In today’s economy, finding a reliable and long-term career is an urgent goal for many individuals, whether they are just entering the job market or have decided the time has come to change professions.
Becoming a vet tech can allow the candidate to enter a field that is both financially and personally rewarding.
Vet Tech Duties in Nebraska
Certified veterinary technicians perform a wide variety of duties under the supervision of a veterinarian, in many respects serving the same role that a registered nurse fills at a hospital. Among the common duties are the following:
- Vet techs will help the veterinarian prepare the animal for surgery, ensuring that the surgical equipment is ready before the procedure, assisting the veterinarian during the operation, and replacing and cleaning equipment after the surgery.
- Vet techs assist in the handling of animals during exams, which may require the immobilization of frightened animals in order to ensure the safety of both the animal and the veterinary staff.
- In many cases, vet techs conduct the initial physical for a newly admitted animal and record the results so that the veterinarian can have the information he or she needs for a more in depth examination.
- A vet tech must be able to effectively and professionally interview the owners of animals that have been injured or are ill, even if they are distraught.
- For commercial farms, a vet tech may help conduct tests to ensure that livestock is in good health and conforms to federal and state regulations.
In addition to these duties, vet techs will carry out a variety of duties at the direction of their supervisors. In some cases, a vet tech may help supervise other employees in the veterinarian’s office.
Becoming a Vet Tech in Nebraska
For those individuals who desire to become a vet tech, there are a number of accredited vet tech schools in Nebraska, ranging from community colleges to vocational programs. Nebraska requires that all vet tech programs be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This ensures that the vet tech program meets strict educational standards, allowing the students to receive a high quality education.
Types of Vet Tech Programs
Many vet tech programs are provided by community colleges or vocational institutes. In most cases, these programs can take approximately two years for a full-time student. Many programs offer part-time schedules for those students who are currently working or have family requirements that make it impossible for them to carry a full-time course load.
Accredited distance learning programs can allow individuals who cannot physically attend classes to complete their course work. These programs allow the student to work at his or her own pace while preparing to become a vet tech.
The VTNE Exam
After completing the vet tech program, the candidate must take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The VTNE is a comprehensive exam designed to test all aspects of the student’s knowledge, both practical and academic. In order to pass the VTNE, the student must obtain a score of at least 425.
The VTNE is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB), and is continually updated to ensure that it remains current with the modern practice of veterinary medicine. If the student fails to successfully complete the test, the test may be retaken, but the AAVSB only allows a total of five attempts without special permission. For this reason, a candidate should only take the VTNE when the student is confident that he or she is ready to do so.
Becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician
After taking the VTNE, the candidate must apply to the Nebraska Division of Public Health: Licensure Unit. The candidate must have his or her transcripts and VTNE scores transmitted to the department, as well as filling out an application form and paying the license registration fee. If all the information is complete and accurate, the candidate will then be licensed to practice as a vet tech in Nebraska.
Renewing the Vet Tech Certification
A vet tech’s certification must be renewed every two years. As a part of the requirements for renewal, a vet tech must take at least 16 hours of continuing competency activities that have been approved by the state. It is important that any activities be approved by the state before the deadline for renewal, in order to ensure that the vet tech has fulfilled all of the requirements.
A Nebraska vet tech has entered a growing and vibrant career with abundant opportunities for advancement. Whether the student is newly graduated from high school, or is currently employed in another field, becoming a certified veterinary technician is an excellent method to become a valued professional in the field of veterinary medicine.
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