Vet Techs in North Dakota
Veterinary care in America is a fast growing field that is demanding an increasing number of skilled professional workers. Well-trained veterinary technicians are a vital component of the veterinary care sector, making this field one that has excellent employment and career prospects. This is especially true in North Dakota, which has a wide variety of urban and rural veterinary practices that require the assistance of licensed vet techs.
Becoming a Vet Tech in North Dakota
North Dakota requires that all veterinary technicians be licensed by the state before they can practice. Because of this, vet techs must complete an approved veterinary technology program, take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) and obtain the endorsement of a licensed veterinarian.
Completing a Veterinary Technician Program
Veterinary technology programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools and some adult education programs. In most cases, a full-time student will complete the program after about two years of study. However, for students who cannot attend classes on a full-time basis, many programs offer part-time and distance learning options that can allow the student to work at his or her own pace.
All programs must be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This national organization evaluates vet tech programs and only accredits those that adhere to very high standards of educational quality. A student should ensure that any program he or she is considering entering is accredited by the AVMA.
After completing the vet tech program, the student must then take the VTNE. In some cases, a student who is due to graduate in less than six months may take the VTNE before graduation. The VTNE is a comprehensive test that evaluates the student’s academic and practical skills in the field of veterinary technology. In order to pass the VTNE, the student must score at least 450 on the test.
If the student fails the VTNE, he or she may retake it, but there are limits on when it may be retaken. Additionally, the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) reserves the right to require that the student demonstrate that he or she has made progress towards passing the exam before letting them retake it. Furthermore, the AAVSB generally does not allow a student to retake the test more than five times, making it important that the candidate only take the test when he or she is confident of passing it.
Finally, the North Dakota Board of Veterinary Examiners requires that the vet tech candidate be able to obtain the endorsement of a licensed veterinarian. The candidate should make certain to obtain this endorsement well in advance of submitting the application. North Dakota does not require any further testing, and will issue the license to the vet tech immediately upon receiving a valid application that includes all required records.
Renewing the License
North Dakota requires that all vet techs renew their license every two years. This includes a requirement that the vet tech have taken at least eight hours of continuing education (CE) that has been approved by the Board. Because the vet tech will not be able to renew their license without these CE hours, all vet techs should regularly verify that their CE has been approved before submitting it.
The Practice of Veterinary Technology
Licensed vet techs perform a variety of services for veterinarians, no matter the size or type of the p
ractice. Among their most common duties are the following:
- Evaluating newly admitted animals and providing basic physical and health related information to the veterinarian.
- If injured animals are admitted to the practice, providing the initial first aid to stabilize the animal until the veterinarian can provide long-term treatment.
- Assisting the veterinarian in handling animals during exams and surgical proce
- Managing veterinary aides, clerical workers and other office staff.
- Administering medications that have been prescribed by the veterinarian.
In addition, many vet techs work in wildlife management or state and local humane societies, while farms and ranches often make use of veterinary technicians as part of their livestock management strategies. Finally, zoos and wildlife refuges often employ vet techs for a variety of purposes.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of veterinary technology is showing well above average growth through 2020. Furthermore, the median salary for vet techs is very competitive with other fields requiring a similar level of education and licensing. Because of this, whether for an individual seeking to transition to a more rewarding career or a newly graduated student, veterinary technology can be a very attractive field.
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