Entering the Field of Veterinary Technology in Vermont
The field of veterinary technology is a rapidly growing part of the Vermont economy. With the increase in demand for high quality veterinary care for common and exotic pets, as well as livestock, the need for effective and well-trained veterinary technicians is greater than ever.
The Duties of a Vet Tech
Vet techs perform a variety of duties while assisting the veterinarian in providing high quality care to the animals he or she is treating. Among the duties a vet tech will commonly carry out are the following:
- The vet tech will conduct the initial examination of the animal, helping the veterinarian to establish a baseline when evaluating the animal’s condition.
- Vet techs administer drugs that have been prescribed by the, while observing the animals to ensure that no adverse reactions develop.
- A vet tech will often be required to safely immobilize frightened or combative animals so they may be examined without endangering the veterinary staff.
- When injured or ill animals are brought into the practice, the vet tech will be required to administer emergency care in order to stabilize the animal until the vet can provide further treatment.
Vet Techs in Vermont
The field of veterinary technology currently enjoys excellent growth prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts above average growth through 2020, while the current annual median wage for vet techs in Vermont is over $30,000. This, coupled with the projected increase in vet tech job openings due to the retirement of older vet techs, makes this career very promising for newly graduated students and older individuals alike.
Becoming a Vermont Vet Tech
Vermont does not currently require state licensing or certification to become a vet tech. However, the Vermont Veterinary Technician Association (VVTA) currently offers certification for Vermont vet techs. Obtaining certification is a very important decision for vet techs. In addition to having greater salary and career options, a certified vet tech can take advantage of reciprocity arrangements with other states that would allow the vet tech to practice in those states without having to repeat his or her training. The requirements for certification include graduating from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program, successfully passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam and submitting verification of both achievements to the VVTA.
Vet Tech Programs
Vet tech programs are offered by a variety of groups, including community colleges, vocational schools and adult education centers. In most cases, a full-time student will require about two years to complete a vet tech program. Some schools offer part-time and online courses that allow the student to complete the program at their own speed, which is especially useful for students who are currently working.
The AVMA accredits vet tech programs in order to ensure that they provide an effective education and are up to date with the modern practice of veterinary technology. Many states will not accept courses taken at non-accredited institutions, so it is important that students make certain that their program is currently accredited by the AVMA.
Taking the VTNE
The VTNE is the national examination for veterinary techs. Administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB), the VTNE is a comprehensive exam that covers all aspects of the vet tech’s duties. The VTNE is regularly updated by veterinary care professionals in order to ensure that it remains current with modern veterinary medicine.
In order to pass the VTNE, the candidate must score at least 425 on the test. Although it is possible to retake the VTNE, the AAVSB puts limits on how often a student may retake the test. For this reason, the VTNE should only be taken when the student is confident that he or she can successfully pass the exam.
Once these steps are completed, the candidate can apply for certification by the VVTA. By doing so, the vet tech can improve his or her career and salary options, as well as open the door to more specialized subfields in veterinary technology. Whether the individual is entering veterinary technology as their first career, or is seeking to transition to a more rewarding career from their current job, this field is one that will prove both personally and professionally rewarding.
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