Do you have to graduate from a four year vet tech university program to be a vet tech? Can you learn how to be a vet tech on the job?

These two questions are extremely controversial and volatile in the world of vet tech work.

The first question, Do you have to graduate from a four year vet tech university program to be a vet tech?, has no easy answers. I’ll try to explain why.

After addressing the first question, I’ll tackle the second, Can you learn how to be a vet tech on the job?, in the latter half of this blog post.

In an ideal world, federal and state laws would mandate vet techs graduate from four year university programs and then take and pass the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) in order to work as a vet tech.

The reality is that if this were law and policy the veterinary industry would suddenly be paralyzed due to the low numbers of people who are willing to enroll in four year vet tech programs, pay the tuition, undergo the four years of intense and grueling study and tests/exams, and take the national exam . . . and then be hired as a vet tech that likely starts at around $15/hr or lower depending on where they are and what kind of clinic or hospital they apply to work in. You can be hired at a wage higher than $15/hr, but I think that is not the norm based on what I’ve seen and heard on the Internet, and while looking at a lot of job ads.

The general public already complains about the costs of veterinary bills. In order to make vet tech work attractive to more people the industry would need to raise the pay scales to equal those of nurses that work with human patients. This would likely also result in veterinary doctors rightfully demanding their salaries become equal to doctors that work with human patients. The sudden spike in salaries for veterinary doctors and vet techs would raise veterinary medical service costs . . . and there would be probably be a dramatic plunge in the number of people visiting clinics and hospitals with their pets because they either cannot afford to pay the higher prices, or just outright refuse to . . . and the biggest fallout from all of this, in my opinion, would be the animals’ quality of life becoming much worse due to vaccinations being skipped, annual check-ups being neglected, etc.

I write more about this topic and related issues in my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

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For people who are not sure if they want to make a career as a vet tech, who might not be able to afford the university tuition and costs of living while studying without going into debt with student loans, and other variables . . . they can get hired as kennel techs or veterinary assistants.

A “kennel tech” is someone who works in animal boarding facilities, rescue shelters, or veterinary clinics. Typically, they work with dogs and cats. Their primary tasks are cleaning and taking care of the animals’ non-medical needs.

A “veterinary assistant” is someone who works in a veterinary clinic or hospital and has no vet tech college/university education, no formal training of any kind in veterinary medicine, and is not licensed/certified/registered.

Someone who has not graduated from a four year program and passed the licensing exam may also be hired as an unlicensed “vet tech.” Technically, and legally, this person should not call themselves a “vet tech” because they are, by definition, a “veterinary assistant.” Some (many?) clinic and hospital managers and doctors will, however, tell these people to call themselves “vet techs.”

Vet techs who have graduated from the four year program and passed the licensing exam will ALWAYS use one of the following job titles:

RVT: Registered Vet Tech, LVT: Licensed Vet Tech, CVT: Certified Vet Tech, or a combination of registered/licensed/certified vet nurse.

A vet tech student enrolled in a four year training program will study intensively the following 10 areas:

1. Basic Animal Nursing Care, 2. Anesthesia training, 3. Biochemistry, 4.Vet Anatomy
and Physiology, 5. Animal Diseases, 6. Vet Pathology, 7. Pharmaceutical Training, 8. Surgical Nursing for Animals, 9. Clinic/Lab Work, and 10. Practicum (Hands-on experience working in a clinic).

If you go on YouTube there are vet tech student vlogs you can watch where students talk about how brutally hard the four year program is for them. The volume of information you have to memorize is enormous. Then you have to demonstrate that you can apply that knowledge on tests and exams. The stress is incredibly high for most if not all of the students who often say they had no idea the program would be so hard.

Contrast a vet tech who has successfully graduated from a four year vet tech training program with a vet tech who is starting from zero knowledge and will be learning on the job . . . there is no comparison to be made. They are completely different. It’s like trying to compare a NASA space shuttle with a propeller driven airplane. They are both capable of flying, but the performance abilities are radically different.

Can you learn how to be a vet tech on the job?

The answer to this question is yes, but the complexity of the answer demands that the question be re-framed in order to raise awareness about how different the learning is for someone who doesn’t do the four year university program.

Can you learn the basic skills and minimum amount of medical knowledge required to do vet tech work on the job? 

Yes. But there are significant differences that need to be mentioned.

Learning in an exam room from a veterinary doctor or senior vet tech while the client and patient are present can be very challenging.

Vet techs do many different jobs: 1. Nurse, 2. Lab Technician, 3. Pharmacy Technician, 4. Radiology Technician, 5. Dental Hygienist, 6. Surgical Technician, 7. Anesthetist, 8. Grief Counselor . . . and more.

For each of these jobs there are dozens of micro-skills you have to learn, practice, and try to master. You also have to try to learn the medical knowledge that is married to the different skills and procedures you need to do.

I talk about what it’s like to be a new vet tech, technically a vet assistant, in my book So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech. In the book, there are many pictures that show you what the different tasks look like in real life. I also go into detail about what it’s like learning on the job, and offer tips and strategies for managing the stress that comes with learning when it’s not in a classroom or laboratory setting with pre-study for the topic and task done in a textbook, listening to a lecture, and then practicing in a controlled setting without a client, doctor, and/or other vet techs present watching you as you try something new for the first time with little to no practice.

Of the two paths to becoming a vet tech, learning on the job has a very different set of challenges and stresses.

It is possible to do. Many have done it. I hope that this blog, and my book, will be useful to those that choose to take the learning on the job path.

Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebookmy Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

What do you dislike or hate about vet tech work? Part 2

Before I get into part 2 of what I dislike or hate about vet tech work, you may want to read What do you dislike or hate about vet tech work? Part 1.

Here are the last five of my ten things I don’t like about vet tech work.

5. Getting Bit or Scratched

There is no avoiding getting bit and/or scratched.

You will get scratched by dogs, cats, and possibly other animals depending on the type of clinic or hospital you work in.

Cat bites are generally the worst. I got a bad cat bite that required multiple doctor visits, being given high dose antibiotic injections twice, and taking a long course of antibiotics orally. I wasn’t able to use my hand for two weeks, and after that only for light duties at work until the wounds healed almost six weeks after the bite. I write about what happened in detail in So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

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4. Low Salary/Wage for an Extremely Challenging Job

The image below is one I created for my book.

Vet Tech Pay Scales EDITED

Working as a vet tech should be a calling, something you feel compelled to do and think you’ll love doing. Otherwise, you can be hired at several fast food restaurant chains and your STARTING WAGE will be higher than what an uncertified and no experience vet tech gets paid.

It is mind-boggling that someone taking fast food orders as a clerk will make more per hour than a vet tech. The working conditions, degree of skill and knowledge, and stress levels are just three radically different things between the two types of jobs.

I write about this topic in some detail in my book. I also have suggestions on how to get raises, how to make your pay check and budget workable, etc.

3. Euthanasia and Emotional Stress/Trauma

The last three items on my top 10 list are not in a hierarchy. Each can be worse than the other depending on the day that you experience them.

That being said, euthanasia is . . . I struggle to find the words. It is heart-breaking. It will make you question everything. It will break you into a trillion little pieces. It will make you love your fur-babies at home more than you ever thought possible.

You have to learn how to manage your emotions and process grief. Those that can’t either quit the job, or become extremely burned out with compassion fatigue.

There is a wide range of different types of emotional stress and trauma that you will be exposed to in vet tech work. You will see animals that have been abused. Animals that have been attacked and badly injured. Animals brought in after being hit by a car. Animals that have eaten something poisonous. Animals that have terminal cancer or other deadly diseases like Parvo, Distemper, etc. Puppies and kittens that are sick, injured, and die . . .

Depending on your personality type, degree of maturity and life experience, the quality of your family and friends support network, etc. . . . there is no escaping the fact that vet tech work takes a toll on you, and changes you forever in ways that you cannot anticipate before they happen.

This is something everyone should be aware of before getting hired.

2. Ineffective or Incompetent Clinic/Hospital Leadership

Unfortunately, the veterinary medicine industry has its share of ineffective and incompetent leadership.

But unlike your typical office or retail job, the impact of bad leadership on vet techs is exacerbated by the nature of the job (see #3).

A lot of vet techs on social media post about how alone and frustrated they feel when they try to bring up issues and problems with their managers and/or doctors. They are left with nowhere and nobody to turn to for help.

In my book, I talk about how to assess if a clinic/hospital is a good place to work. I also have an assessment tool for figuring out if it’s time to quit your job and find a new one, or make the big decision to leave the vet tech field and change careers.

The average career of a vet tech is five years. Bad leadership issues are a major causal factor for that average, in my opinion.

1. Bad Vet Tech Co-Workers

The quality of your vet tech co-workers can make each shift a great experience–or a nightmare.

You need to know that the other tech helping you immobilize a cat that’s gone PSYCHO-DEMON will not give up and flee the exam room leaving you to be mauled by claws and teeth.

You need to know that the other techs will do their cleaning tasks well so that when it’s your turn to clean kennels or whatever the task may be, that the previous tech didn’t do a half-assed job which means your work will be harder and take longer to do.

It’s also important that techs work well as a team and don’t have anti-social personality traits and behaviors. The actual vet tech work is stressful enough as it is without having to deal with dysfunctional and toxic co-workers.

I go into more detail in So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech about this topic with stories and content addressing this topic.

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If you like this post, you may also want to read, What do you dislike or hate about vet tech work? Part 1.

And to help balance out the negative with the positive take a look at, What do you like about working as a vet tech?

Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebookmy Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

What do you dislike or hate about vet tech work? Part 1

In every job, there are positives and negatives. In this post, What do you like about working as a vet tech?, I talked about the good things.

In this post, I’m going to talk about the things I dislike or hate about vet tech work.

If you have the time and energy, go to Twitter and search “vet tech.” You’ll find a never-ending stream of Tweets about the mild to nightmare and hellish aspects of vet tech work.

My top ten things I don’t like about vet tech work are . . .

10. Difficult Pet Owners

No matter how good your communication and customer service skills are, there will be difficult to manage clients. From complaints about the cost of medicines, vaccines, and medical procedures to bizarre questions about their pet’s health or something they read online that makes no medical sense (and can be highly entertaining, lol) . . . pet owners present a never ending stream of challenges.

In an exam room, a pet owner can transform an already anxious animal into a violent and terrified one when nervous energy is sensed by their pet. Learning how to communicate and manage an owner’s behavior in an exam room (and when to ask them to leave and go to the waiting room) can be quite hard.

Sometimes the pet owner will be shocked and in grief at the loss of their pet. There are many reasons and situations in which a seemingly healthy animal suddenly dies, and the owner comes back to get their fur-baby only to learn that they have passed. You, as the vet tech, may find yourself exposed to the raw anger and pain that shock and grief produce in some owners. It is a VERY difficult situation to manage.

I could write another 10,000 words about this topic, but these examples should give you an idea about what is possible.

9. How Veterinary Doctors Communicate and Interact with Techs

Veterinary doctors that you work for will often have been practicing for several years if not decades. They have a gigantic volume of medical as well as experiential knowledge. The untrained and uncertified vet tech is like a toddler trying to keep up with an Olympic sprinter.

The doctors can get frustrated and angry at techs when the clinic/hospital is busy. They may not remember what you have learned and expect that you are able to do something on demand and when needed. Depending on the personality, degree of burnout and compassion fatigue, and whatever other negative factors you want to consider in the doctor . . . these factors can result in the doctor negatively speaking and interacting with you. In other job environments, when a co-worker or superior treats you unprofessionally the assumption is you go to HR (Human Resources) and file a complaint, or talk to the next person up in the chain of command; this is often not the case for vet techs in clinics and hospitals.

If you surf social media, especially Twitter, you will see a lot of content about the abuses that vet techs experience, and the lack of a professional HR culture in some/many clinics and hospitals.

8. Noise Stress in a Clinic or Hospital

Animals that are anxious, scared, hurt, injured, sick, or post-surgery are NOISY. If you are at all sensitive to being exposed to loud noise for long periods of time vet tech work space will be stressful for you. If you are sensitive to animals vocalizing at high volume their unhappiness, stress, pain, etc., you will either adjust quickly or realize that vet tech work is not for you.

Some animals, specifically breeds of dogs, are just plain freaking non-stop loud. Blood hounds would be a great example of this. I speak from personal experience with a particular dog that would board regularly at my clinic. While I love this dog, she would bark and howl non-stop and spark up the other dogs in kennels around her to join in as well. If you’ve never been in close proximity to dogs that have insanely loud barking and howling . . . for HOURS at a time, you may not understand what this does to your ears, nervous system, and general state of mind.

If you become a vet tech, you will KNOW.

7. Disorganized Training on The Job & Unclear Expectations

If you didn’t go to a four year university vet tech program and then take the licensing exam, you’ll be learning everything about your job on the fly. This generally means you learn a new skill, info, procedure that presents itself in the moment. The odds are that nobody will keep a training diary of what you’ve been taught (and still need to learn). They will also likely not remember clearly when and what you have learned and to what degree you got to practice it, let alone master it.

Doctors and senior vet techs may not realize you haven’t been trained to do something, and if the clinic/hospital is busy and stress is high you may experience them being frustrated that you don’t know how to do something or are unable to do it well–even if that is not your fault.

You may also find that nobody tells you what expectations are for how you do the many different jobs a vet tech performs. They will tell you, though, when you fail to meet those unspoken expectations. This can be very stressful and frustrating and unfair. But you have to expect it because the odds are that how you are trained will be disorganized and without clear goals.

6. Long Shifts and Little to No Breaks

If you work a shift that is equal to or less than 7 hours in a busy clinic/hospital the odds are that you might/will not get a ‘real’ break time. Legally, if your shift is 7+ hours you should get a break–but again, depending on how many techs and doctors are working, the volume of appointments and walk-ins, it may not be POSSIBLE for you to take a break.

I go into detail about this issue and more in my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

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You can read the rest of my top 10 list in my next post, What do you dislike or hate about vet tech work? Part 2

Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebookmy Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

Do I have to go to college/university to become a vet tech? What qualifications do you need to have to get a vet tech job?

For the uninitiated, “Do I have to go to college/university to become a vet tech?” and “What qualifications do you need to have to get a vet tech job?”, might seem like innocuous questions . . .

These two questions are extremely controversial in the vet tech world.

There are four job titles you can use if you have graduated from a four year veterinary technician university program AND passed your state certification/licensing exam:

  1. CVT – Certified Veterinary Technician
  2. LVT – Licensed Veterinary Technician
  3. RVT – Registered Veterinary Technician
  4. CVN, LVN, or RVN – Certified/Licensed/Registered Veterinary Nurse

From what I’ve read online, each state usually has a law requiring you to label your job title as one of the following if you have NOT graduated from a four year university program and taken the certification exam:

  1. Veterinary Assistant

This is a person who works in a veterinary clinic or hospital and has no vet tech college/university education, no formal training of any kind in veterinary medicine, and is not licensed/certified/registered.

2. Kennel Technician

A person who works in animal boarding facilities, rescue shelters, or veterinary clinics. Typically, they work with dogs and cats. Their primary tasks are cleaning and taking care of the animals’ non-medical needs.

In my opinion, and based on what I’ve seen online during hours and hours of research for my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech . . . about half or maybe even more of the people working as vet techs did not attend a four year university program and have not taken the licensing exam. In spite of this, clinic and hospital managers and veterinary doctors tell their employees that their job title is “vet tech.”

Is there a difference between what a certified/licensed/registered vet tech does and a non-certified didn’t go to university tech does? Yes–and–no.

In terms of veterinary medical knowledge someone who has done four GRUELING YEARS OF STUDY . . . there is NO comparing a licensed vet tech who graduated from a four year program and someone who is hired as a vet tech but has to start from nothing and learn on the job. Furthermore, that person will only learn what is absolutely vital to each task and procedure, and nothing more because there is not much time for the senior vet techs and doctors to teach you–unlike the person that went to a vet tech university program where they have four years to learn, and the space they are in is dedicated to learning.

If you look at Twitter, for example, it is immediately CRYSTAL CLEAR which vet techs have graduated from four year programs and taken the exam versus techs who have not. The primary reason for this is that anyone who goes through the four years of incredibly challenging education and then takes the exam will ALWAYS use one of the four job titles listed above.

Should veterinary clinics and hospitals only hire licensed/certified/registered techs? In an ideal world, yes, absolutely.

Should people who want to work as vet techs only do so if they follow the four year university and exam path to getting a job as a vet tech? Also, yes, in a perfect world.

Should states pass a law mandating anyone who wants to be a vet tech do the university program and exam? Yes.

The quality and standards of professional medical care for animals would dramatically rise immediately if this were the standard practice and policy.

BUT . . . this is a top-down issue. The veterinary medicine industry and state and federal government need to come together and reform the hiring standards and practices for vet techs.

How this might happen? Clinics and hospitals already struggle to convince clients that the costs for services are reasonable–if vet techs hiring standards were mandated by law that the person applying must have graduated from a four year university program and passed the licensing exam the average cost of a vet visit would rise dramatically.

The consequences of raising veterinary medical bills would have a very detrimental impact on animals’ health and quality of life across the country.

There would likely also be an immediate qualified vet tech staffing crisis across the country. As things stand now, clinics and hospitals have a hard time filling positions with UN-certified vet techs.

For myself, personally, given everything I know now about vet techs and how vital the role is that they play in an animal’s quality and standard of medical care . . . for my own fur-babies I will always want a certified and educated vet tech taking care of them. There are just too many risks that come into play with someone who is on-the-job trained to the bare minimum required.

There are no easy answers to this vet tech qualifications and hiring standards issue.

If you like the content on this blog, please consider taking a look at my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

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If you have questions please feel free to leave a comment on this blog or visit my Facebook, my Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

What do you like about working as a vet tech?

There are many things I like about vet tech work.

I love animals. Getting paid to work with animals is awesome. Getting paid to learn how to help animals on the job–fantastic.

You learn a lot about who you are in some pretty challenging and stressful situations. There is literally an uncountable number of life lessons you will face when working as a vet tech. How do you deal with death? How are you in emergency situations when an animal has, for example, been hit by a car and brought into your clinic? How do you manage fear and anxiety when a cat goes FULL DEMON and you’re in a small exam room with the doctor and client?

You are always learning new information, medical procedures, and everything vet tech work. If you like learning in general, you’ll love working as a vet tech because you’ll always be learning something new every time you go to work.

You will educate pet owners about a wide range of topics that help raise the quality of life for the animal. Nutrition, vaccinations, why annual check-ups are important, how to manage behavioral issues, and more. It is very fulfilling to know that you passed on information that will help the client and animal have healthier and happier lives together.

Parvo puppies . . . there is good and bad about this aspect of vet tech work. The good is that when you save a Parvo puppy from the brink of death, the feelings are of unbelievable joy and relief. If, and when, you see the puppy later on for vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, and annual check-ups it is wonderful to see them REMEMBER YOU.

Wearing scrubs. They are comfortable, easy to clean, and free (or should be, your clinic/hospital should provide them).

Meeting all of the different personalities that clients and pets bring with them. You will see every type of personality coming from all walks of life. Your communication skills will improve immensely through navigating all of the different types of conversations that take place in the waiting room and exam room.

If you find a job with good co-workers, the bonding that takes place as you go through each shift and all of the challenges and stresses . . . your shared experiences will form extremely strong friendships. EMTs, paramedics, nurses, soldiers, police . . . each of these work cultures have a uniqueness that only those who have done the job can know and share. Working as a vet tech means you join a tribe in which only you and its members truly understand the joys and horrors, highs and lows, and the often unimaginable experiences you accumulate.

Please check out my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech for more stories and content about working as a vet tech.

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Please leave a comment on this blog post, or any questions you might want to ask me. Also, you can reach me on my Facebook, my Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

How much does a vet tech get paid?

One of the first questions most people ask when thinking about becoming a vet tech is “How much does it pay?”

The image below is a pay scale chart I made for my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

Vet Tech Pay Scales EDITED

There are many reasons for the pay range being . . . less than satisfactory given the nature of a vet tech’s work.

There is no national union for vet techs. Maybe someone will take this monumental task on in the future.

Vet techs are often not seen as what they really are: veterinary nurses. Simply shifting the title of the job elevates its status and how people think about it. That being said, nurses who work with human patients are also in a battle to be seen as highly skilled medical professionals, and to improve their working conditions.

The average vet tech ‘career’ is five years. The high turnover has an effect on pay scales.

A large number of people working as vet techs have not graduated from a four year veterinary technician university program and have not taken the certification/licensing exam. This means clinics and hospitals pay less because newbies don’t have the qualifications to demand higher pay.

That being said, licensed vet techs who have done the four year program and passed the licensing exam should be paid a lot more than the average starting wages that exist now.

For a variety of reasons, the general public seems to think vet techs just play with puppies and kittens all day, essentially fur-babysitting, and don’t understand the incredibly difficult and stressful working conditions. The lack of understanding and awareness in the general public leads to an unwillingness to pay more.

Furthermore, given the frequency of clients complaining about veterinary medicine service costs the industry doesn’t seem to be willing to challenge that perspective. As a result, the vet tech pay scales continue to be low in general.

You can read more about how to find a vet tech job, a list of common vet tech job interview questions, tips on how to ask for a higher starting wage when you’re being hired, and ways to get raises during your first year working as a vet tech in my book, So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

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If you have questions please feel free to leave a comment on this blog or visit my Facebook, my Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

What does a vet tech do?

If you’ve never volunteered in an animal rescue shelter or worked in a veterinary clinic or hospital you might not know that a vet tech does many different jobs.

You will have to learn how to do all of these tasks on the job unless you attend and graduate from a vet tech four year university program. Even after graduating from a program there is still a lot of learning, practicing, and mastering a huge number of skills and procedures depending on what type of clinic or hospital you work in, and what types of animals you see.

The list of different jobs and tasks, skills, and procedures below covers the fundamentals of a vet tech’s work to give you a good idea of what the work demands.

Cleaner – Vet techs do a LOT of cleaning during a shift.

  • You will sweep and mop floors
  • You will disinfect and clean kennels that have urine, feces, blood, wound secretions from boarding animals and post-surgery patients
  • You will disinfect and wipe down exam tables after animals are finished being seen by the doctor
  • You will clean the staff and client bathrooms
  • You will pick up feces if there is a dog walking area for the clinic
  • You will clean up after animals that urinate or defecate in the waiting room or exam rooms
  • You wash, dry, and fold blankets, towels, and scrubs that likely have urine, feces, anal gland fluid, blood, wound secretions, etc. on them

Phlebotomist (aka take blood for testing)

  • You will take blood samples from dogs, cats, and possibly other types of animals

Lab Tech 

  • You will look at samples under a microscope to check for bacteria
  • You will use a centrifuge

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X-ray Tech

  • You will move animals from kennels and exam rooms to an X-ray machine table
  • You will position animals for different types of X-rays
  • You may have to immobilize the animal
  • You will take X-rays

Nurse

  • You will take temperatures; for example, with dogs you have to insert a thermometer in the anus to take the temperature
  • You will calculate dosages for medicines and vaccines, and then administer them; this can mean inserting a pill and getting the animal to swallow it, mixing vaccines in a syringe and then injecting them, or mixing medicines into food, etc.
  • You will set up IV catheters, set flow rates on the IV, check for kinks and when IV bags need to be replaced, add medicines into the IV feed, etc.
  • You will check on post-surgery or treatment animals’ condition
  • You will advise clients on vaccination schedules, spay and neuter surgeries, regular check-ups, nutrition advice, behavior training, etc.

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Pharmacy Tech

  • You will prepare medicines for animals
  • You will give instructions to clients
  • You will calculate doses based on doctor instructions and the weight and age of the animal

Dog Groomer

  • You will give dogs baths
  • You will trim nails

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Anesthetist 

  • You will, under supervision of a veterinary doctor, administer anesthetic gas and monitor oxygen for an animal as well as their heart rate

Dental Assistant

  • You will clean teeth

Assist Euthanasias

  • You will help prepare animals for euthanasia; this can be many different things: shaving the injection site, weighing the animal to calculate the dose needed, managing the body after, getting a body bag, moving the body to a refrigerated storage space, etc.
  • You will help clients manage their grief as appropriate

Customer Service

  • You will have to answer questions about services, costs of medicines and procedures, etc.
  • You will help facilitate communication between receptionists and clients, doctors and clients

If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to be a vet tech, please check out my book So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech.

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The book has a lot of pictures and descriptions of what the work is like, and it also has stories and advice on how to find a vet tech job, what to prepare for an interview, and tips and information that a new vet tech might find useful as they start and learn how to do the many different types of jobs that are all rolled up into one.

If you have questions please feel free to leave a comment or visit my Facebook, my Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW

So You Wanna Be a Vet Tech – First Post

Hello!

Welcome to the blog for So you wanna be a vet tech. It is a book meant for anyone considering a job in veterinary medicine as a vet assistant, vet tech (unlicensed/unregistered), and/or studying at a vet tech college or university program and after graduating find a job as a registered/licensed vet tech/nurse.

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If you do Google searches for information about vet tech life and work, you will find a lot of content that is generally positive. When negative topics are addressed, they tend to be neutral and not go into much detail.

This blog, and my book, give an honest and detailed look at the hard realities of vet tech life and working conditions. My intention is to introduce ideas and issues that people who have never worked in the veterinary medicine field may not be aware of, and to get you thinking and talking about them BEFORE you get hired as a vet tech or go to do a four year university program and then take the certification/licensing exam.

For many vet techs, the job is a calling. This helps to balance the scales when it comes to low pay, stress, and a very challenging work environment with the opportunity to help people and their fur-babies on a daily basis.

For those who are called to this line of work, nothing will change their minds about becoming vet techs. But having some idea of how their lives are about to change forever is a good idea. That is the goal of this book and blog.

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I look forward to sharing many stories and insights about working as a vet tech.

Please leave any questions or comments you have on this blog or my social media.

Here are links to my social media channels: my Facebook, my Twitter, and my Instagram.

KJW