The importance of the role played by a veterinary technician should not be discounted. Aside from providing assistance to veterinarians, they also perform tasks that animal doctors simply do not have the time to do anymore. Many of the duties of the veterinarian are delegated to them. That is why is their significance cannot not be ignored anymore.
The job outlook for vet techs is positive. In fact, demand and growth will continue up to the year 2023. If you are among the many people who are interested in becoming a veterinary technician, there are some steps that you need to take. What is a vet tech and what should one do to become one? Outlined below are some helpful tips to make your journey a little easier.
- Ask yourself: is this what you really want? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life dealing with animals and the challenges that may be involved? Not all people are born with an innate love for animals but if you were, then you hold a great advantage. Aside from this, there are also other qualities that you should possess. This includes proper communication skills; compassion; great attention to detail; and the extraordinary ability to solve problems.
Because you will be dealing with worried pet owners, it is important that you know the right words to say and when to say them. You should be able to empathize and not merely sympathize with whatever they are feeling. Also, you should be able to record information correctly and possess the ability to think outside the box.
- Develop emotional maturity. If you think that being a veterinary technician means having to cuddle with super cute kittens or play around with dogs, then you have it all wrong. You should be able to handle the other side that comes with the job – the unpleasant side. You will get to witness first-hand animals in pain, scared animals, or dying ones.
- Enroll in a duly accredited vet tech program. But prior to this, you need to fulfill the qualifications needed for you to enroll. For example, some programs require that you have proper background and knowledge in microbiology, anatomy, biology, chemistry and the like. When you have met the requirements, look for a program that will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to become a veterinary technician.
When choosing a program, make sure that it is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This will tell you that the program provides quality education and relevant training needed for you to become a vet tech later on.
- Expose yourself to real-life veterinary situations. You can do this by getting in an internship or practicum program in a veterinary clinic. This is so you can get hands-on experience in dealing with real animals and their real owners. During this training, you can be an apprentice to the veterinarian and provide needed assistance.
- After your academic studies as well as the hands-on training, gear up to take the certification exam. Exams vary from state to state but they are all made up of oral, written and hands-on components. Check for your particular state’s requirements and fulfill those.
Once you have passed the certification exam, you may want to go into further studies and specialize. There are a lot of areas of specialization for the veterinary technician and venturing into a particular field could mean a lot career-wise. Plus, you can also earn more compared to other non-specialized vet techs.
In order to become a veterinary technician, you have to start somewhere and following the above-mentioned steps could help you immensely. Just remember to do your own research when it comes to choosing a program as this will be one of the major decisions that you will make in your career. Ask for referrals or search the web for reviews of schools offering such programs. You may also want to visit and inquire for you to get a feel for the school.
A strong foundation will really go a long way. Education and licensing are important so never, ever take these aspects for granted if you want to fulfill your dreams of working closely with animals.