Veterinary medicine used to be based on general principles on taking care of animals. Today, it is a profession that has become more complex and sophisticated, utilizing state-of-the-art methods in caring for animals. Modern veterinarians practice the skills they learn from studying veterinary technology. These professionals are now known as veterinary technicians.
If you’re thinking of having a career in veterinary, be aware that this career is not as simple as you think. Although it involves taking care of animals with your own hands while utilizing simple analysis and decision-making skills, becoming a veterinary technician can be a challenging career because of its complicated background.
A veterinary technician is one of the most important members of a veterinary hospital or clinic. Since veterinary technicians have gone through proper education in veterinary technology, they are skilled in handling animals, identifying normal or abnormalities of animal’s biology and performing common clinic and laboratory procedures.
Although veterinary technicians act as assistants of licensed veterinarians, they perform a wide variety of tasks inside a clinic. However, technicians are now allowed to diagnose, prescribe medications, perform surgeries and engage in other activities prohibited by laws.
Career Opportunities As A Veterinary Technician
If you want to study veterinary technology, you have to attend a two-year associate degree or a four-year baccalaureate degree. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) accredits certain technician programs nationwide. For this reason, you need to look for accredited schools with a curriculum that includes hands-on training. Be aware that veterinary technicians with a four-year degree usually have higher salaries compared to those wit associate degrees.
In hospitals and veterinary clinics, veterinary technicians handle various responsibilities that nurses perform for physicians. These include tasks such as obtaining and recording individual patient histories, collecting of specimens, performing laboratory tests and procedures, providing nurse care, preparing instruments and equipments for surgical procedures and assisting in diagnostic and medical procedures.
Veterinary technicians are also responsible for exposing and developing radiographs, advising and educating animal owners of their pet’s condition, supervising and training personnel, providing dental examinations, completing in-house or outpatient treatments and maintaining inventory for the hospital or clinic.
If you prefer to study health conditions of animals, you can be a part of biomedical research groups. Although you will still perform tasks under the supervision of licensed veterinarians, you will supervise humane caring and handing of various research animals as well as assist in implementing different research projects.
Becoming a veterinary technician involves constant care of animals with an educational background of two to four years. If you wish to participate in research studies or assist in saving the lives of different animals, then veterinary technology is the right career choice for you.