How to Become a Veterinary Technician

This week is National Pet Week. National Pet Week is celebrated every first full week of May. Each year the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has a theme that goes with this week. The theme for this year is about practicing responsible pet ownership. One of the main ways you can practice responsible pet ownership is by seeing your pet’s veterinarian on a regular basis.

Behind every great doctor is a nurse, right? Well, the same goes in the veterinary field. Behind every great veterinarians there is a veterinary technician. In fact, they do quite a bit of different things behind the scenes in a veterinary clinic.

What is a Veterinary Technician?

A veterinary technician is, simply put, a nurse for the animal field. They are specially trained in providing all the technical aspects for a veterinarian. Veterinary technicians have many different duties that they fulfill every day in a veterinary office.

Some of the duties a veterinary technician completes include, but are not limited to:

  • Drawing blood
  • Assist in restraining pets
  • Running lab work
  • Taking radiographs
  • Client education
  • Monitoring vital signs during surgery
  • Filling prescriptions
  • Answering phone calls

How to Become a Veterinary Technician

So, you’re interested in becoming a veterinary technician? That’s great! Veterinary technicians are truly the heart of a veterinary clinic. But, in order to become a technician, there will be some steps you will need to take.

1.   Make sure being a veterinary technician is something you REALLY want to do.

Prior to becoming a veterinary technician, many technicians work in a veterinary clinic. This allows them to get a good feel for the job. Not all that begin at clinics start at veterinary technicians. Many may begin as kennel help or receptionist.

Of course, there are cute puppies and kittens involved when you’re a veterinary technician. But, that’s not always the case. You will be involved with medications, needles, and drawing blood.

There will be days filled with urine and feces. As well as heartbreak and euthanasia. It’s important to make sure this field is really where you want to be. It takes quite a bit of compassion to be a veterinary technician.

2. Ensure that you are physically fit enough to be a veterinary technician.

Being a veterinary technician is a lot of lifting, bending, and moving. In some cases you may have to lift a dog that is over 100 pounds. Plus, things are never the same on a daily basis in a veterinary clinic. You are constantly moving. Make sure that you can fulfill your physical duties as a veterinary technician.

3. Enroll in a training program to become a veterinary technician.

Training programs for veterinary technicians are the best way to be successful in the field. These training programs offers hands on training. Veterinary technician training programs also offer a lot of education in regards to the field.

Many colleges offer veterinary technician training programs. Some colleges offer certificates, Associate degrees, and/or Bachelor’s degrees in the field.

When you complete training you will take quite a bit of courses in relation to math and science. These courses are vital for a veterinary technician. Courses like math and science make medication dosages and animal anatomy much easier.

Becoming a Veterinary Technician is Rewarding

As stated above, veterinary technicians really are the heart of a veterinary clinic. The career itself is rewarding. Veterinary technicians learn something new every day in the field. That’s the wonderful thing about the veterinary field. It is evolving. In fact, it’s predicted that there will be a 30% increase in veterinary technicians by 2020.