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What courses are necessary to take to become a veterinary technician? What are the benefits of becoming a vet tech? Any personal advice?

I am currently a (junior) in high school and passionate about pursuing a career in the veterinary medicine field. I enjoy learning about animals and new distinct ways of helping them survive. #vettech #careers #veterinarian #veterinary

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John’s Answer

Veterinary technicians are often confused with veterinary technologists. While these occupations share some of the same job responsibilities and they work under a veterinarian to test animals and diagnose illnesses and injuries, a veterinary technician requires less education. A two-year associate's degree in veterinary technology equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work as veterinary technicians. Some community colleges require that applicants have at least 16-20 hours of observation in a veterinary hospital in addition to a high school diploma before they enroll in an associate's degree program for veterinary technology. Students then complete a majority of courses in the core field of study. Veterinary technology topics include animal pharmacology, animal behavior, clinical practices, animal diseases, and veterinary hospital management. Communication skills are often emphasized so that prospective veterinary technicians can connect with pet owners and work efficiently with veterinarians. However, some classes are needed to satisfy general education requirements in the humanities as well as the basic sciences. Once students have earned their associate's degree, they might be ready to sit for national and state examinations administered by the state veterinary medical board.

Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in the care of animals. They may perform an initial evaluation of the animal's condition, clean and wrap wounds, check vital statistics, collect samples and administer medication. They also perform basic lab work, including urinalysis and blood tests, and may assist with procedures such as teeth cleaning. Veterinary technicians must have excellent communication skills, so that they may interact with pet owners and coworkers. They must have an understanding of animal behavior and strong clinical skills in order to properly evaluate an animal's condition and provide treatment. They must be detail-oriented and well-organized so that they may take medical histories, carry out instructions, document patient statistics and update records. It's also essential that they enjoy working with animals and have the ability to comfort, handle and restrain large and small pets.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted excellent job growth for veterinary technicians and technologists, with a projected increase in employment opportunities of 19% during the 2018-2028 decade. According to the BLS, 91% of veterinary technicians work in veterinary offices, clinics and other facilities that provide veterinary services. A smaller number of veterinary technicians work in animal shelters, zoos and research facilities. Many veterinary technicians get their start by taking paid internships with animal health care facilities, which are often available to recent graduates of accredited veterinary technology educational programs. The average Veterinary Technician salary in the United States is $35,500 as of September 25, 2020, but the range typically falls between $30,000 and $42,250. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

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Veterinary technologists need a bachelor's degree. Many technologists work directly for veterinarians or scientists. They can usually be found in animal laboratories running various tests. They keep patient animal records, prepare testing samples, and do a variety of research work. The average Veterinary Technician salary in the United States is $40,500 as of September 25, 2020.

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KWANZAA’s Answer

Course Essentials And Your Preferences May Vary, Basic Courses Are Standard. Students Usually Study Animal Physiology And Anatomy, Biology, Zoology, Animal Science, Chemistry And Microbiology.


1. You’ll have the chance to help animals.
Obviously, becoming a veterinarian gives you the skills and knowledge you need to treat dogs, cats, and other animals and put them on the road to recovery. This is one of the most rewarding parts of the job: helping a creature that came to your clinic in a bad condition and using your abilities to improve its health and help it get better.

2. You’ll have a job that you love.
Being a veterinarian means you’ll be surrounded with different animals. One day you might be working with small, fluffy dogs; the next day you might be treating large cows or horses. You’ll definitely run into many challenges, but all of them can be worth it since you’re following your passion and working in a job that aligns with your values and interests.

3. You can earn a decent income.
As of January 2016, the average annual salary for veterinarians is around $72,709. You’ll earn less than this when you’re still starting out, but you’ll most likely enjoy better pay once you get more experience and become promoted to a higher position. You can even enjoy more earnings if you decide to start your own practice.

1. You’ll go through emotional roller coasters.
No matter how hard you try, there will definitely be times when you can’t save a patient. There might even be instances when you’ll need to perform euthanasia to free patients from unnecessary suffering. These events can leave you emotionally broken; over time, you might experience “compassion fatigue”, a term that’s used to define a set of emotions that can range from being highly sensitive to the slightest events to feeling numb about what’s going on around you.

2. You’ll struggle for work-life balance.
More likely than not, you might find yourself working regular hours and being on call even after your work day has ended. This is particularly true if you’re in a small town that doesn’t have a lot of veterinarians. As a result, you might find it hard to balance your work and family life, and you might end up being constantly fatigued and overworked.

3. You’ll be exposed to various injuries.
Bites, scratches, and bruises are common among veterinarians. Unlike humans who are aware that they’re going through medical care, animals don’t immediately understand that you’re trying to help them and may act hostile towards you. This is especially true if they’re under a lot of pain and discomfort. This isn’t a problem health-wise since you’ll get anti-rabies shots and other vaccines that prevent you from falling ill, but it can be difficult for you particularly if you’re uncomfortable with seeing yourself bleed.
Being a veterinarian can be a rewarding experience, but it also has a few drawbacks. It’s important to carefully examine these pros and cons to decide if working as a veterinarian is the right career path for you.

Personal Advise............Wanting to become a Veterinarian speaks volumes relative to who you are as a HUMAN BEING. KINDNESS, COMPASSION easily comes to mind. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE. IN OTHER WORD, DON'T GIVE UP. NO MATTER WHAT.