Veterinary Technicians are the Bread and Butter of Any Clinic
The benefits of being a vet tech, specifically credentialed, are numerous. It seems, however, that some are a wildly undervalued asset in their place of employment. Thankfully, this is recently changing. The roles of a vet tech are demanding and often numerous. These medical professionals are highly skilled nurses, anesthesiologists, phlebotomists, radiologists, janitors, pharmacists, surgical procedure assistants, midwives, physical therapists, dental hygienists, laboratory pathologists, receptionists, groomers, nutritionists, and so much more.
In the United States, these individuals get their start by attending a two-year AVMA-accredited course. They will gain an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from the school of their choosing. Once graduated, they will sit for their national boards (the VTNE) and their state boards before becoming qualified.
Qualified vet techs, depending on the state they work in, are called a CVT, RVT, or LVT. Their official title being a Certified, Registered, or Licensed Veterinary Technician. No matter the title, each is equivalent to the other as having completed their two-year degree program and have passed both sets of boards.
Some choose to take their roles of a vet tech further to complete a higher education, receive a new title, and enhance their vet tech career to benefit from better professional opportunities. This can be done in two ways.
Complete a 4-year accredited program with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology.
This program would boost their associated title to a qualified veterinary technologist. Shorthand, this would be CVTg, RVTg, or LVTg respectively.
Complete a specialist certification.
This is often a significant amount of work that takes a few years to accomplish in their respective field. The new title across the board would be Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in the field they chose.
Specialties have many AVMA-recognized fields and each has its own specific set of requirements for their applications, hours worked, dissertations, letters of recommendation, etc.
You can be a Specialist in any of these recognized fields:
Emergency and Critical Care
Anesthesia and Analgesia
For more information on vet tech career specialties, see the information provided by NAVTA.
However you choose to proceed in this field, you are taking the time through blood, sweat, and tears, to give pets and patients the absolute best quality of care. Going above and beyond in your place of employment shows extreme dedication, passion, enthusiasm, and utilization. Still not sure of the benefits? Keep scrolling to see the real benefits of being a vet tech!
9 Incredible Benefits of a Veterinary Technician Career
1. Knowledge is Power
Simply stated, knowledge is power. The more you know, the more you practice, the more you understand, and the more you will be able to help animals in need. Veterinarians often do not have the time to discuss disease processes, nutritional requirements, or quality of life concerns with owners as they are too busy diagnosing and performing necessary/emergency surgeries. Meaning you are on the front line of information provided to pet owners and, the more accurate your explanations are, the more likely the client is to be compliant, and the pet to benefit from your expertise.
You can preach what your private veterinary practice, clinic, or hospital recommends all day long, however, that deep level of understanding that schooling provides, gives a boosted level of confidence and assertion to your clinical assessment. Additionally, once you are a qualified and experienced vet tech, it opens the door to a large number of available vet tech jobs because everyone wants medical professionals with the licensure to back it.
2. You are Creating Your Dream Job
Many medical professionals in this field knew they wanted to work with animals from a young age. If you didn’t, you likely discovered that passion later on. It doesn’t matter where or when you got your start. Only that you did and you are enthusiastic enough to pursue veterinary medical nursing as a career or job choice. Being passionate about anything is the best way to turn a career into more than just a job, but something you truly enjoy.
3. You are Acting as a Voice for Change
If you are not familiar with the changes needed within the field, you soon will be. As an experienced vet tech, you will soon find that there are crises relating to the lack of appropriate pay, proper utilization of skills, title protection, and mental health issues. Qualified vet techs have the access and opportunity to support the changes within the industry as an individual who has experienced the concerns firsthand. You are the future of better veterinary medicine.
4. You are Supporting Other Veterinary Technicians
As stated previously, many issues within the field are needing to be addressed, but you have the opportunity to be the support for other veterinary technicians. Camaraderie is a powerful tool and will help support the veterinary technicians who need the help and support of fellow professionals while making an effort to change the broken system.
5. You are Supporting Other Support Staff
Most individuals start as support staff within their hospital, clinic, or private practice before making the decision to attend school. Because you have seen their issues first hand, you will be looked to for advice, help, and overall support to issues that need addressing. You would be utilized as someone that any staff member can go to if they are overwhelmed and needing assistance or needing advice to speak with the practice manager. This is an often overlooked tool that helps a clinic run so smoothly.
6. You are Advocating for Proper Patient Care
Your abundant clinical knowledge and expertise give patients their absolute best possible care in-house and at home. The way that you convey the importance of heartworm prevention, vaccinations, or a certain surgical procedure and why it is necessary for the health and safety of a dog, cat, livestock animal, or exotic pet could easily save the animal’s life. Don’t forget that.
7. You are Advocating for Patients Outside of Your Care
While you always advocate for animals in your care, you will likely have professional opportunities to get more involved in shelter medicine and wildlife work. These two particular subfields can be extremely rewarding, but also quite devastating. In either work, you will see the best and the worst of people. However, the most important thing to remember is that you are making an immense difference in the individual's life regardless of the outcome. Further, using their clinical case, you can express to others the importance of that life. Maybe, just maybe, that one life experience can benefit another.
8. You are Advocating for One Health
By becoming a technician, one of the biggest benefits is that you have the opportunity to advocate for yourself, others in your field, and the community as a whole. The human medical field, in general, often struggles with the diagnosis and treatment of zoonotic diseases. You are one of the first lines of defenses in preventing disease outbreak and helping guide others to seek appropriate medical attention if potentially exposed.
9. You are Making a Difference
Read that again. You are making a difference. It does not matter if people say “you can’t save them all” because in a way, you can. Small kindnesses make an impact on the lives you are working to save. As does your knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm in the field. You are not only a patient advocate, but an advocate for every person in this field and every person in this world.
If This is Your Passion, Take the Chance.
It is easy to see that the benefits of being a vet tech are huge. However, they are overlooked in their practice due to ineffective utilization, lack of title protection, or overall lack of public education. You have the opportunity to change the status quo and improve the field while improving the lives of your patients. You may not feel that you make this much of a difference daily, but you do. You make an impact with every struggling practice, every distraught owner, every animal in pain, and each dog, cat, cow, horse, pig, tiger, or manatee that needs a voice.
This particular job choice is hard work. It can have grueling days and hard cases, but the benefits of a veterinary technician career firmly outweigh any costs. Are you hoping to take the plunge and dive in? If you are hoping to get some more insight, don't wait! We need more people like you in the field and there are a number of available vet tech jobs. Contact us now to speak with one of our veterinary practice coaches and we can help set you up with a career that makes such an impactful difference.