Becoming a veterinary technician can be the gateway to a secure and rewarding career.
Whether for someone who has just graduated from high school or for an already employed individual seeking to transition to a new career, becoming a vet tech in Rhode Island can be an excellent career decision.
Becoming a vet tech in Rhode Island
With an extensive farming and ranching sector, in addition to a wide variety of urban, suburban and rural population centers, Rhode Island is a major employer of veterinary technicians. From vet techs who assist at residential veterinary practices, to employees of major farms and ranches, the veterinary field is a vibrant and growing part of the Rhode Island economy.
In order to become a vet tech, the student must complete several steps, including attending any of the accredited vet tech schools in RI. These steps allow the vet tech to demonstrate his or her competency to veterinarians and clients alike.
Vet Tech Programs in RI
After graduating from high school or obtaining a graduate equivalency diploma (GED), someone intending to become a veterinary technician must complete a veterinary technician program provided by an accredited school.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is in charge of evaluating and accrediting veterinary technician programs. By attending an accredited program, a student can be assured that the program is accepted by all state licensing agencies.
Additionally, an accredited program will drastically improve his or her career options once employed. The AVMA includes a list of schools that are accredited, and a potential student should always verify that their school is currently accredited with the AVMA.
Local community colleges and other vocational educational programs offer accredited vet tech programs. Obtaining an associate’s degree in veterinary technology generally takes about two years, depending on the student’s schedule. Many schools offer part time programs for those students who are currently employed or who are caring for family members.
Finally, accredited distance-learning programs are available for students who cannot attend class in person. These programs make it possible for students to study at their own pace, even if they are located in an area where there are no local vet tech programs.
Becoming a Certified Rhode Island Veterinary Technician
While Rhode Island does not require a vet tech to become certified, certification can drastically improve the career options for the veterinary technician. Certification is an achievement that verifies that the vet tech is highly qualified for his or her duties.
In order to become certified, the vet tech must take the Veterinary Technical National Examination (VTNE). This exam is designed to evaluate the veterinary technician’s practical and academic skills in the field of veterinary technology, and is regularly updated to conform with the current state of veterinary medicine. In order to pass the test, the candidate must obtain a score of 425 or higher.
After passing the VTNE, the vet tech must submit an application to the Rhode Island Veterinary Technician Association (RIVTA). The candidate must also provide a letter of recommendation to the RIVTA and an application fee. A vet tech’s certification must be renewed annually, and the vet tech must provide proof of completing at least 12 continuing education units at a program that has been approved by the RIVTA.
The Duties of the Vet Tech
All vet techs provide a wide range of services for their employers and customers alike. Among the most common duties that a vet tech will carry out are the following:
- Preparing newly admitted animals for treatment or examination by the veterinarian.
- Conducting the initial physical examination of an animal, in order to provide the veterinarian with a baseline evaluation of the animal’s condition.
- Administering drugs that have been ordered for the animal by the veterinarian.
- Assisting the veterinarian before, during and after surgical procedures.
- Ensuring that animals under the care of the veterinarian are kept in comfortable and healthy surroundings.
Career Options for Veterinary Technicians
America’s growing emphasis on the health and comfort of private pets and livestock has resulted in the dramatic growth of the veterinary sector.
The BLS estimates that the vet tech profession will continue to enjoy above average growth until 2020 and beyond, while enjoying competitive wages.
In the commercial field, strict regulations relating to the treatment of livestock has resulted in the growth of commercial veterinary practices. In addition, veterinary medicine is a highly regarded field, as it is vital to the long-term health and comfort of pets and livestock.
A vet tech is a well-regarded and secure profession that enjoys robust options for career advancement in Rhode Island. This is an excellent career choice, no matter the long-term career goals of the prospective vet tech.