Becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician in Idaho
The field of veterinary medicine is a rapidly expanding sector of the American economy. As families become more interested in securing world-class care for their beloved companion animals, the demand is growing for well-trained veterinary care professionals.
Additionally, farms are increasingly emphasizing skilled veterinary care for their livestock. In this business and social environment, certified veterinary technicians are coming to play a vital role in assisting veterinarians in the field of animal care.
Certified Veterinary Technicians and Their Duties
A certified veterinary technician (CVT) is a professional who provides care to animals under the supervision of a veterinarian. In some cases, this will involve directly working with the veterinarian, while in others the CVT may work independently. The most common duties of the CVT include the following:
- CVTs ensure that the animals under the veterinarians care are properly cared for, while evaluating their diets and general comfort.
- The CVT will conduct routine medical examinations of the animals, as part of developing baseline information that will assist the veterinarian in arriving at a final diagnosis of their condition.
- A CVT will assist the veterinarian during medical procedures, including preparing for surgery, and post-operation care for the animal.
- Under the supervision of a veterinarian, a CVT will assist farms and other facilities ensure that the conditions for their livestock are healthy and in compliance with federal and state regulations.
- When interacting with customers, the CVT will take down information about the animals, instruct them in how to administer medication that the veterinarian has prescribed, and answer any questions they might have.
- Finally, in some cases a certified veterinary technician may be required to administer emergency first aid to critically ill or injured animals. This will allow the veterinarian to provide long-term care for the animal after it has been stabilized.
Becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician in Idaho
Idaho has a number of steps a candidate must successfully complete before being allowed to become a practicing CVT, including both test and course work based qualifications.
An individual seeking to become a CVT must complete one of the following courses of study:
- He or she must successfully graduate from a veterinary technician program giving by a school that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). In most cases, these programs take approximately two years to complete.
- Graduate with a veterinary degree, either a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) or VMD degree, from an AVMA accredited institution.
- The candidate must have graduated from a foreign veterinary graduate program that has been approved by the Idaho Board of Veterinary Medicine.
CVT Tests and Examinations
After graduating from an approved institution, the candidate must then take two tests, the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and a state jurisprudence examination.
The VTNE is a test designed to examine the candidate’s academic and practical skills in the field of veterinary medicine. In order to pass the VTNE, the candidate must have a score of at least 425. Should a candidate fail the VTNE, he or she can retake the test, but the American Association of Veterinary State Board (AAVSB) only permits a total of five attempts without specific permission being given by the board. For this reason, it is important that a candidate only take the VTNE when they feel confident they can pass it.
After passing the VTNE, the second exam the candidate must pass if the Idaho Jurisprudence Exam. This is an exam designed to ensure that all certified veterinary technicians fully understand their duties, rights, and responsibilities under Idaho law. This test must be passed with a minimum score of 90 percent.
Other Requirements for Becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician
When applying to become a CVT, the candidate must provide some other information to the state. He or she must have two notarized letters attesting to the candidate’s moral character, birth certificate, application fee, and fingerprint and criminal background check. Those individuals who have worked outside the state as a veterinary technician must also have those states send verification of their status directly to the Board.
Finally, there are some criminal convictions that may impact the ability of a candidate to be certified. Any candidate who feels this may be an issue should immediately contact the Idaho Board in order to determine how best to proceed.
Continuing Education and Renewal
In order to ensure that CVTs remain current with the state of veterinary medicine, Idaho requires that all CVTs take at least 14 hours of continuing education during every two-year period they are certified. These courses must be accredited by the AVMA, or be approved by special arrangement with the state.
Becoming a CVT in Idaho is an excellent move for the newly graduated student or older professional alike. With a wide range of commercial and private customers for veterinary practices, the employment prospects for a CVT are very promising. In addition, veterinary medicine is a socially valued profession, and skilled CVTs are held in high esteem by both their employers and the public they help serve.