Veterinary Technicians, Illinois, and Careers in Veterinary Care
In today’s difficult economic environment, finding a long term, dependable and well paying profession is a priority for newly graduated students and older professionals who are seeking to change professions alike. Fortunately, a number of vet tech programs exist to help students become qualified veterinary technicians in Illinois.
These vet tech schools provide a gateway to the student who wishes to become qualified to take the examination that is needed for the candidate to be licensed as a veterinary technician. In doing so, the student can then enter a highly regarded and well-compensated field of veterinary medicine.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician
In order to become a certified veterinary technician in Illinois and in Chicago, the candidate must have graduated with a high school diploma or GED, be at least 18 years old, and have completed the required courses.
The vet tech schools in Illinois that offer these programs must have received their accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
After fulfilling these goals, the candidate must then complete a comprehensive national exam. In order to help their students, many vet tech programs include classes and study plans to prepare the student for the exam. After completion, the graduate will receive his or her license to practice as a certified veterinary technician by Illinois.
The Duties of a Certified Veterinary Technician
Veterinary technicians handle a wide variety of duties under the general supervision of a veterinarian. In general, certified veterinary technicians help ensure the over all health and wellness of the animals under the veterinarians care, while also assisting the vet in any medical procedures that are performed on an injured or ill animal. Their general duties are given here:
- A certified veterinary technician is responsible for the initial examination of any animal, including establishing the animal’s baseline health condition and verifying any signs of illness or injury. In addition, the technician may also interview the owners of the animal in order to determine any other facts that may be relevant to the animal’s current condition.
- The technician will be in charge of preparing and administering medications to the animal, whether orally or by injection. In addition, the veterinary technician will observe the animal in order to evaluate the effects of the medication. For animals that are being returned home, the technician may instruct the owners in effectively and safely administering the medication that is being sent home with the pet.
- A veterinary technician will be responsible for assisting the veterinarian before and during surgical procedures, as well as observing the animal during the postoperative period. This can be especially important as the animal’s condition may change suddenly after a surgery.
- When injured or ill animals are brought in, it will be the technician’s responsibility to provide immediate first aid in order to stabilize the animal until the veterinarian can provide long-term treatment.
- In farms or other businesses where animals are in use, the veterinary technician may be required to administer vaccines and verify the general health and wellness of the animals, as well as ensuring that their conditions conform to state and local regulations.
Finally, while veterinary technicians may perform many functions, they are forbidden by state law from issuing a diagnosis or prognosis for an animal, prescribing drugs for the animal, or engaging in surgery. It is also expected that the veterinary technician will work under the over all supervision of a veterinarian.
Advancement Opportunities for Veterinary Technicians
As well as the initial career options for certified veterinary technicians, a veterinary technician can choose to specialize in other fields. These fields include surgical veterinary technicians, or technicians specializing in clinical medicine, oncology or other specialties.
While they do require more experience, as well as continuing education at vet tech programs, becoming a certified veterinary technician is the required first step for those interested in progressing onward to these specialties.
Career Options for Certified Veterinary Technicians
A certified veterinary technician currently faces extremely promising career prospects. With a society that places a high value on the health and happiness of all types of pets, there are an increasing number of potential jobs available to veterinarian technicians.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 52 percent increase in the number of jobs available for this field by 2020, which is far beyond the national average for other careers. In many cases, fewer technicians are graduating every year than the field requires, which increases the demand for newly certified veterinary technicians.
In addition to long-term employment options and very favorable salary prospects, the certified veterinary technician has the advantage of working in a field that possesses a great deal of respect from the local community. In fact, vet tech schools in Illinois not only position the student to become a well-paid professional, they firmly establish the certified veterinary technician as a valued member of the local community.
Modern society considers the suffering of pets to be nearly the same as the suffering of their owners. By entering a profession that seeks to eliminate that suffering, a certified veterinary technician also works to reduce the suffering of the owners of these beloved animals.