Steps to become a Veterinary Technician in North Carolina.
The modern economy is one where finding a well paying and dependable job is absolutely essential to newly graduated students and currently employed workers alike.
For that reason, becoming a veterinary technician can be an excellent route to a secure job, either as a first job or after a worker transitions from another sector of employment.
Veterinary Technicians in North Carolina
North Carolina has a wide variety of employment opportunities for veterinary technicians, ranging from local veterinary clinics to large scale farming businesses. Whether helping to care for beloved pets or valuable farm animals, a veterinary tech can find a secure and personally rewarding career in this field.
This is especially the case given the increasing emphasis on providing world-class medical care to pets and companion animals. With many individuals considering their animal companions to be a family member rather than a pet, there is a strong and growing market for effective and caring veterinary care.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician in North Carolina
North Carolina requires that a prospective veterinary technician complete a two or four year course of study at an institution accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This national body is in charge of ensuring that all accredited veterinary courses adhere to standards of quality and are up to date with the current state of the art in veterinary science.
Their are a number of different types of programs that are available, ranging from high school level courses to prepare a newly graduated student for a career as a veterinary technician to courses offered by two and four year institutions.
Vet tech schools in NC are staffed by qualified educators, many of whom are practicing veterinarians, capable of providing practical instruction to their students.
In general, these courses will prepare the student to handle a variety of duties as a veterinary technician, including the following:
- The vet tech must effectively medicate animals, using the appropriate technique for the situation at hand. Additionally, the vet tech must be prepared to explain how best to administer medication to the pet’s owners.
- When taking biological samples, such as urine and blood for testing, the vet tech must know the safest and most effective way to obtain, store and prepare the samples for testing.
- Should a pet be admitted with life threatening injuries, the vet tech must be prepared to administer first aid in order to stabilize the animal until the veterinarian can treat the underlying injury or illness.
- The vet tech must be prepared to assist the veterinarian before, during and after surgical procedures, including such duties as preparing the surgical area and tools, as well as preparing the animal for treatment.
- In most cases, the vet tech will help provide the initial exam for the animal, taking down vital information and transmitting it to the veterinarian.
- When dealing with injured, ill, or frightened animals, the vet tech may be required to restrain them in such a way as to protect the staff treating the animal. However, the vet tech must restrain the animal in such a way as to minimize its own discomfort.
The VTNE Test
Upon successfully graduating from a vet tech program, the next step is for the candidate to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). This test, which is administered by the AVMA, is a comprehensive examination that allows the candidate to demonstrate his or her proficiency in the veterinary field. A score of 425 or above is needed to pass the VTNE.
While it is possible to repeat the VTNE, the candidate cannot repeat the test more than five times without the specific approval of both the AVMA and the state licensing board where he or she intends to practice. For this reason, candidates should make certain that they are prepared before taking the test.
The Veterinary Technician State Exam
After passing the VTNE, the candidate must also take a test that is administered by the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board. This test comprises 100 questions, 70 being true/false and the remaining 30 being multiple choice. The student must score at least 70 on the test in order to pass.
The state exam is not focused on the medical aspects of the veterinary technician’s duties, unlike the national exam.
Rather, this exam is intended to demonstrate an understanding of North Carolina’s laws and how they interact with a veterinary technician’s duties.
In most cases, vet tech schools will help train a candidate in this field, whether as part of an overview of state law or focusing directly on veterinary technicians in North Carolina.
Becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician
After graduating from college and passing the relevant tests, the veterinary technician may obtain a license in order to practice in North Carolina.
The application process requires that proof of graduation from a vet tech training program be provided, in addition to the passing scores from the relevant tests. After payment of the licensing fee, the veterinary technician may become employed in North Carolina.
In addition to renewing his or her veterinary technician’s license every two years, North Carolina requires that the technician remain well informed about the current state of the art in veterinary medicine via continuing education.
For veterinary technicians, at least 12 hours of approved continuing education courses must be taken biennially in order to remain eligable for a renewal of the veterinary technician’s license.
The Veterinary Technician and the Community
Becoming a veterinary technician is not just a job, but a way of entering a long-term and rewarding career. Veterinary technicians help provide a vital service to the community, one that many families will come to treasure as the vet tech helps assist their beloved companion animals.
Whether they are working at a large company or a small clinic, veterinary technicians are a vital part of the community safety net for all types of animals.