Becoming a Veterinary Technician in New Jersey
In this and the future economy, many individuals are looking for a personally rewarding and well paying career. For these individuals, becoming a veterinary technician can be an attractive option, whether they are high-school graduates, currently working professionals seeking to enter a new field, or even students who have not yet graduated from school.
The veterinary technician’s profession has become common as vet care has become increasingly important to families, many of whom see their pets as cherished personal companions.
Additionally, industries concerned with production animals, such as farms, have emphasized ensuring that their animals are kept healthy and comfortable, a goal that requires extensive veterinary support.
What is a Veterinary Technician
A certified veterinary technician is a professional who assists the veterinarian in caring for pets and production animals in a variety of roles. His or her duties include the following:
- The vet tech must be prepared to administer drugs to conscious and unconscious animals alike, monitor the effect of the medication, and record his or her findings for the veterinarian and other coworkers.
- The vet tech must be prepared to administer emergency first aid to animals who have been admitted with life threatening injuries or conditions. This is especially common in areas where auto-related accidents are common. This first aid is necessary in order to stabilize the pet so that the veterinarian can provide long-term care.
- The vet tech must be able to take samples, ranging from urine and feces to blood or saliva, properly prepare them for testing, and maintain accurate records for later analysis by the supervising veterinarian.
- In some cases, the veterinary technician may be required to assist the veterinarian in preparing animals for surgery, as well as monitoring the animal after the surgical procedure is finished.
- Finally, the veterinary technician must be able to deal with frightened and injured animals in such a way as to protect the veterinary personnel and the animal alike. This may require the animal to be sedated or secured so that it cannot bite or claw the attending personnel.
The veterinary technician must be prepared to carry out all of these duties, while remaining professional and calm, especially in the face of families that are naturally distraught over the injuries or illness to their pet. In some cases, this will include interviewing the owners to obtain the needed information about their pet.
Being able to effectively take down and relay information to the veterinarian is a vital part of the vet tech’s duties.
Requirements to Obtain a New Jersey Veterinary Technician Certification
In New Jersey, veterinary technicians are certified by the New Jersey Veterinary Technicians and Assistants organization (NJVTA), which sets forth the requirements for the candidates to become certified veterinary technicians in New Jersey.
Initially, the student is required to take a two-year course of study at a certified vet tech school in New Jersey, although some veterinary technician programs involve a four-year program. The school providing the courses must be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), which ensures that all accredited schools adhere to rigorous standards of quality.
Upon completing the course of study, the student must then bake the Veterinarian Technician National Exam (VTNE) and obtain a passing score of at least 425. This test evaluates the candidate’s mastery of the various duties of the veterinary technician in terms of both academic knowledge and practical treatment questions.
After completing these steps and having both the proof of graduation and test scores transmitted to the NJVTA, the student may then apply for certification as a veterinary technician in New Jersey.
Certification Renewal and Continuing Education
Certified New Jersey vet techs must renew their certification every two years. In addition to paying the renewal fee, veterinary technicians must provide proof of at least 20 hours of continuing education (CE), in order to demonstrate their current knowledge of veterinary medicine. This may include conventional class instruction, work experience, or other types of activities that show the vet tech’s current educational status.
Reciprocal Agreements and New Jersey Veterinary Technicians
Finally, candidates who possess a certificate or license in good standing with another state, and have passed the VTNE, may be granted certification by reciprocity by the NJVTA.
It should be noted however, that the reverse may not apply, so certified veterinary technicians in New Jersey intending to practice in another state should verify what, if any requirements they must fulfill in order to obtain certification in that state.
The Benefits of Becoming a Veterinary Technician
Veterinary technicians occupy an important and valued role in the community. In an era where family pets are more treasured than ever, the vet tech will be in a position to assist in the care and relieve the suffering of these beloved companions.
In pragmatic terms, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the veterinary technician field will see an increase in employment of 52 percent by 2020, which is a rate of increase that is much higher than average. This, coupled with stable long-term employment prospects, makes the profession very attractive in today’s economy.
Especially in cities like Newark, Jersey City or Paterson demand for vet techs will be greater, but even smaller communities have a growing demand as people care more for pets.
Combining meaningful work, security and excellent wages, the veterinary technician is a career that promises great personal satisfaction. Due to this, the veterinary technician is an excellent field for the new graduate and the older worker alike.