Becoming a Vet Tech in South Dakota
The importance of the proper care of animals, whether they are pets or livestock, has dramatically increased in America. Today, many families consider their companion pet’s welfare and comfort to be nearly as important as their own, leading to a demand for high quality veterinary care.
Because of their importance in providing care for animals of all types, the employment prospects for veterinary technicians are enjoying a sustained and robust period of growth.
The Duties of the Veterinary Technician
Veterinary technicians directly work with vets and other professionals in order to provide high quality animal care. Among their most common duties are the following:
- Veterinary technicians conduct the initial examination of newly admitted animals in order to provide the vet with a baseline for later analysis.
- Veterinary techs interview the owners of pets in order to determine the reason for the visit. In many cases, this will involve speaking with distraught individuals, requiring a professional and caring attitude.
- Vet techs administer drugs that have been ordered by the veterinarian. This will often include instructing animal owners in how to safely administer drugs that are to be sent home with the animal.
- In many cases, a vet tech will help the veterinarian before, during and after surgical procedures. This includes ensuring that all equipment and supplies are ready and sterile, and caring for and evaluating the animal after the surgical procedure.
- Vet techs often supervise other office personnel, including fellow vet techs, veterinary aides, and clerical staff, in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the veterinary practice.
- Vet techs also help take, store and test samples, while ensuring that the test results are accurately reported to the veterinarian.
Becoming a Vet Tech in South Dakota
South Dakota requires that vet techs complete several steps before becoming eligible for registration in the state.
The vet tech cannot practice until he or she has been registered by the South Dakota Veterinary Board. The requirements for registration include the following:
- Completion of high school or an equivalent course of study.
- Completing a veterinary technology program that has been accredited by American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
- Taking and successfully passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).
- Being orally interviewed by the Board.
Veterinary Technician Programs
An AVMA accredited veterinary technology program will educate the student in the academic and practical aspects of the duties of a veterinary technician. These programs normally take approximately two years for a full-time student to complete although this time can vary depending on the schedule of the student. When the student has completed the program, he or she will be fully prepared to take the VTNE, as well as provide excellent care to animals when working as a veterinary technician.
In addition to providing full-time schedules, many schools offer part-time and distance learning options for students who cannot attend on a regular schedule. This can be especially beneficial to those students who are currently working. In many cases, classes for part-time students will be offered on the weekends and evenings in order to further accommodate their schedules.
Taking the VTNE
The VTNE is the national examination for veterinary technicians, and helps evaluate their academic and practical work skills. In order to pass the VTNE, the candidate must score at least 425 on the exam. The VTNE is regularly updated in order to ensure that the examination remains current with the state of the art in veterinary technology.
Applying to the South Dakota Veterinary Board
The South Dakota Veterinary Board requires that veterinary technician candidates submit two letters of recommendation attesting to their moral character, in addition to being orally interviewed by the Board.
This interview will focus on the candidate’s qualifications to be a veterinary technician, in addition to his or her understanding of how South Dakota’s laws interact with the practice of veterinary medicine and what rights and responsibilities a vet tech has in the state.
The Benefits of Becoming a Veterinary Technician
The field of veterinary technology is currently experiencing sustained and robust growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) currently estimates that by 2020, the number of available vet tech careers in America will have increased by 52 percent which is far above the average for other careers in America. In addition, the annual median salary for vet techs is over $29,000.
Veterinary technicians provide a vital service for veterinarians, animals and the owners who care for them. Whether it is an individual’s first career, or part of a decision to transition from an older job, becoming a veterinary technician can be an excellent professional and personal decision.