A vital part of the veterinary medical sector is having a reliable supply of qualified veterinary technicians. Especially in today’s economy, the veterinary technician offers the promise of a long-term and rewarding career for new graduates and older workers seeking to enter into a new career alike.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Kentucky
Becoming a vet tech in Kentucky requires several steps. The candidate must be able to demonstrate that he or she is capable of effectively working as a vet tech and can provide a high level of service to animals and customers alike.
The following steps are mandatory for anyone wishing to become a vet tech in Kentucky.
- The candidate must have graduated from high school, or have a valid Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED), demonstrating their basic academic skills.
- Any vet tech candidate must enter into and successfully complete a two or four-year veterinary course, or an equivalent course of study that will be considered valid in Kentucky. Students should check with the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners if they have any questions about their particular program.
- Any vet tech school the student attends should be a school that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This is especially important for any student who may be considering moving out of Kentucky at any later date, as many states only accept degrees conferred by accredited schools.
- The vet tech candidate must take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), and receive a passing score of at least 425.
The Final Steps to Becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician
Unlike some states, Kentucky does not license veterinary technicians until they are working for a licensed veterinarian in Kentucky.
Due to this, the final step involves becoming employed by a licensed veterinarian. After that, the vet can send a letter to the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners, informing them that the candidate is currently working for him or her.
Once all other required information is sent to the board, the student may then become a licensed veterinary technician.
Renewing a Kentucky Veterinary Technician’s License
Every September 30, all Kentucky veterinary technicians must renew their licenses. Failure to do so can lead to the revocation of the right to practice in Kentucky, late fees or other penalties. In addition to the renewal fee, the veterinary technician must complete at least 6 hours of approved continuing education (CE) every year.
This education must be submitted for approval in advance and generally involves either class work or practical experience demonstrating that the vet tech is up to date with the current state of veterinary medicine.
Finally, the state requires that all renewals be accompanied by the identity of the vet the veterinary technician is currently working under. Veterinary technicians who are not currently employed by a vet cannot renew their license.
The Duties of a Veterinary Technician
Kentucky has strict regulations about what a veterinary technician can do, and in general restricts them to working under the supervision of a veterinarian.
However, they have a wide range of duties where they assist the veterinarian or other coworkers in the performance of their duties.
Among these duties are the following:
- The vet tech will assist in the provision of emergency first aid for injured or ill animals, in order to stabilize their condition so that a long-term treatment can be administered by the veterinarian.
- Many veterinary technicians will assist their supervisor in preparing animals for surgery. In some cases, they will serve as assistants during the surgery. Finally, after the surgical procedure is completed, the vet tech will be tasked with monitoring the animal’s condition and making regular reports to the veterinarian.
- The vet tech will administer medication under the direction and orders of the veterinarian. In addition, when working with the owners of various animals, the vet tech may be required to instruct them in how to effectively administer the drugs that are sent home with the animal.
- The vet tech will work with his or her coworkers to complete those duties that are ordered by the veterinarian.
- Under Kentucky law, a vet tech cannot diagnose or prescribe treatments or medication, nor can he or she independently conduct most surgical procedures.
Employment Options for Vet Techs
With a growing demand for high quality care for pets and livestock alike, the field of veterinary technology is currently showing strong growth across the United States.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that veterinary technicians can expect well above average job growth at least until 2020. Furthermore, the nature of this profession ensures that veterinary technicians will be well respected by their community, providing a strong sense of fulfillment in addition to the other benefits of becoming a veterinary technician.
In today’s economy, becoming a veterinary technician provides a number of opportunities for the interested candidate. Whether the individual is a high school student who is close to graduation and considering their adult career, or an adult who is seeking to transition to a more financially and personally rewarding career, becoming a veterinary technician is an ideal career option.