Becoming a veterinary technician is an increasingly attractive career path to new graduates, as well as individuals seeking to transition into veterinary medicine from another career.
Currently, veterinary technicians in Virginia enjoy excellent employment opportunities, making this career path a wise choice for the prospective vet tech.
Becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician in Virginia
In order to become a licensed veterinary technician in the state of Virginia, the candidate must complete all the requirements mandated by the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine. These requirements include the following:
- The candidate must take and successfully complete a two or four-year course of study in veterinary medicine at a school that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
- The transcripts must be received directly from the school or in a sealed envelope with an unbroken school seal.
- The student must take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), and receive a passing score of at least 425.
- While the vet tech does not have to take a jurisprudence test, he or she is required to sign a statement stating that the vet tech is aware of how the laws of Virginia relate to the practice and duties of a veterinary technician.
- The candidate must make the payment of all relevant fees to the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine.
Alternate Methods of Becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician
While Virginia does not allow licensure by reciprocity, an individual with a license to practice as vet tech in another state may be licensed by endorsement.
In order to qualify for an endorsement by Virginia, the candidate must meet the following requirements:
- The applicant must have taken and passed the VTNE.
- He or she must have been licensed to practice as a veterinary technician for at least two of the last four years.
- The candidate must currently hold a valid license to practice as a veterinary technician in the other state.
License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements
A licensed Virginia veterinary technician must renew his or her license in order to continue practicing as a vet tech. This requires the payment of renewal fees as well as the proof of completion of no less than 6 hours of continuing education (CE) every year. The CE must be in an area that is relevant to the practice of the veterinary technician and have been approved by the state.
Career Options for Veterinary Technicians in Virginia
The state of Virginia has a wide variety of urban and rural opportunities for the veterinary technician.
With a growing demand for veterinary professionals to care both for production animals and pets, the state continues to show robust growth in the veterinary field.
This is especially true given the increasing emphasis on the importance of effective care, both for domestic pets and production animals. This has resulted in an increasing emphasis on advanced methods of care, which in turn has required a higher number of professional veterinarians and veterinary techs.
Finally, the rise in popularity of exotic pets, ranging from reptiles and small mammals to horses and other large breeds, demands a more flexible and knowledgeable veterinary care sector than ever before.
Especially in urban areas, the veterinary technician may find him or herself dealing with a wide variety of animals, all of them requiring specialized forms of care.
In addition, the current employment outlook for the veterinary technician is extremely favorable, with above average growth predicted until beyond 2020.
For a new candidate, or an individual who is considering transitioning into the field of veterinary technology, this makes the field very promising indeed.
The Duties of the Veterinary Technician
The veterinary technician undertakes a wide variety of duties under the direct and indirect supervision of a veterinarian. Furthermore, the veterinary technician may also supervise the work of office and veterinary aides.
The medical duties of the vet tech include general care of the animals at the veterinary practice, in addition to assisting the vet in administering and preparing prescriptions for the animal. In addition, the veterinary technician will handle the initial examination of the animal, taking down the baseline physical information that the veterinarian will use in preparing a course of treatment for the vet.
The Veterinary Technician and the Public
Another duty the vet tech will often engage in is working with the pet owners. This can range from taking the initial information about the pet to discussing the later course of treatment, as well as instructing the owners in how to administer drugs that are to be sent home with the pet.
In many cases, this will require the veterinary technician to work with distraught and worried individuals, obtaining the needed information while acting in a calm and professional manner.
The veterinary technician’s profession is not simply a job, but a respected and important career within a growing part of Virginia’s commercial sector.
Urban and rural veterinary practices serve a vital and well thought of role in their communities, and the vet tech will find him or herself becoming a valued member of the local community.
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