How to Become a Licensed Veterinary Technician

So, you want to become a licensed veterinary technician? Here’s what you need to know.

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Introduction

In order to become a licensed veterinary technician, you must complete a veterinary technology program that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). Once you have completed these steps, you will be able to apply for state licensure.

The Veterinary Technician Profession

The title of veterinary technician is protected by law in many jurisdictions. To become a licensed veterinary technician (LVT), candidates must complete a postsecondary veterinary technology program and pass a credentialing exam. The National Veterinary Technician Association (NVTA) offers the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) as the credentialing exam for veterinary technicians.

History of the Veterinary Technician Profession

The profession of veterinary technology has come a long way since its humble beginnings over 100 years ago. In the early 1900s, there were no formal programs or schools to train individuals in animal health care. Many people who worked with animals learned their skills through on-the-job training or self-study. However, as the animal health care industry began to grow and evolve, the need for formal education and training became apparent.

The first veterinary technology program was established at Missouri University in Columbia in 1948. This program was designed to train individuals to work as assistants to veterinarians in private practice. Shortly after, other colleges and universities across the United States began to develop their own programs. In 1965, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recognized the need for formal education of veterinary technicians and established educational guidelines for programs across the country.

Today, there are over 200 AVMA-accredited veterinary technology programs across the United States. These programs offer a variety of educational paths that lead to a career as a licensed veterinary technician. Students can choose from associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and certificate programs depending on their educational goals and interests.

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Job Description of a Veterinary Technician

A veterinary technician is a professional who works directly with veterinarians to provide animal care. They are also sometimes known as vet techs, animal health technologists or technicians, or medical assistants.

The job description of a veterinary technician often includes:
– Assisting the veterinarian during medical procedures
– Anesthetizing animals
– Providing preoperative and postoperative care
– Monitoring vital signs
– Taking and processing X-rays
– Collecting laboratory samples
– Performing dental prophylaxis
– Dispensing medications

In order to become a licensed veterinary technician, most states require completion of an accredited Veterinary Technician program and passing of the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Some states also require continuing education for license renewal.

Work Settings for Veterinary Technicians

Veterinary technicians work in a variety of settings, including private clinics, zoos, research laboratories, and livestock farms. They may also work in public health facilities, such as zoos and animal shelters. Some veterinary technicians work in sales or marketing for pharmaceutical companies or pet food manufacturers. Many others are employed by state and local governments to help control the spread of disease among animals and to inspect livestock prior to shipment.

Veterinary Technician Education

A Veterinary Technician is a medical professional who works alongside veterinarians to provide care for animals. In order to become a licensed Veterinary Technician, one must complete an accredited Veterinary Technician program and pass a state board exam.

Prerequisites for Admission

To be eligible for admission into a veterinary technology program, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. You should also have some experience working with animals, which can be gained through volunteering at animal shelters, zoos, wildlife rehabilitations centers, or veterinary clinics. Most programs also require that you complete prerequisite courses in biology and chemistry with a ‘C’ grade or better before beginning the veterinary technology program.

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Veterinary Technician Programs

In order to become a licensed veterinary technician, you must complete a veterinary technology program that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). There are currently more than 200 AVMA-accredited programs in the United States, each of which typically takes two to four years to complete.

After completing a veterinary technician program, you must then pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) in order to be credentialed as a veterinary technician. Once you have passed the VTNE, you will need to apply for licensure in the state in which you wish to practice. Although requirements vary from state to state, most states require passing the VTNE as well as a state jurisprudence exam.

If you are interested in becoming a veterinary technician, there are many programs available to help you achieve your goal. Below is a list of AVMA-accredited veterinary technician programs in the United States.

Veterinary Technician National Exam

To become a licensed veterinary technician, you must first pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The VTNE is a multiple-choice exam that covers all aspects of veterinary medicine. To help you prepare for the VTNE, there are a number of study aids available, including practice exams, flashcards, and review books.

Veterinary Technician Certification

Licensed veterinary technicians generally have an associate’s degree in veterinary technology from an accredited community college or technical school. Many programs include courses in animal anatomy, physiology, and zoology, as well as chemistry, physics, and algebra.

American Veterinary Medical Association

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is a not-for-profit association representing more than 92,000 veterinarians working in the United States and across the globe. The AVMA acts as a collective voice for its membership and profession, advocating for excellence in veterinary medicine and ensuring public health.

In order to become licensed, veterinary technicians must graduate from an accredited veterinary technology program and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Once these requirements have been met, candidates can apply for licensure through their state’s regulatory board.

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The AVMA also offers certification for those who wish to specialize in a particular area of practice, such as dentistry, emergency and critical care, nutrition, or zoo medicine. Specialty certification requires passing a specialized examination administered by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties.

National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), is the only organization that provides a standard for certification across the United States. There are currently twenty four states that recognize this credential. In order to become certified, applicants must graduate from an accredited veterinary technology program and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).

The VTNE is a three-and-a-half hour, computer-based exam consisting of 170 multiple-choice questions. It is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) at Prometric Testing Centers throughout the country. The test covers all aspects of veterinary technology, including animal nursing, anesthesia, pharmacology, surgery, laboratory procedures, and imaging.

For more information on NAVTA and the certification process, please visit their website at www.navta.net

Conclusion

There are many steps on the path to becoming a licensed veterinary technician, but it is a rewarding career for those who are passionate about helping animals. The first step is to complete a veterinary technician program at an accredited institution. Once you have graduated, you will need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Once you have passed the VTNE, you will be eligible to apply for state licensure. Each state has different requirements for licensure, so be sure to check with your state’s licensing board. After you have been licensed, you will need to maintain your license by completing continuing education courses.

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