Veterinary technicians, although not as popular as hospital medical technicians, are some of the most respected in the world. In addition, they are also quite in-demand and well-compensated, especially in the Colorado area. But the road to becoming a good vet tech is not an easy one. There are a lot of things that you need to consider aside from your love of animals.
In order to understand what the requirements are to get into a vet tech school, you need to first understand what a vet tech is.
What is a Veterinary Technician?
A vet tech works under the guidance and direct supervision of a licensed, professional veterinarian. What a nurse is to a medical doctor, the vet tech does for the veterinarian. Aside from assisting in the first aid and healthcare needs of animals, a vet tech also performs the following tasks:
- Provides assistance to vets during procedures and examinations.
- Provides all nursing care to patients except that vet techs do not perform surgery, prescribe medication, or diagnose.
- Performs diagnostic tests for animals.
- Monitors and records conditions and developments of veterinary patients.
- Cares for animal patients, particularly the ones under medication or treatment.
- With the supervision and approval of the veterinarian, a vet tech dispenses medications.
- Talks to and establishes a professional relationship with pet owners.
- Helps in educating and making pet owners aware about proper and humane pet care, disease prevention and treatment, and animal behavior.
The vet tech is a well-rounded and level-headed person. He or she loves animals and is passionate about taking care of the veterinary patients’ needs. They may or may not specialize in a particular field, including dermatology, behavior, rehabilitation, equine nursing, internal medicine, and nutrition, among others.
Colorado Vet Tech School Requirements
Now that you know what a vet tech is, you’re ready to start your journey towards becoming one. The first thing you need to do, however, is to prepare all the requirements that the Colorado vet tech school of your choice might ask for.
A CVT or Certified Veterinary Technician is a graduate of a program that is Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities-approved. The CVTEA operates under the AVMA or American Veterinary Medical Association.
Likewise, he or she has to apply for membership at the CACVT or the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians. The CACVT is Colorado’s largest vet tech association.
Before you can get to these two levels, though, you need to find a good vet tech school first and make sure that you are qualified to enroll in their program. Here are some of the most important Colorado vet tech schools requirements:
A Solid Background in Math, Chemistry, Biology, and Microbiology
Veterinary technicians are expected to do a lot of dosage and medication measurement, as well as use equipment like microscopes. As such, it is important to have a strong foundation in math and science subjects. It can greatly help if training in the said subjects started in high school.
Good Communication Skills
Veterinary technicians interact with people a lot. Therefore, he or she needs to be comfortable talking with pet owners from different walks of life.
A Basic Understanding of Animal Physiology and Anatomy
Some knowledge on animal physiology and anatomy is important because a good vet tech needs to know how to handle dogs, cats, and other pet animals. A good vet tech knows the ins and outs of proper animal care.
A Good High School Education
Most vet tech schools require students to complete high school before joining the veterinary technician program.
Apart from these academic and school-related requirements, an aspiring vet technician should also possess the following qualities:
An aspiring vet tech should be compassionate especially since he or she will need to talk to worried or distraught pet owners. A good vet tech empathizes with these pet owners.
Pays Attention to Detail
An aspiring vet tech should be attentive to his or her surroundings. He or she should know how to look at even the tiniest detail. When the time comes, he or she will have to take note of patient information, give medication to dogs and other pet animals. Likewise, a good vet tech knows how to record precise information or details, particularly when carrying out diagnostic tests for the animal patients.
Proficient or Adept in Handling Tasks
The more proficient a vet tech is; the more effective he or she can be. Tasks like measuring medication, checking medical instruments, or administering anesthesia to animal patients will require a high level of proficiency.
Excellent Problem Solving Skills
An aspiring vet technician should have excellent problem solving skills. In certain situations, like when an injured pet is rushed into the clinic, a vet tech is expected to come up with an innovative way of dealing with the injury.
What to Expect From A Vet School
Generally, schools offer a two-year veterinary technician course that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association or AVMA. Most of these are associate degree programs, but aspiring vet technicians can choose to take a 4-year veterinary technology course if you want a more comprehensive coverage. The vet technology bachelor’s degree is ideal for those who plan to build a career working in research laboratories.
Examples of the programs and course curriculum in vet technology schools in Colorado include lab animal medicine, pharmacology, pathology, veterinary anatomy, surgery, animal behavior, and anesthesia.
Vet tech students are given the chance to work closely with animals. Likewise, they have hands-on training, which is a major help in developing the confidence and skills of aspiring vet techs.
As previously mentioned, vet technicians have the option to choose a specialization. These programs vary from one school to another, but all share the same goal of exposing students to actual veterinary scenarios and getting students to experience hands-on training .
High School Students
In some cases, there are high school students who plan to get into a vet tech school. For those who plan to do so, a good background in math and science can be a big help. To prepare, aspiring vet tech students are required to find a summer or part-time job in animal clinics. This will help initially expose them to the world of veterinary technicians.
Anyone planning to become a good vet technician should first choose a good school offering the highest quality vet tech programs. Here in Colorado, there are more or less eight educational institutions that you can choose from. Pick the best one for you now!