A Vet Tech Needs More Schooling than an Assistant

A lot of people confuse the job descriptions and functions people employed by veterinarians possess. Some mistakenly think everyone in the vet’s office who is not the doctor is an assistant. Technically, an assistant in a vet’s office does not have as much education – or responsibilities – as a vet tech does.

Hang the Diploma on the Wall

Unlike a veterinary assistant who does not need a degree to obtain a position in the industry, a vet tech is required to receive at least a two-year associate’s degree because this career in veterinary medicine is more involved.

Getting Close to the Critters

Part of the schooling prepares students for more detailed contact concerning animal care particularly conducting the necessary lab work as well as understanding and performing physical examinations. Part of this learning process includes understanding and operating electrocardio- and radiographic equipment. There’s a lot of “hands-on” contact with animals that requires a good understanding of animal physiology compelling studiers in biology, chemistry and anatomy.  You do not just wake up one day and decide to become a vet tech, walk down to your local animal hospital and get a job. There are, however, people employed in a vet’s office that can receive on-the-job training but their duties are limited to non-medical functions like cleaning cages, walking animals, washing and, yes, picking up poop!

So, What Do I Study

Getting a job as a Veterinary Technician requires enrolling in an accredited program that will lead toward obtaining a state license. The program needs to be sanctioned by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).  Typically, the course of study takes about two years.

“Hey Pete, Do you remember what that canine corona virus was all about?” Tim asked his roommate.

“Yeah.  Don’t you remember we came across that when we studied infectious diseases. It’s a virus that is highly contagious infecting the intestines. We studied it along with other diseases like canine parvovirus. Remember?” Pete answered.

“Yes I do. That’s the real serious sickness that can kill pooches. I recall that it is transmitted from one infected dog to another with direct contact and one symptom is bloody stool. This is an interesting course studying animal diseases. It helps us identify symptoms of these diseases so we can better inform the doctor as to what’s going on.”

Lots to Learn

Pete and Tim knew there was a lot to learn and found out quickly a vet tech course of study also keeps you busy learning more than just animal diseases. Pete said he was particularly looking forward to the laboratory course learning all the new up-to-date techniques using modern equipment to help aid in animal care. He said the school is well-equipped where Pete and Tim go to learn. The instructors are licensed veterinarians that not only impart academic knowledge but help students understand what it is like in the real world of veterinary medicine.

“The instructors are great at telling us about important stuff such as being able to communicate well with pet owners. Pets play an important part in many people’s lives so I’m glad the teacher’s keep emphasizing the need for developing good communications skills,” Tim offered.

After the two-year course the boys are enrolled in, they will have enough knowledge and experience to pass a state licensing exam and start in a career that is heavily in demand today.

Penn Foster College
A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology
Penn Foster College - Distance Learning Program
Become a vet tech in as little as 1 year. The Penn Foster Veterinary Technician associate degree program is fully accredited by the AVMA.
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