Thinking about going to school to become a Vet Tech, questions & thoughts..??

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Brooke in Manchester, Tennessee

55 months ago

I am 21 years old. I have just finished up my general studies & I am deciding on either going to a 2 year program to become a vet tech or going to a university & going into the medical field or teaching field.
I have a huge passion for animals & I have always wanted a job working with animals since I was little. I can't afford Veterinarian school, it's impossible. I have done some research & seen that vet tech's only make about 20k-30k a year, thats pretty much nothing.. especially now in today's economy.
I don't have any interest in medicine or medical stuff dealing with people, but I'm afraid thats what I may need/have to do to make a decent living & get a secure job.
What are you guys thoughts about it? Should you go to school for something you love and worry about money the rest of your life? Or get a job you don't enjoy but never have to worry about financial problems?
I'm pretty torn between the two & I have to decide pretty soon.
I've also heard people leave the vet tech field 7-10 years into it.. so I don't want to end up hating that career either after 7 years and have to go back to school at 30!
So, please someone give me some good advice! People keep telling me to do what I love, but it's hard to believe them when they are going to school or went to school just to get a job making a lot of money?

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isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota

55 months ago

I am in school online for a vet technician it is 100% online except for I still need my clinicals but I love animals

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

55 months ago

The average yearly pay for veterinary technicians is $33,000 to $45,000. More than you have heard, but still often not what you want to end up earning. Picking and choosing your job and looking at employment with research facilities, universities or drug companies can help you earn more than that low end.

Yes, most veterinary technicians burnout at around 7 years but there are lots of us who actually stay in the profession much longer than that. It's a matter of finding an area that you are really interested in and pursuing it and looking for a job at a facility that you can stand being at.

Before enrolling in a veterinary technology program, it is a good idea to volunteer or take a job at a veterinary hospital to see what the job of a veterinary technician really entails. Many people think that it will suit them but find out differently once they start school. Having personal experience in a veterinary facility will also help you to excel in your classes by giving you real-world application for what you are learning.

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Brooke in Manchester, Tennessee

55 months ago

Hi thanks for the reply! well the salary is definitely a lot different than i've heard. I guess it's different in all areas.
I am going next week to job shadow a vet tech, seeing what they do during surgeries & what else they do during the day. I have volunteered at a vet clinic before but I was much younger I wasn't looking at it as a "career".
Do vet techs end up doing just a lot of dirty work? such as cleaning out dirty kennels? I know it's part of the job but it isn't what I want to spend ALL day doing. I've also heard a lot of vet offices don't office their vet techs any benefits? I don't want to get stuck with a career that has NO benefits! I'm worried to say the least.

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Mario in Saint Paul, Minnesota

55 months ago

isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota said: I am in school online for a vet technician it is 100% online except for I still need my clinicals but I love animals

isabella, where are you taking classes?

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isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota

55 months ago

Mario in Saint Paul, Minnesota said: isabella, where are you taking classes?

vet technical institute

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mmarino in Saint Paul, Minnesota

55 months ago

isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota said: vet technical institute

did you just started? or how long are you into the program? do you like it? any pros/cons to it? i'm just trying to get info

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isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota

55 months ago

no I started last march I am trying to get into a clinic to do my clinicals

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isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota

55 months ago

it is a 4 month program but it depends on what paste you want to be at it took me longer because I had alot of questions

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

55 months ago

Isabella,
This is not an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program nor is it a degree program. You cannot sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam or any other veterinary technician credentialing exams when you finish this program. Basically this is a scam.

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isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota

55 months ago

no it is not

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isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota

55 months ago

it is not a scam

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andrea in Bronx, New York

55 months ago

it may not be a scam... you MAY get some real helpful information but common sense should tell you that, thar program isn't really offering you anything except for MAYBE some experience but no. you can't sit in for the VTNE exam nor can you wear the title of a LVT. so basically whatever "program" isabella is doing isn't accredited, isn't going to give her any type of degree, or going to be able to get her any type of license. AKA somewhat of a waste of time if you want a degree or want to become a LVT.

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Brooke in Manchester, Tennessee

55 months ago

Not to be rude Isabella, but Andrea is right about your program. It isn't accredited so you won't be able to sit for the exam & actually be a licensed vet tech. You can be a vet assistant, which doesn't even require any schooling. There are a lot of these schools that are "accredited" but it's not accredited by AVMA which is all that really matters. So while you may be learning a lot of things, in the end you wont be receiving a degree or be able to be licensed. I almost made the same mistake at a school in Florida then luckily before i paid tuition or started I found out they weren't really accredited, like they claimed. Do your research & you will realize what we are talking about.

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andrea in Bronx, New York

55 months ago

I kid you not Isabella and Marina, Brooke and I have done our research or we would not be letting you know and "warning" you about not being deceived. Visit the AVMA website for guidance.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

55 months ago

Isabella,
I shouldn't have used the word scam, but rather stated that this program is not an AVMA accredited program and is not a degree program or even as extensive as many veterinary assisting programs. In my opinion, any program that claims to train you to be a veterinary technician but will not allow you to sit for the credentialing exams to be a veterinary technician is a "scam" because you will finish their program and in many states still not be able to work as or be called a veterinary technician.
I looked over the website for the program you are enrolled in and double checked the American Veterinary Medical Association website and this program IS NOT accredited and therefore will not allow you to sit for the credentialing exams.

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Helpful in Newark, New Jersey

53 months ago

Www.myvetbooks.com/blog/ has a good post and some of the linked vet tech programs look good and have more info.

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sweetpaws in Tampa, Florida

53 months ago

Definitely volunteer at an animal hospital for a few weeks and get an idea if this is what you really want to do. This is a messy dirty job that can be very mentally and physically demanding. Are you ok with the idea of putting your finger inside a dog or cats butt? because you do it about 3 or 4 times a day.
I was a Technician for 8 years ad yes i loved it at first but i did get burned out and i stopped loving my job. I am now in the human medical field and I really enjoy it, and I have 3 dogs and 2 kitties so that gets me my animal fix.
good luck!

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lil red of belton

52 months ago

CindyRVT i need to know if you are a real veterinary technician because i need to ask someone a few questions for an English 2 research paper that i am doing...due tomorrow and really need some advice.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

Yes, I am a real veterinary technician.

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Nikki in Macomb, Illinois

52 months ago

hello, I have a few questions if someone can help me. I have been looking into penn foster for vet tech degree, i have been pretty unsure about it up until now and have decide to change my mind and do san juan college instead. I need to know if you take online courses that the school is in another state can you be licenced in the state in which you live. If the school is based In PA can I be Liceced in IL after completing their courses.

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cjm in New Bern, North Carolina

52 months ago

isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota said: I am in school online for a vet technician it is 100% online except for I still need my clinicals but I love animals

where are you doing that online i would like to know.

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cjm in New Bern, North Carolina

52 months ago

Mario in Saint Paul, Minnesota said: isabella, where are you taking classes?

i havent started taking classes yet.

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cjm in New Bern, North Carolina

52 months ago

oh im sorry i thought that was to me... sorry bout that

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

Nikki in Macomb, Illinois said: hello, I have a few questions if someone can help me. I have been looking into penn foster for vet tech degree, i have been pretty unsure about it up until now and have decide to change my mind and do san juan college instead. I need to know if you take online courses that the school is in another state can you be licenced in the state in which you live. If the school is based In PA can I be Liceced in IL after completing their courses.

Yes, you can so long as the school meets the requirements of your state. Since most states require that you have a degree from an AVMA accredited program and San Juan is you should be able to sit for the credentialing exams in your state so long as you meet all of their other requirements.

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isabella in Saint Michael, Minnesota

52 months ago

just type in and there website it will come up as veterinary technical institute in florida thats were I went

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ErgophobicChic in New Jersey

52 months ago

i was a vet tech for 6 months back in 2007. i had no training but i adore animals. i just walked into VCA and they hired me on the spot for $8.50 an hr. i quit 3 months later due to the office manager treating the whole staff like garbage. the next day i got another vet tech job for a small private vet for $9.25 an hr. i quit 3 months later due to the vet and groomer always fighting about their sex life and the 35 yr old head tech fighting with her 19 yr old tech boyfriend. all 4 people also ganged up on me because i refused to handle a cat that was going ballistic. job wasn't for me.
i'm not saying all animal hospitals are a horrible place to work but i suppose i just had bad luck. with my bad luck and POOR PAY i gave up and went back to bartending. i could make $300 in one shift opposed to 300 in one week working with animals.

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Nicole in Brooklyn, New York

51 months ago

I've been a licensed vet tech in 2 states with a "successful" career for 11 years and I will tell you that the reason there is such a salary variance is because there is no standard; the career is not valued and employers will pay you as little as they can get away with. Someone who is afraid to ask for more money but has loads of experience can be paid as little as minimum wage while others are making $25-$25/hr depending on where you live and the guts you have to ask for more and if it's a specialty hospital or not. We are like what human nurses used to be in the 1970s before unions standardized.

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Nicole the recovering LVT in Brooklyn, New York

51 months ago

And the reason most managers of veterinary hospitals are often terrible is because they're bitter that their career is such a disappointment. That sounds pessimistic, I know, but it's true. Managers are usually people that initially excelled, were highly motivated and passionate, got promoted and became bitter because the career is not valued or taken seriously. Right or wrong in the morality department, they become bitter, miserable people to work with. I know because I've worked along side many of them and have also been one of them.

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aclaro in Chicago, Illinois

43 months ago

wow! I was just doing some research about vet tech's and i found this. I wasn't to happy to read all this. Made me think about being a Vet Tech is hard.

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Bill O'Leary in Chatsworth, California

43 months ago

aclaro in Chicago, Illinois said: wow! I was just doing some research about vet tech's and i found this. I wasn't to happy to read all this. Made me think about being a Vet Tech is hard.

I think it is what you make of it. I have been a tech for 20 years. I complain about the job but when people ask me if I would do it again I answer yes. As far as salaries your are going to have to be great, with great personality and get in to the right hospital and then you will make a decent living. All of my employees love what the do and love working here. If they don't I don't want them here for both of us.

www.missionvet.com/k9%20conditions/parvo.htm

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Student in Wheeling, Illinois

33 months ago

andrea in Bronx, New York said: I kid you not Isabella and Marina, Brooke and I have done our research or we would not be letting you know and "warning" you about not being deceived. Visit the AVMA website for guidance.

It is accredited. It says so on the website.
www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_programs/illinois.asp

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

32 months ago

It likely wasn't accredited almost 2 years ago when the initial conversation took place. ;)

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Melissa in Littleton, Colorado

32 months ago

I'm considering transfering into Zoology or Vet tech..I'm not sure. Can you specialize in this field and make more money?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

32 months ago

You can specialize and typically make more money with a specialty. However, keep in mind that your pay and recognition is always going to depend on your choice of employers. Some types of clinics and some veterinarians are going to pay better than others.

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Lynne in Corpus Christi, Texas

32 months ago

I want to start school at Vet Tech Institute In Houston, Texas and it says that its only provisional accredited with the AVMA. Will I be able to take my National Veterinary Technician Exam with this school without it being fully accredited?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

32 months ago

Yes, you could still take the VTNE even though it has provisional accreditation. However, I would recommend that you look at another school. The Vet Tech Institute in Houston doesn't have a great reputation. Employers are leery of them and myself and other technicians haven't been impressed by their graduates.

If you are going to go to school in Houston, you would be much better off applying to Lonestar College in Tomball (a suburb). Lonestar has a great program, an amazing pass rate for it's students taking the VTNE and it's grads are highly sought after.

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Lynne in Corpus Christi, Texas

32 months ago

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas said: Yes, you could still take the VTNE even though it has provisional accreditation. However, I would recommend that you look at another school. The Vet Tech Institute in Houston doesn't have a great reputation. Employers are leery of them and myself and other technicians haven't been impressed by their graduates.

If you are going to go to school in Houston, you would be much better off applying to Lonestar College in Tomball (a suburb). Lonestar has a great program, an amazing pass rate for it's students taking the VTNE and it's grads are highly sought after.

Now Im worried... Can you elaborate on whats given them such a bad rep??

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Lynne in Corpus Christi, Texas

32 months ago

Now Im worried... Can you elaborate on whats given them such a bad rep??

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

32 months ago

This is a "for profit" school and they try to cram 72 credit hours of education into 18 months. Even students who are trying to finish the program in the normal 5 semesters (rather than 3) will tell you that there is simply a ton of information and it's alot for 5 semestHers.

Vet Tech Institute students simply don't seem to get the same caliber of education and I can fully understand why.

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Melissa in Littleton, Colorado

32 months ago

I'm so discouraged from the amount of money they make. It scares me to jump into a career path that I'll have to struggle in.

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SarahRVT in Kansas City, Missouri

31 months ago

Cindy, I am a graduate of Vet tech Institute in Houston. I also graduated with Honors. I am now a lead technician at my Clinic. When you go tour the school they tell you this is an ACCELERATED program. It is not for everybody. People go in there thinking they can fly through the program with no problem and those are the people who whine and complain. If you want to get working quickly and are not scared of hard work then by all means check out Vet Tech Institute.

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Angela Pena in Albuquerque, New Mexico

30 months ago

Hello everyone! My name is Angela and i am a senior at Manzano High School in Albuquerque, NM. I plan on pursuing a career as a vet tech. I have been leaning towards CNM's vet tech program. I have taken the accuplacer and i have talked to an academic advisor. i will have to take pre reqs and once that is done then i can continue and recieve my Associates. But the thing is, the Vet Tech classes are in the South Valley and it will be hard to get to and from class every day due to the gas prices. So i thought of doing on line classes. I looked at Penn Foster and honestly i am afraid to even consider that school. I just looked up San Juan's vet tech program, and i can not find any good information on it. i do not wish to leave the Albuquerque area, that is why i am looking at CNM and online courses. Is there any advice anyone can offer me about any colleges or online colleges?

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KR in King William, Virginia

29 months ago

Angela Pena in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: Hello everyone! My name is Angela and i am a senior at Manzano High School in Albuquerque, NM. I plan on pursuing a career as a vet tech. I have been leaning towards CNM's vet tech program. I have taken the accuplacer and i have talked to an academic advisor. i will have to take pre reqs and once that is done then i can continue and recieve my Associates. But the thing is, the Vet Tech classes are in the South Valley and it will be hard to get to and from class every day due to the gas prices. So i thought of doing on line classes. I looked at Penn Foster and honestly i am afraid to even consider that school. I just looked up San Juan's vet tech program, and i can not find any good information on it. i do not wish to leave the Albuquerque area, that is why i am looking at CNM and online courses. Is there any advice anyone can offer me about any colleges or online colleges?

Angela, I'd personally stay far away from Penn Foster, they had provisional accreditation, it dropped to probational and now is back at provisional, as far as I know, they still have a program director that is neither a LVT/CVT/RVT or a DVM, and the AVMA is making it a new requirement for accreditation by 2013 , that they must have this. If your program is not accredited, you cannot sit for boards, and then really, what is the point in going through school. I know of a couple people going through San Juan, I just personally do not prefer programs without selective admission. There are several great distance learning programs though to check out, look at www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_distance_learning.asp
for a list, I would go for a fully accredited program over provisional, just because the provisional programs are newer, ask questions, find out what their board pass rate is, intake numbers vs grad numbers (IMO, the better programs weed through alot of people, thus the lower grad numbers) Good luck.

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Adalia5456 in Covina, California

26 months ago

Hi, i was thinking about doing the San Juan Distance Vet tech program and alos going to school to get my bachelor's??? would this be too much???

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KAT the Dog Lover in Long Beach, California

26 months ago

Adalia5456 in Covina, California said: Hi, i was thinking about doing the San Juan Distance Vet tech program and alos going to school to get my bachelor's??? would this be too much???

Adalia5456 in Covina, California said: Hi, i was thinking about doing the San Juan Distance Vet tech program and alos going to school to get my bachelor's??? would this be too much???

That can be a good route if you ultimately plan to work as a veterinary technologist in a specialty like anesthesia, surgery, or animal behavior (these require a Bachelor degree), whereas the state veterinary technician credential requires an AAS degree (including the GE courses), passing the VTNE, and taking continuing education courses after obtaining the RVT credential. Plan it out carefully: you can take SJC VT courses while you get GEs at a local college (math, biology, composition, speech, humanities, etc.), and send the transcripts to SJC (check with SJC admissions to make sure you get all the right classes.

You may need to take additional classes for transferring to university. If you go the CC route, talk with a counselor and follow the IGETC list for the broadest spectrum of classes for either CSU or UC transfer (IGETC is a very good academic check list).

This plan could take you 5 or 6 yrs, depending on your course load and whether you plan a summer curriculum. Definitely talk it over with an academic counselor and don't forget to consider the OCCI clinicals after Tier 1 (10 hrs/wk at a vet facility). Having a p/t job w/ a vet will put you ahead of that game!

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cassyjavi in Monticello, Minnesota

26 months ago

I'm from MN and I am planning on going back to school. I have always wanted to work with animals and am looking at the Vet Tech program.
1. Does anyone know the average salary for Vet Tech in MN?
2. Are there any other programs where I could work with animals besides going in Vet Tech?

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idayra in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

26 months ago

Hello everyone. I'm thinking about becoming an veterinary assistant, I really love animals and also to work with them but now I've read the hole conversation and now I'm worried that maybe it is a nerve-racking job due the coments about payment and even the school choice..
Could somebody with experience tell me if it is worth to become a vet tech or not ?

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Msmelvet27 in Stony Point, New York

21 months ago

I hear your struggle. However, I have been in the field for 10 yrs and I'm the verge of graduating vet tech school. I have love animals ever since I was 5 yrs old n now I'm 27yr graduating tech school. I have worked in small animal practice and specialty practices too. And honestly if you want to make more than the average you got to be willing to travel to your metropolitan area, these areas are high volume facilities. They use their technicians to the fullest and get paid better than you listed up above. In addition, you can obtain your VTS (veterinary technician specialty) in one of your favorite areas of subject such as: anesthesia, surgery, dentistry, laboratory, pain management, zoology, internal medicine, equine veterinary nursing, behavior, and emergency & critical care. Techs who have these VTS are more likely to get supervisor position. So the pay may be sucky at first but if you have a passion for it like I do, you can do it! With that said not everyone is up for this field but if your serious about doing this, work at an animal hospital first so you know that this something you want to go for or not.

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JD in Collinsville, Illinois

20 months ago

Msmelvet27 in Stony Point, New York said: I hear your struggle. However, I have been in the field for 10 yrs and I'm the verge of graduating vet tech school. I have love animals ever since I was 5 yrs old n now I'm 27yr graduating tech school. I have worked in small animal practice and specialty practices too. And honestly if you want to make more than the average you got to be willing to travel to your metropolitan area, these areas are high volume facilities . They use their technicians to the fullest and get paid better than you listed up above. In addition, you can obtain your VTS (veterinary technician specialty) in one of your favorite areas of subject such as: anesthesia, surgery, dentistry, laboratory , pain management, zoology, internal medicine, equine veterinary nursing, behavior, and emergency & critical care. Techs who have these VTS are more likely to get supervisor position. So the pay may be sucky at first but if you have a passion for it like I do, you can do it! With that said not everyone is up for this field but if your serious about doing this, work at an animal hospital first so you know that this something you want to go for or not.

Hey guys, Sorry to but into your converstaion but it seem all so familier. I did a Vet asst. program fresh outta high school. It did get my foot in the door. I started at an Emergency clinic. Pretty well worked my way up. That was 3 jobs ago. My last job I was used as a tech. I Did everything except actually surgery Which is illegal for a tech to do anyway. I loved my job I was used to my full potential. I however was terminated yesterday for reasons I wont get into but are totally bogus! I am now stuck in a position where Im not sure what to do. I AM a vet tech. The asst. program was good cause it did teach me a lot. All the important stuff is learned on the job though. I see the CVTs that come outta school. No prior experience and they all seem to have a know it all attitude w/ no skills

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