Why NOT to choose this profession.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

Again, the limitations, lack of respect and poor pay and benefits are related to the fact that you are NOT licensed in Florida. And if you think you are then maybe you need to review the laws and statutes for your state. You are actually a Certified Veterinary Technician in Florida and that isn't even required.

People in your state can work as veterinary technicians with no formal education, training or credentialing. Until the public is made to understand this and the veterinary technicians push to actually become a licensed profession in that state, the pay and benefits as well as the respect will not change. You will continue to get treated like a doormat so long as the vets feel that they can replace you with someone straight off the street.

You and the other technicians in your state need to get involved in your state veterinary technician association so that you can CHANGE things for yourself and others in the profession. The veterinary technology profession won't grow and gain respect just from wishing. You need to be involved in your professional association and actually learn about exactly what is going on in your state.

www.fvma.com/associations/3040/files/Vet%20Tech%20Law%20Manual.pdf

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

I have been working in veterinary clinics since the late 1980's. I have worked for a large, progressive small animal practice on the outskirts of Dallas, worked for 2 years doing relief in the DFW area in many different types of clinics and locations, worked as the head technician in an equine hospital in East Texas and am currently the president of the state veterinary technician association. I also sit on the veterinary technician oversight committee and am involved in trying to get legistlation passed to require licensure of veterinary technicians in Texas by working with our state licensing board and state veterinary medical association.

I did not mean to imply anything was wrong with lvtinflorida but that she is misrepresenting the situation and that it is in fact that lack of regulation of the profession in her state (and in others) that keeps veterinary technicians feeling that they are not respected and keeps pay and benefits low. In states where the profession is regulated, respect and income rates are higher. And to point out that lvtinflorida is misrepresenting herself whether knowingly or unknowingly. Presenting herself as licensed when she is not can lead to legal trouble, so she needs to understand the truth of her credentials.

As for doing what you can to change, you are doing what you can to change your specific situation but not to better the profession. There is much that you can do to better yourself within the profession--there are specialties now for veterinary technicians, I know veterinary technicians who teach at the veterinary teaching hospitals, veterinary technicians can manage practices, veterinary technicians can teach at schools which offer veterinary technology degree programs. All of these are avenues advance and which can improve your pay and benefits.

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lvtinflorida in Tampa, Florida

52 months ago

PS:

I just also wanted to mention that i get paid MORE in Florida because i am licensed in a state that does not require it, and i have met many technicians in Florida that haven't had an ounce of college education, and are just as good as any LVT, RVT, Or CVT out there.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

You can't represent yourself as licensed in a state that doesn't license veterinary techniicans. It's something you should be very careful about. That kind of misrepresentation can lead to you getting in trouble so you need to be very careful presenting yourself that way.

You get paid more in florida because you have an education and have proven your knowledge by passing the VTNE. Not because you have a license to do what you are doing because your license carries no value in Florida. Professional licenses don't carry over from state to state.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

And there is no NATIONAL licensing exam. The Veterinary Technician National Exam does not in and of itself grant any sort of certification. It is simply a test that many states/professional associations accept as proof of knowledge. Credentials are given by state govermental agencies, professional associations or even private groups. Those that are granted by state agencies are only valid in the state in which they were granted.

It is very unfortunate that we as technicians aren't educated on the legal matters surrounding our work and credentialing. It's really is important that veterinary technicians understand the differences in credentialing and the laws governing their work to prevent inadvertent infringement on the laws. And it does happen. I have seen people representing themselves as veterinary technicians who have said that it was legal for them to perform certain surgeries in Texas which is COMPLETELY untrue. Representing yourself as licensed in a state that doesn't license is the same. "(1) No person shall:(a) Lead the public to believe that such person is licensed as a veterinarian, or is engaged in the licensed practice of veterinary medicine, without such person holding a valid, active license pursuant to this chapter;" and "1) The following acts shall constitute grounds for which the disciplinary actions in subsection (2) may be taken: (e) Advertising goods or services in a manner which is fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading in form or content." ---West's Florida Statutes Annotated Currentness. Title XXXII. Regulation of Professions and Occupations (Chapters 454-493). Chapter 474. Veterinary Medical Practice. Nothing in that chapter requires or grants licensure of technicians in Florida.

I'm sorry that you have had such a bad time, but I could point people to lots of people who have enjoyed working in this profession and have enjoyed the people they have worked with and the respect that they have received from veterinarian

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

www.aavsb.org/VTNE/ "AAVSB DOES NOT LICENSE, CERTIFY, OR REGISTER VETERINARY TECHNICIANS. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IS FOR THE EXAMINATION PROCESS ONLY. CONTACT THE STATE OR PROVINCE IN WHICH YOU WOULD LIKE TO PRACTICE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OBTAINING A CREDENTIAL."

"6. I'm moving from one state to another, how do I become credentialed in the state I'm moving to?
Each state has its own guidelines on credentialing veterinary technicians."--www.navta.net/index.php?pr=FAQs#five

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lvtinflorida in Tampa, Florida

52 months ago

whatever you say, every place i have worked at as acknowledged the fact that i carry a License and still list me as an LVT. The fact that this goes on and NO ONE cares is just proof that this profession is a joke. If someone was found working as an RN with fake credentials they would probably go to jail or get sued.
I have yet to meet someone who "loves" this job after 4+ years. If you choose to just ignore that fact then so be it, i could care less.

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jontreat50 in Newark, New Jersey

52 months ago

www.myvetbooks.com has some interesting vet tech programs off of the links/resources page

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jontreat50 in Newark, New Jersey

52 months ago

I meant to add the that the News section of the site is great

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

Whether every place has chosen to respect your licensure or not doesn't mean that it legally transfers. In states that license technicians if you are presenting yourself as licensed when you don't carry a license for that state you can end up in trouble.

States that credential technicians require that you meet the requirements in their state. Here are a couple of examples where it is spelled out that just because you are licensed in one state doesn't automatically make you licensed in another. State professional licenses (vets, techs, etc) are not valid in a different state.

"Applicants Licensed in Another State (Endorsement)
The Department MAY endorse a veterinary technician license issued by another state if the Department determines you have met New York's education requirements, have passed a comparable licensing examination and have:"--www.op.nysed.gov/prof/vetmed/vtlic.htm

"WAC 246-935-060 Agency filings affecting this section
Eligibility for examination as veterinary technician.
Applicants must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible for the examination.
(4) Registration, certification, or licensure as an animal health or veterinary technician in one or more states and thirty-six months of full-time experience under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian(s)."--apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=246-935-060

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lvtinflorida in Tampa, Florida

52 months ago

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas said: Whether every place has chosen to respect your licensure or not doesn't mean that it legally transfers. In states that license technicians if you are presenting yourself as licensed when you don't carry a license for that state you can end up in trouble.

States that credential technicians require that you meet the requirements in their state. Here are a couple of examples where it is spelled out that just because you are licensed in one state doesn't automatically make you licensed in another. State professional licenses (vets, techs, etc) are not valid in a different state.

"Applicants Licensed in Another State (Endorsement)
The Department MAY endorse a veterinary technician license issued by another state if the Department determines you have met New York's education requirements, have passed a comparable licensing examination and have:"-- www.op.nysed.gov/prof/vetmed/vtlic.htm

"WAC 246-935-060 Agency filings affecting this section
Eligibility for examination as veterinary technician.
Applicants must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible for the examination.
(4) Registration, certification, or licensure as an animal health or veterinary technician in one or more states and thirty-six months of full-time experience under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian(s)."-- apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=246-935-060

get into trouble? please. Do you have any idea how many people from NY move to florida with a license and "present" themselves as an LVT? I have met about a dozen since i have moved here. NO ONE CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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AZ Vet Tech in Phoenix, Arizona

52 months ago

If you people are so disgusted by the bad treament from employers, the low pay and lack of respect...get out and do something different! Those of us who have chosen to make this a career have done exactly that...made it a career. I am a CVT with 18 years experience and guess what...I STILL LOVE MY JOB!!! I think your attitudes, laziness and lack of enthusiasm about you job is the reason you are failing in this profession so miserably. The right employer WILL pay for CVT/LVT/RVT, education and experience. I am currently making $35,000 plus and yes this is enough to support myself. Don't think that things are going to be handed to you just because you have a "tech" job. Changing your attitudes may get you somewhere.

And for those of you who are claiming that you are licensed and you are not, just wait until you make the mistake of killing someones pet and are sued for that mistake and misrepresenting yourself. Still willing to take that chance? Good luck with that!

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AZ Vet Tech in Phoenix, Arizona

52 months ago

If you are capable of making that kind of money, then by all means go for it. Did you really expect to make $60,000 a year? $70,000? Lets be realistic here. Why do you continue to be employed in the veterinary field? Just curious.

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Nicole the recovering LVT in Brooklyn, New York

50 months ago

I completely agree. I've been an LVT for 11 years in 3 states and have worked the spectrum of practices from small general practice to large specialty with critical care training. It's the same BS everywhere. I graduated the top of my class and have excelled in practice with promotions to management in every hospital. I'm not saying this to brag but to prove a point that you could be the best tech in the universe and it makes no difference. You will be treated like garbage and exploited to the fullest extent. It's almost like the harder you work, the more responsibility you have and there is minimal if any appreciation. We have a LONG way before it becomes like human nursing. When I first started out 11 years ago, I was told things were changing and veterinary nursing was becoming more respected as a professional career. In my 11 years, I've seen no changes. Much to my disappointment, I'm done.

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NY LVT in Syracuse, New York

50 months ago

Everyone who becomes a vet tech should realize that they are not in it because of the money. We are here to take care of the animals to the best of our abilities, and show them the compassion and love and respect their owners would give them while they are sick/recovering/ or even just scared because they are someplace new and are getting shots/blood drawn/ surgery. It takes a certain type of person to be able to put up with the stress/ low pay of being a vet tech, but I am very proud to be who I am and do what I do and I would definitely encourage people out there who are equally compassionate and ambitious to become an LVT. Not every practice has "mean doctors" who treat you like "door Mats".. sure there are some that aren't as kind and professional, but from my jobs prior to becoming a vet tech, I can attest to the fact that you can get that at any job. Also look for a hospital that is AAHA accredited and the standards will be better and you will learn a lot more. Yes, this field has a high burnout rate.. but that's not a reason to scare others who are interested away from becoming an LVT, because there are many of us out there who are very happy with our title, pay, and work that we do.

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LVTinWASH in Tacoma, Washington

46 months ago

Cindy, it's obvious to me that lvtinflorida in Tampa is clearly an idiot. No amount of law quotes or rationale input will make her see the facts. She believes what she believes. The truth is, RVT, CVT, LVT are all very different and no license/registration/certification is transferrable between states. The national exam is in no way shape or form a licence! c'mon, and Vet Tech who has a vet tech degree knows that--Sad to see you folks lost your passion. I never had any delusions before entering the feild. I worked at several vet hospitals and am proud to say--it doesnt have to be that way.I was never in this for the money or recognition. For me, it has always been for the animals.

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LVTinWASH in Tacoma, Washington

46 months ago

Also, all of the 10 doctors who work at my hospital are kind and compassionate wonderful people. The employees are fabulous and everyone is there for the common goal of making animals more comfortable, giving love and medical care to aid in their recovery and comforting distressed owners. I love my job. Im not an LVT just because I want to be, Im one because I can't see myself doing anything else.

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LVTinWASH in Tacoma, Washington

46 months ago

Also, all of the 10 doctors who work at my hospital are kind and compassionate wonderful people. The employees are fabulous and everyone is there for the common goal of making animals more comfortable, giving love and medical care to aid in their recovery and comforting distressed owners. I love my job. Im not an LVT just because I want to be, Im one because I can't see myself doing anything else.

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TawnyMarie in Oakland, California

45 months ago

lvtinlorida in Tampa, Florida said: i am so glad im not the only one out there that feels this way!
i thought about nursing because that job pays very well, demand is high, and has GREAT benefits. (unlike a vet tech, there are little to NO benefits). but i really have a bad taste in my mouth from doctors, im tired of being treated like a doormat or talked to like im a moron. so im thinking a whole new direction, maybe court reporting? theres little you can do with a degree in veterinary technology so i figured why not start in a whole new direction? anyone else have any ideas?
i just feel bad for all the girls who are starting in this field that have no idea how much of a rip off it is :/

I assure you that cleaning poo and having people scream or throw things at you doesn't change when you become an RN or LPN. I'm a former CNA who debated nursing school after my son was born but decided highly against it for many reasons. Sure, nurses make good money but, many of those nurses ONLY do it for that purpose. There are many nurses out there who don't enjoy nursing and merely went into it to make a decent living. If you want to make a decent living and be miserable with what you do to earn that living then go for it (unless ofcourse nursing is something you're truly passionate about then this doesn't apply to you)...If you've allowed yourself to stay somewhere where you're treated that way that's on you. Not every clinic/hospital out there treats their staff that way...There are facilities out there that will recognize you for what you have to offer and treat you that way...You just have to look...Doesn't matter if you're an RVT or an RN both fields have a high turnover rate...My suggestion...Do what you love...Unless you're okay being miserable...If the abuse is as bad as so many say it is then I'm surprised no one is reporting it to state labor law officials...

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ddnaz in Coolidge, Arizona

44 months ago

"Be the change you want to see in the world!" If you don't want to see a change in the vet tech field, good luck in your new career. I've been a vet tech for 25 years. I know hundreds of vet techs, like myself, that love being vet techs. Most all of us, including myself, have been subjected to the scenarios mentioned in the posts and continue to be vet techs. Some things "we" all have in common: we have a passion for animals, not money or good working hours & conditions, we belong to and are active in any vet tech association we can be, we stand up for our profession and our rights by making our voices heard and reporting inappropriate behavior. I'm currently on a new specialty forming committee for NAVTA. NAVTA was in its infancy when I became a vet tech and look were it is today: navta.net/Home.php
I teach veterinary technology. I let my students know about the potential hostile and often financial pitfalls of my profession upfront the first day. I also tell them if they are unwilling to work to make my profession better they need to find another profession. To bad you didn't have someone give you that lecture or you ignored the lecture.

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ddnaz in Coolidge, Arizona

44 months ago

Speaking of change, look how far the internet has come...I hate it when I forget to grammer check!
"Be the change you want to see in the world!" If you don't want to see a change in the vet tech field, good luck in your new career. I've been a vet tech for 25 years. I know hundreds of vet techs, like myself, that love being vet techs. Most all of us, including myself, have been subjected to the scenarios mentioned in the posts and continue to be vet techs. Some things "we" all have in common: we have a passion for animals, not money or good working hours & conditions, we belong to and are active in any vet tech association we can be, we stand up for our profession and our rights by making our voices heard and reporting inappropriate behavior. I'm currently on a new specialty forming committee for NAVTA. NAVTA was in its infancy when I became a vet tech and look where it is today: navta.net/Home.php
I teach veterinary technology. I let my students know about the potential hostile and often financial pitfalls of my profession upfront the first day. I also tell them if they are unwilling to work to make my profession better they need to find another profession. Too bad you didn't have someone give you that lecture or you ignored the lecture

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Sarah in Chicago, Illinois

43 months ago

Cindy RVT:
Instead of trying to pick a fight over details, maybe you should have addressed the main point the OP was making: in the vast majority of practices, veterinarians treat technicians like sh*t on there shoes--easily walked all over, and more stupid and
worthless than a box of rocks.

I graduated top of my class in 2009, with a 3.9GPA, my professors even urged me to go on to vet school to become a veterinarian myself (they even offered me a $1,000 scholarship to stay at the college as a pre-vet major. But I decided to work as a technician for awhile first to make sure that I really wanted to go on the veterinary school (I had always wanted to since
I was a child, but was apprehensive of the very large costs of schooling).

Thank God I did. I have worked in three different clinics now, an every place I've been treated the same. My education is considered worthless. The new technology and concepts I was so excited to introduce as a new graduate? I'm not even allowed to finish a sentence about them before my boss cuts me off to say how stupid they are. I've

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Sarah

43 months ago

And no, I'm not working in a state where technicians are "licensed." I work in Ohio as an RVT. I know that some of the disrespect probably is due to lack of licensing in my state; BUT there is also a basic human responsibility to show respect for one another--the veterinarians I have worked with have all been incapable of even showing that level of respect. Sorry, but no professional organization or union can teach basic human compassion: you either have it, or you don't, and most vets I've met don't. (This is not even mentioning the amount of trash talking clients that goes on behind closed doors--usually referring to how stupid they are and how they shouldn't Even have a pet--when most of the time it's really just a need for client education.)

Sure, there are a few clinics out there that treat technicians with respect,
but in talking to fellow alumni of my program they are the exception, not the rule.

Case in point: I've only been in this 2 years, and only employed full time for 1.5yrs. I still don't mind wrestling dogs or gettin pee on me, or anal glad discharge. But I DO mind being treated like ABSOLUTE GARBAGE. You all can stay and fight a useless fight if you want, but if there is one thing I've learned in life it's that nasty hateful people are just that. They rarely change, and the beat way to fight them is to just eliminate them from your life. So as soon as I can find something else to do where I am actually treated w/ some decency, I'm out!

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Sarah

43 months ago

And no, I'm not working in a state where technicians are "licensed." I work in Ohio as an RVT. I know that some of the disrespect probably is due to lack of licensing in my state; BUT there is also a basic human responsibility to show respect for one another--the veterinarians I have worked with have all been incapable of even showing that level of respect. Sorry, but no professional organization or union can teach basic human compassion: you either have it, or you don't, and most vets I've met don't. (This is not even mentioning the amount of trash talking clients that goes on behind closed doors--usually referring to how stupid they are and how they shouldn't Even have a pet--when most of the time it's really just a need for client education.)

Sure, there are a few clinics out there that treat technicians with respect,
but in talking to fellow alumni of my program they are the exception, not the rule.

Case in point: I've only been in this 2 years, and only employed full time for 1.5yrs. I still don't mind wrestling dogs or gettin pee on me, or anal glad discharge. But I DO mind being treated like ABSOLUTE GARBAGE. You all can stay and fight a useless fight if you want, but if there is one thing I've learned in life it's that nasty hateful people are just that. They rarely change, and the beat way to fight them is to just eliminate them from your life. So as soon as I can find something else to do where I am actually treated w/ some decency, I'm out!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

43 months ago

I have addressed the main problem. If the MAJORITY of veterinarians treated their staff like sh*t I'm sure I would have run into more in my 20+ years and experience in more than 20 hospitals/clinics.

The choices we make in taking a job have a HUGE impact on our pay and our treatment. You should take the time to "interview" the practice you are considering working at to see if it suits you and how you feel about the veterinarian in a situation that isn't 5 minutes sitting in an office. A working interview is a good way to do this.

The treatment we accept in our workplace also plays a big role in how you get treated. I have worked with a veterinarian who treated me badly for the first 6 months, but once I stood up to her the problem stopped. And if it hadn't and had been such a big issue I would have reported her behavior to the owner and the hospital manager and then moved on to a new clinic if the behavior hadn't changed. In a situation where you are threatend or have things thrown at you, then you should report the person to the licensing board. If you do not, you give them the impression that their behavior is going to be tolerated and it will continue.

And our own behavior--lack of professionalism, poor attitude, lack of people skills, etc etc can lead to those repeat situations where every practice you work in seems to be bad.

And if after 1.5 yrs of employment you feel that you have seen what EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in this profession is like you must truly be young. What occurs in one clinic is not all that there is out there. I know way too many veterinary technicians and assistants who love their clinics, employers and co-workers. I have worked in too many practices where I thoroughly enjoyed going to work everyday.

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AnimalFriendsrTheBest in Wilmington, Delaware

41 months ago

Hello all,
I need some advice. I have a bad back from a previous career, of which I can no longer work. I am interested in a Vet Tech career. Can I still be a Vet Tech with a bad back?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thank you,

Kay

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A vet in Fayetteville, North Carolina

41 months ago

As a former veterinary technician and current veterinarian, I just want you to know that the burnout feeling and lack of appreciation is shared by many of us veterinarians. I feel for you! I think e all deserve better treatment from our managers and client! And most definitely better pay ;) we love animals, yes, but unfortunately it is not the pets making decisions.

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KATtheDogLover in Long Beach, California

41 months ago

AnimalFriendsrTheBest in Wilmington, Delaware said: Hello all,
I need some advice. I have a bad back from a previous career, of which I can no longer work. I am interested in a Vet Tech career. Can I still be a Vet Tech with a bad back? Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thank you,
Kay

Vet Tech is a very physical job. There is a lot of standing, walking, stooping, squatting, reaching, lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, and more--not much sitting. Cleaning is a great part of a VT's day-to-day work, plus handling chemicals, vapors and radiation exposure, and the risk of being bitten, scratched, kicked, etc. You did not mention your previous career, so it is not easy to fully answer your question about working with a bad back. But if your previous career required any similar physical labor, then I think VT might be a bit too strenuous for a weak back. Reception or practice management are less physical. Just my two cents.

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Sarah in Dublin, Ohio

41 months ago

Cindy, I will admit that I was upset when I posted, and I certainly realize that in just a couple years I haven't seen enough to judge the profession as a whole. But I do stand by the fact that obviously there is much room for improvement in the profession (which I know from your posts regarding fighing for licensure requirements, you at least agree in that aspect).

And as far as "interviewing a clinic" before signing on, I have done so at every place I've worked so far--both by asking my own questions to the interviewers about a typical day in their hospital, their stengths and weaknesses, etc, AND by going on working interviews. In fact, at the interview for my current job, I asked the dr more questions than he asked me! But the problem is this: when you are on an interview, theclinic is of course going to try and mask all their flaws and make it look like the best place in the world to work. I don't blame them, it's what they have to do to attract good employees. But it DOES make it very hard for one to decide if a place truly will be a good fit.

Luckily my current job has improved with time, and I find myself getting along with the people much better. However, I'm still with those who say I just don't think I can do this forever. It's just too physically exhausting/painful for me (inherited a bad back).

My only wish is that my school program would have required more than a mere 40hrs observing in a vet tech environment before applying to the program. That is simply not enough time to give you a true taste for what life in ANY profession is like.

But, i will say this--I am enjoying it while it lasts, bc there is also a lot to be greatful for (and proud of) in the vet tech world!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

41 months ago

Be glad that schools require any time in a clinical setting before you enroll. For most professional degrees, you don't have to have any experience at all...they just take your money and you have to hope that the job is really what you want. For instance, you can enroll in an engineering degree program with no experience and after 4 years of school you can end up with a job you hate ;)

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ExcitedtobeaVT in Mountlake Terrace, Washington

38 months ago

I'm moving to SC soon and I've been doing a lot of research about becoming a Veterinary Technician. I was looking into a career in the medical field but it just didn't interest me as well as working with animals. Although, I have no experience with working with veterinarians or doctors. I agree with NY LVT in Syracuse, New York... You shouldn't do a certain career path just for money otherwise you will be miserable.

I hate to break it (to whoever this applies to) but if your so miserable dealing with one crappy boss being a nurse won't be much better (depending where you work). My sister became a CNA before becoming a RN. She hated the way her patients treated her. They were rude and very disrespectful. For her the career only got worse. The only difference was as a CNA she didn't have to deal with bossy RNs (We lived in a small town with only one hospital. I know you can't judge ONE or a FEW people based on a whole group & there will always be people you work with that think they know better). The few nurses would try to get the CNAs to insert catheters even though it is against the law for CNAs to perform the task. Since my sister knew it was illegal she wouldn't. However, the nurses made sure the rest of her shift was difficult. Luckily, there was enough complaints about the way the nurses were treating their CNAs and were being investigated.

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ExcitedtobeaVT in Mountlake Terrace, Washington

38 months ago

Anyways, I'm just trying to point out you can't judge a few bad experiences to a whole/specific thing. If you hate where you work then find a different location perferably one that has high standards and a good background. There is also a thing called Human Resources....If your being abused (things thrown at you or whatever else your boss has done to you) then a smart thing to do is report it because obviously they're being physically abusive even verbal is abuse although it is harder without witnesses to prove. Everyone has bad experiences but it is the way you handle them that can turn them into learning experiences.

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ExcitedtobeaVT in Mountlake Terrace, Washington

38 months ago

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas said: Be glad that schools require any time in a clinical setting before you enroll. For most professional degrees, you don't have to have any experience at all...they just take your money and you have to hope that the job is really what you want. For instance, you can enroll in an engineering degree program with no experience and after 4 years of school you can end up with a job you hate ;)

I was wondering if there was anyway to contact you more about a career as a Veterinary Technician? You seem to know quite a bit and would like to talk to someone who is really experienced and can discuss BOTH the pros and cons of this career field!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

38 months ago

You can email me at cindyd@tarvt.org. I can help you with general information, but because I'm in Texas and you are in Washington, you may want to contact your state veterinary technician association as well. They can help you with details in your state.

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Chris in Levittown, New York

34 months ago

Good luck to all you "future nurses". People who've never worked with the general, unhealthy public are going to have a RUDE awakening. I've been an RN for 13 years and an LVT for 2. I prefer being an LVT and making no money, to being an RN, making money and being miserable.

Nurses and physicians are miserable people. You get treated like trash at hospitals, you are overworked, understaffed and YOUR LICENSE is on the line. Have any of you ever thought about being sued? Well, think about it now because that's the way it is in modern medicine. It's so sad, but every patient who's suffering that you are trying to alleviate may turn around and decide that you are one of the people that is going to be named in their lawsuit when something goes wrong.

Ask any RN on the street, and they will tell you that they love being a nurse, but not to go into the profession. Nursing is danger of dying out, because seasoned nurses are retiring, and new nurses aren't staying in the field long enough to replace them. The average new grad works for about 3 years before moving onto grad school or another profession.

And to the person who was saying that we have so many paraprofessionals to depend on - sure, when they actually show up. You can have a patient who is critically ill, a resident breathing down your neck, other patients needing your attention and be calling over and over again for portable X-ray, to see if your STAT labs have been done yet (usually not), and trying to find a fellow to put in a central line for you. Yeah, the "help" is there, but never when you need it.

Don't get me started on housekeeping, either.

So, if being an RN is really want you want, good luck. But I can assure you that the way patients get treated will break your heart more than any abused animal ever will. At least we can take in abused animals, help them, heal them and find them new homes. Patients are abused at the hands of the people who are supposed to heal them.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

34 months ago

Funny, but I know several RNs and haven't heard them talk about being miserable in their chosen profession.

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Chris in Levittown, New York

33 months ago

Cindy,

You just want to argue and find excuses to leave your profession, well I wish you good luck.

Do some research online in nurse's forums and see what other nurses around the U.S. are saying about the field. I don't know where the RNs you know work, but it's probably not in some tertiary care hospital. I laughed when the other techs complain about having to push, pull, squat, etc etc - what do you think nurses do? You have to move patients, boost patients, transfer patients, get them up into chairs after surgery, etc. Obesity is a big problem in America. Tell me the last time you had to grab someone to help you transfer a 450 pound patient, or get a roller and try to round up as many people as you can to get a 600+ pound person off of the OR bed after they blew the hydraulics. Then, you have to try and get them up to the ICU in a bariatric hospital bed. I won't even describe what it's like to do would care for these poor people.

It's easy to love being a nurse when you're a school nurse or spend your time doing wellness clinics, but be prepared to make LVT money. When you work in a hospital for 12-16 hours, you see a lot of interesting stuff, but you break your back and get a lot of abuse. The money is very good, and it money is all you care about - you'll last. But if you're looking for peace of mind, think again.

Chris

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

33 months ago

I have not once argued that I or anyone else should leave my profession, Chris. I am in fact the President of my state's vet tech association and spend many many hours encouraging people to become an educated, credentialed veterinary technician.

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Martha in Harrison Township, Michigan

33 months ago

Hi Cindy, you seem to know a lot about the Vet Tech field. I'm trying to decide what career to go into and Vet tech is one of the careers I'm interested in. The school I go to has a Vet Tech program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and is one of only 3 in the country that has accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association. I've also read that in Michigan you must be licensed. So given that if I go into this program with it's AAHA accreditation and since michigan requires licensing does that mean that this profession is taken more seriously here and that I will be treated with respect by those in the Veterinary field?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

33 months ago

You can never be guaranteed to be treated with respect in any profession because you will always be working with people and they will have their own personal opinions. What you can do is pick and choose your positions--don't just take the first offer of a job if you have concerns about the way the vet or office manager seems to feel about veterinary technicians, etc.

In general yes, you should see more respect with a license but you are also going to end up likely dealing with a long-time veterinary assistant at some point in your career who has issues with not being licensed and vets who simply don't respect any of their staff.

Volunteer at or shadow veterinary technicians at veterinary clinics. This gives you good insight into how staff at those clinics are treated and where the personality conflicts are so that you can avoid clinics that don't have the right attitude. It will also let you get you a relationship with staff and vets at these clinics that can lead to a permanent position.

(If you are close to Clinton Township, there is a VCA practice where a Dr. Mike Brown is the medical director. He's a great guy.)

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Martha in Harrison Township, Michigan

33 months ago

Thank you Cindy. So since Michigan requires a liscense does that mean it's regulated here or not necessarily? Also is the AAHA accredation a very good sign for that program?
Sorry I have so many questions but I just want to get as much info as I can so if I do go into this profession I at least know I'm taking a step in the right direction.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

33 months ago

Yes, it is regulated in Michigan. You must have a license to work as a veterinary technician.

The AAHA accreditation is good as far as it goes, but it's really the AVMA accreditation that you are looking for in a veterinary technology degree program because without that you cannot sit for credentialing exams in most states. I have a feeling that AAHA accreditation is simply not very sought after in a veterinary technology degree program simply because the accreditation isn't necessary.

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Martha in Harrison Township, Michigan

33 months ago

I was wondering if the AAHA was just another accreditation they wanted add to their name instead of something that is highly sought after and hard to get. Thank you for your answers they have been very helpful.

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Laura, RVT in Franklin, Ohio

32 months ago

Personally I've been in the field for a little over two years and I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else. Yes, the highest I've been paid has been $12, but I will more than likely be hired on at an emergency/referral center where I would make around $15/hr. I haven't really received the lack of respect that the original poster has mentioned. I find the veterinary field extremely rewarding. I have joked that if I were smart I would have went to school for nurse because it seems the jobs are easier to come by and the pay is better, but I don't feel I would as compassionate doing that. I love helping animals whether it's the ill or healthy. Yes, some vets are short tempered and demanding. For a short period of time I was questioning my decision to choose the veterinary field because I got let go from a job I had been at for almost 6 months because I wasn't perfect and couldn't place an IV catheter every single time I attempted (meanwhile he kept on a girl who had just graduated vet tech school and had taken her VTNE and had only like 2 months experience at the time vs. my 2 years), but I just tried to not let that experience effect me. I've been working random jobs since being away from being a vet tech and it honestly depresses me not being able to do what I love. Yes, vet techs are worked to death having to do various things more than a nurse would, but that just makes you a well rounded vet tech. It gives you the experience to do anything within the hospital. As far as cleaning, if you think you're too good to clean, then you're mistaken. At the last place I worked we had daily and weekly cleaning lists. Yes, some of it was retarded, but that stuff is to keep the hospital is a presentable fashion. If you hate the field so much then get out of it and make room for those of us who are actually passionate about what we do.

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dvmjill in Columbus, Ohio

32 months ago

NY LVT in Syracuse, New York said: Everyone who becomes a vet tech should realize that they are not in it because of the money. We are here to take care of the animals to the best of our abilities, and show them the compassion and love and respect their owners would give them while they are sick/recovering/ or even just scared because they are someplace new and are getting shots/blood drawn/ surgery. It takes a certain type of person to be able to put up with the stress/ low pay of being a vet tech, but I am very proud to be who I am and do what I do and I would definitely encourage people out there who are equally compassionate and ambitious to become an LVT. Not every practice has "mean doctors" who treat you like "door Mats".. sure there are some that aren't as kind and professional, but from my jobs prior to becoming a vet tech, I can attest to the fact that you can get that at any job. Also look for a hospital that is AAHA accredited and the standards will be better and you will learn a lot more. Yes, this field has a high burnout rate.. but that's not a reason to scare others who are interested away from becoming an LVT, because there are many of us out there who are very happy with our title, pay, and work that we do.

Just let me get this straight......... you acknowledge that this profession has a high burn-out rate AND poor pay - but say "that's not a reason to scare others who are interested away from becoming an LVT" ?????? You've GOT to be kidding me! As a veterinarian (don't get me started on this career choice, either - there's a reason so many vets are huge grumps), I do everything I can to dissuade young people from becoming RVTs here in Ohio. Working without a license is no longer really an option here, and the pay, hours and job satisfaction are terrible.

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Christy in Manhattan, Kansas

32 months ago

Laura,

I'm sure there are technicians who hate their job and should simply leave. In my experience, however, it's more that technicians love their job and hate the lack of acknowledgement, respect, ability to advance and, yes pay that often comes with it.
Things have gotten better in the 10 years I've been doing this and I believe that will continue, through the hard work of a lot of dedicated people.
I'm frustrated, but I'm still here. I believe in veterinary technology can be a great profession but I understand those who are burnt out. When you've been doing this for a while and you stop and take a look at the restrictions placed on your life by low income when you know you have the skills and ability to remove those restrictions if you worked in another field it can be disappointing.

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157 in Garden Grove, California

29 months ago

lvtinflorida in Tampa, Florida said: Ok i understand some people may have a different experience than my own, but I have seen this happen many times.
I have been a licensed vet tech for 6 years now, and I remember back when i was telling people this is what i was going to go to school for, I got warned by people that were already in the field NOT to do it. i didnt listen and i wish i would have. i thought i was going to love it forever, working with animals seemed like a dream!
but its not. think about it, in a human hospital there are many different departments for things. x ray techs for radiographs, nurses for intensive care, scrub techs for surgery, anesthesia techs to monitor anesthesia, you get it. well as a vet tech you do ALL of these and for what? an average of $12.50 an hour? i do make more than that now because of my experience, but it isnt even worth it. Veterinarians are short tempered and cheap. its common to see girls crying on the job. I have gotten screamed at and had things thrown at me. Nothing is regulated like in the human medical field so this kind of abuse will continue.
you also have to do the janitorial work at the clinic. changing garbage, sweeping and mopping floors and a LOT of heavy lifting.
so my advise is talk to someone who has been a tech for 4+ years, because i cant see myself doing this for the rest of my life, i am currently looking to go back to school.

thank you for being honest and forthcoming. i love animals so much and like you pictured myself being happy with this choice but you have given me alot to think about.

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157 in Garden Grove, California

29 months ago

lvtinflorida in Tampa, Florida said: Ok i understand some people may have a different experience than my own, but I have seen this happen many times.
I have been a licensed vet tech for 6 years now, and I remember back when i was telling people this is what i was going to go to school for, I got warned by people that were already in the field NOT to do it. i didnt listen and i wish i would have. i thought i was going to love it forever, working with animals seemed like a dream!
but its not. think about it, in a human hospital there are many different departments for things. x ray techs for radiographs, nurses for intensive care, scrub techs for surgery, anesthesia techs to monitor anesthesia, you get it. well as a vet tech you do ALL of these and for what? an average of $12.50 an hour? i do make more than that now because of my experience, but it isnt even worth it. Veterinarians are short tempered and cheap. its common to see girls crying on the job. I have gotten screamed at and had things thrown at me. Nothing is regulated like in the human medical field so this kind of abuse will continue.
you also have to do the janitorial work at the clinic. changing garbage, sweeping and mopping floors and a LOT of heavy lifting.
so my advise is talk to someone who has been a tech for 4+ years, because i cant see myself doing this for the rest of my life, i am currently looking to go back to school.

thank you for being honest and forthcoming. i love animals so much and like you pictured myself being happy with this choice but you have given me alot to think about.

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MelodyEm in Boston, Massachusetts

28 months ago

I'm not terribly surprised that the original poster and so many others are feeling a high burn out rate. But to single it out to this profession is just ridiculous. Any medical profession is fraught with answering to "higher ups" and cleaning--and depending on where you work, who you work with, and your attitude, things can either be great or awful. I fell into this profession by accident. I've been a vet tech for 6 years now and I've not loved every practice I've worked at, but I love the profession itself. I don't think I'll be doing it forever (because my heart is in rescue work, not specifically medicine), but I can't imagine doing anything else for now. I am happy to say that I have worked at a general practice that has taken measures to train me in all areas of veterinary technology that they possibly could--and I started as a receptionist there. Credentials are not required in my state, but I believe that if a hairdresser needs a license than a vet tech certainly should be required to have one too. Animals are more than just objects for our affection. They deserve to be treated by educated, passionate, persons and professionals. And that's why I'm taking the VTNE and getting a CVT even if I don't "need" it, yet.

I don't do this because I want respect or because I want money. I do this because I enjoy it, because I want to make the profession better, because I want to help animals and help people help animals.

If you're feeling burnt out or miserable at your job, go elsewhere. If this profession just isn't for you, that's fine, but get out of it. The last thing this job needs (or ANY care-taking sort of job--including human nursing) is caregivers who are disenchanted. I certainly would not want any of the disgruntled, dispassionate people here treating my own animals.

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MelodyEm in Boston, Massachusetts

28 months ago

And for the record, ANY job is what YOU make of it. I last worked at a practice where the techs were given laughable responsibilities and were treated like they didn't know how to do anything. The doctors even said things like, "I'm a doctor, don't question me!" Now, I work at the place I first became a vet tech at and the doctors give the techs almost all of the responsibilities that we can legally have and don't treat us like dolts who can't correct a doctor when the doctor is mistaken. I get paid significantly more than $13 an hour, have NO license, and it's a general practice.

I am only 27 years old and was an excellent student in college. I could go to medical school and become a doctor or a human nurse, but I am not passionate about those fields and I would never feel comfortable or ethical in treating a patient if their care and well-being wasn't my priority or passion. Clients and patients deserve better.

If you're a vet tech and you're not getting the respect you deserve, demand it. Or move on to another practice. The profession isn't in itself one of being stepped on, unless you chose to work with people who step all over you and don't demand the respect you deserve.

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