laws are slowly changing doctors putting a boundary between vet tech and vet assist

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Martha in Shreveport, Louisiana

74 months ago

Is it true that a vet assistant can't no longer take the exam no matter how long they been in the field. The person must attend college. Can they still perform the things the veterinary technician do? Lately Most veterinary practice i know are rearrange some things. It seems like the doctors are starting to put a boundary between the 2 and the different states. As time go by The assistant assist the Vet and the technician. They can't do the things a Vet tech do. Even the salarys between the 2 are changing. They are not making the same. Vet tech salary are slowly going up in louisiana the starting pay is 12.00-14.00. It like things are starting to look in the vet tech favor as time passes. The kennel worker cleans cages, feed, and walk the dog. It seems like things are starting to run like a hospital. Doctors, Nurse, LPN, and Nurse assistant. Doctors are looking for (RVT, LVT, CVT.) I was going to take a vet assist class. Would this do me any good? Should i go for Vet Tech? Someone told me they do the same thing. In my eyes the four clinic i attended it wasn't. How about your clinic and state? I do support people being licensed. I recently graduated in LPN year ago. Animals is what i perfer no matter how the pay look.

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Dale in New Baltimore, Michigan

73 months ago

My daughter just graduated from Vet Tech Institute with a Vetinarian Technican degree. There is a definite difference between the two. The Vet Tech is entitled to more responsiblities and assists the Vetinarian. Just like a Nurse would to a doctor. I believe the board exams are for Vet Tech's only. My suggestion to you would be to get the Vet Tech degree if you love the field. You'll be much better off the the Vet Assistant.

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Ellen in Saint Louis, Missouri

73 months ago

I have recently decided to up to vet tech school and will start in August. I also recently got hired at a vet clinic and have noticed a big difference between the vet assistants and vet techs. I've been told that I will be moved up to vet assistant from receptionist when I start school. In St. Louis its becoming normal practice to only hire vet assistants if they are in school to become vet techs. The assistants basically pay their dues in this way and do a lot of laundry, cleaning cages and cleaning the clinic in general, taking the admitted animals out to do their business, etc. Its a dirty job that I'll only be doing for 16 months to a year. Vet tech school is definitely worth it, but a word of advice: if you decide to go to school, make sure the school is accredited. You can't take your boards and become licensed otherwise and that is crucial. Don't go to a vet tech program that is not accredited-it will be a waste of your time and money. Good luck!

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Naomi in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

73 months ago

Every state has different standards. I went to school and graduated in Omaha Nebraska where becoming a licenced technician means graduation from an ACREDDITED COLLEGE (very important, you could get completely screwed if you get a degree and it turns out the school wasn't acreddited), and a passing grade on the national boards. In nearby Council Bluffs IA it's a different story, you also need to take a state board exam and a practical exam (if I recall, never needed licensure in IA). Best bet is to make sure you check what you need to be a licenced (or whatever term your state uses) Vet tech before applying to colleges or signing up for classes online.

Additionally, diffferences in what Technicians can do over Assistants varies from state to state, as can what a technician is allowed to do. In some states Technicians are allowed to extract teeth, other states say no, other states have stipulations on at what point a technician needs a DVM to do an extraction. In South Dakota techs can perform some surgeries. Technicians are allowed to induce anesthesia, assistants can not. Techs can perform Venipuncture and take/develop radiographs, assistants CAN but only if they have taken the courses needed to be certified and recieve a state monitored badge.

I can't say what the specific differences are between Assistant and Technician in Louisana, because I've never been there. I'm certain of one thing tho, the boundary between tech and assistant is being put there by the law not the doctors, because the doctors themselves don't really have much say in how the laws are made...at least not any more so than the other voters in Louisana.

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Andrea in Los Alamitos, California

73 months ago

Martha in Shreveport, Louisiana said: Is it true that a vet assistant can't no longer take the exam no matter how long they been in the field. The person must attend college. Can they still perform the things the veterinary technician do? Lately Most veterinary practice i know are rearrange some things. It seems like the doctors are starting to put a boundary between the 2 and the different states. As time go by The assistant assist the Vet and the technician. They can't do the things a Vet tech do. Even the salarys between the 2 are changing. They are not making the same. Vet tech salary are slowly going up in louisiana the starting pay is 12.00-14.00. It like things are starting to look in the vet tech favor as time passes. The kennel worker cleans cages, feed, and walk the dog. It seems like things are starting to run like a hospital. Doctors, Nurse, LPN, and Nurse assistant. Doctors are looking for (RVT, LVT, CVT.) I was going to take a vet assist class. Would this do me any good? Should i go for Vet Tech? Someone told me they do the same thing. In my eyes the four clinic i attended it wasn't. How about your clinic and state? I do support people being licensed. I recently graduated in LPN year ago. Animals is what i perfer no matter how the pay look.

Out in California there is a complete difference between the two....the assistants are definately NOT allowed to do an exam on a pet and it is preferred that you are an RVT. Out here going to tech school is a major plus especially for the Advanced critical care hospitals...im just a tech because it was on the job training and with 3 years experience and just now starting to go to school..i got a new job starting at $18 an hour which is really good without a degree...

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LINDS in Carbondale, Illinois

71 months ago

Are vet techs and vet assis the same? And do vet techs take a board or do they just get a diploma?

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lvt in Seattle, Washington

71 months ago

Hi Martha! I would look into your state laws...sometimes a tech can "grandfather" in and take board exams. Here in our state it USED to be that you could do that if you had at least 7 years of experience. I am not sure if that has changed recently.

I would skip "assistant" classes--you could get that as OTJ training--most accredited programs require that you have some hospital experience under your belt anyway to be accepted. This might be vague (and maybe incorrect) but i think the differences between LVT and assistant with vet assistant schooling might be like LPN to RN, etc. When people ask what I do, they seem to be able to wrap their head around "RN for the veterinarian"....

To answer the other question about techs/assistants to LINDS: To get your license you must graduate from an accredited school and sit for boards..techs are usually licensed--but ya get a diploma too. lol! :)

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lvt in Seattle, Washington

71 months ago

lvt in Seattle, Washington said: Hi Martha! I would look into your state laws...sometimes a tech can "grandfather" in and take board exams. Here in our state it USED to be that you could do that if you had at least 7 years of experience. I am not sure if that has changed recently.

I would skip "assistant" classes--you could get that as OTJ training--most accredited programs require that you have some hospital experience under your belt anyway to be accepted. This might be vague (and maybe incorrect) but i think the differences between LVT and assistant with vet assistant schooling might be like LPN to RN, etc. When people ask what I do, they seem to be able to wrap their head around "RN for the veterinarian"....

To answer the other question about techs/assistants to LINDS: To get your license you must graduate from an accredited school and sit for boards..techs are usually licensed--but ya get a diploma too. lol! :)

YIKES YIKES:::: Correcting my original post, so I don't offend anyone----- when I say like RN for Vet, I am in NO way implying that I AM an RN, nor would I call myself an RN--totally different schooling, different patients!! just that our in hospital duties can be very similar such as patient care-education/sx duties/anes/radiology/lab etc. So please don't flame me!!! in no way ment disrespect for RN's....

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Athena in Concord, California

70 months ago

It really depends on your state. I think you should go to school and take the test if you want to remain in this field. There are so many more opportunities for licensed techs. The way the laws are going it's possible the non licensed techs wont be able to do much in the future.

In cali the main difference from a RVT and a non licensed assistant are these:

RVTs CAN:

Induce anesthesia
Perform extractions
Apply splints and casts
Can operate radiography machines with indirect supervision from a DVM
Suture wounds

RVTs CANT

Make an inscion
Prescribe medication
Diagnose
Give prognosis

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Natasha in Fontana, California

70 months ago

I just received a call back from a vet tech position. The thing is I have NO EXPERIENCE with animals BUT I have couple years working as a certified nurse assistant in a hospital. The recruiter called me back and I hope I get the job. I did read another job post in Pasadena california stating start pay for a non license vet tech -$14-17hr and licensed @ $17-21hr.

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Vet tech Woman/Hospital manager in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

70 months ago

Vet assistant classes are useless. take vet tech classes if your state requers employees to be linscenced.

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curiousashell in Sanford, North Carolina

67 months ago

ok so what if i went to school to bet a vet tech, could i got back to school to become a vet? meaning its not like i need to do the 4 year college with a major in pre vet or do i?

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jen in Tacoma, Washington

67 months ago

here in WA state--none of the credits transfer, you have to start over in pre-vet. You would have to check with your schools though--in your state.

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solace88 in Redlands, California

62 months ago

Hi, I am deciding to go to school. I was thinking Vet Tech, but What are the requirements of an RVT? I haven't heard much about that. I am currently working in vet hospital I have been there for 5 months. I started from scratch.(Kennels) But I got moved to Tech Assistant last week. But I feel like I am still doing all the Kenneling chores.
What would be the better choice. Vet Tech or RVT?

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nfrazier63 in Lenoir, North Carolina

62 months ago

Definately, get an RVT degree; most will agree w/ me. Or depending on your state, it could be LVT or CVT, but make sure you get the degree. This enables you to be able to sit for both the state & the national boards, both of which you must pass, in order to call yourself an RVT {CVT, LVT} The only difference between the acronyms is what they stand for: RVT stands 4 Registered Veterinary Technician, CVT
stands 4 Certified Veterinary Technician, and LVT stands for Licensed Veterinary Technician. At one time, I held both an RVT and a CVT degree {differing states} in TX, I could spay/neuter dogs/cats, declaw cats, perform dentals, etc. However, in NC, all I was allowed to do was start IV's, withdraw blood, things like that; I could also perform the standard bloodwork. Hope this helps you some.

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solace88 in Redlands, California

62 months ago

That does help Thank you :)

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CVT06 in Chandler, Arizona

62 months ago

nfrazier63 in Lenoir, North Carolina said: Definately, get an RVT degree; most will agree w/ me. Or depending on your state, it could be LVT or CVT, but make sure you get the degree. This enables you to be able to sit for both the state & the national boards, both of which you must pass, in order to call yourself an RVT {CVT, LVT} The only difference between the acronyms is what they stand for: RVT stands 4 Registered Veterinary Technician, CVT
stands 4 Certified Veterinary Technician, and LVT stands for Licensed Veterinary Technician. At one time, I held both an RVT and a CVT degree {differing states} in TX, I could spay/neuter dogs/cats, declaw cats, perform dentals, etc. However, in NC, all I was allowed to do was start IV's, withdraw blood, things like that; I could also perform the standard bloodwork. Hope this helps you some.

First of all, RVT, CVT and LVT are not degrees. Once you graduate from a 2 year program you are then eligible to sit for the state and national exams. Once you pass the exams, then you are given the title of RVT, CVT or LVT - depending on the state.

If I may ask, how were you allowed to perform spays, neuters and declaws when a veterinarian is the only one legally able to do so? I am just curious.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

62 months ago

I can promise you that an RVT has NEVER been able to legally spay, neuter, declaw in Texas. This is the case in all states as surgery constitutes the the practice of veterinary medicine and is only allowed to be performed by a licensed veterinarian.

Unfortunately, there are lots and lots of misconceptions and blatant information about this profession all over the US and the laws governing the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology are not covered extensively during on-the-job training or a formal education. Most states give you a list of statutes/rules to familiarize yourself with prior to taking the state jurisprudence exam and leave it at that.

Cindy D., RVT
President-Elect
Texas Association of Registered Veterinary Technicians

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

62 months ago

Martha,
In most states you can no longer take the National Veterinary Technician Exam without having attended an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program. There are a few states that still allow grandfathering, but that number is dwindling and will be zero by 2010 when the owners of the NVTE will no longer allow people to take the exam without a degree in veterinary technology.

In Louisiana, a person must be a graduate of an AVMA accredited program to sit for the NVTE and be registered by the state as a veterinary technician. It is illegal to represent yourself as a trained or registered veterinary technician in LA unless you are an RVT. www.lsbvm.org/app_veterinary_technicians.htm

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EJ in Houston, Texas

57 months ago

CindyRVT:
Hi there! I have been a vet assistant in both CA & TX for the past 11 years, am now (finally!) looking into studying for RVT... I have to continue to work full time, so it would have to be a short -if poss- online course - can you assist/suggest?
Though technically an assistant, I have been doing everything that RVT's do for many years.. can you also tell me the difference (if any) between LVT, RVT, CVT in TX?
Thanks in advance :)

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

57 months ago

EJ,
There are simply no short-courses that you can do in order to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam or the state board exam in Texas. This state requires that you have a 2 year degree in veterinary technology from an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program. There are multiple programs available in Texas and online that are AVMA accredited. There is even a program there in Houston.
Programs in Texas: www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_programs/texas.asp
Distance Education Programs: www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_distance_learning.asp

The Texas Veterinary Medical Association registers veterinary technicians in Texas. Technicians are not licensed or certified in this state. However, TVMA and TARVT are interested in changing the laws to require licensure for veterinary technicians in this state. This would likely mean a change in the title you could use and what you could legally do. The difference is that registration is generally (there are a few states that mix the terms) just a keeping of a list of people who have met certain qualifications and doesn't restrict a title or procedures legally while licensure is the express permission from a legal authority for a certain individual to perform tasks that non-licensed individuals may not. For example, having a driver's license gives you the right to drive on public roads and those who don't have a license aren't legally allowed to.

There are already portions of the veterinary practice act in Texas that limit what an assistant can and can't do and what supervision is necessary, so you should take the time to look into it to ensure that you aren't doing something that could lead to trouble for you or your employer. And understand that if licensure of technicians is enacted this will likely become more restricted.

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Thanks4nthn in Scottsdale, Arizona

52 months ago

OK, this whole thing is annoying me!!! I have been in this field since 1988. I started as kennel person in Los Angeles and worked my way up. I have 13 strong years in the GP field and 10 years in the specialty field. I was always told by my superiors in CA to not even bother with getting a certification because they weren't going to pay me a higher wage and that it really wasn't a requirement. I have been performing xrays, dentals, labwork, surgical assisting, running anesthesia, client education, filling rx's, post op patient care etc for 21 years! I was never judged because I didn't have a cert. I was always appreciated and utilized for my skill. When I got to AZ it was a whole different story. I was treated like crap in the first practice I worked in just because I wasn't certified, like I was some lower life form. It was ridiculous. Well, I have seen some pretty well educated CVT's that couldn't draw blood to save their lives and treated patients like they were punching bags. Anyway, I am learning that after this year, if I don't pass the test I will no longer be able to sit for it without a 2 year degree and that all of my 21 years will go down the toilet because I made a personal choice not to go to school. I find it downright depressing. I also have a little bit of anger for those in my past whom told me not to bother with furthering my education in the field. The bottom line is that if I don't pass this test this year, which by the way contains so many questions pertaining to large animal, a field I never worked in, basically I will be reduced to being a cage cleaner and janitor. That's just fine, folks! No matter what, they still can't take away my 21 years in the biz. Oh, and a few words to those out there whom are certified, don't treat your non CVT's like crap, they may actually pick up after your mistakes once in a while. I think we all have something to offer in this field.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

You are unfortunate that you worked for people that you let guide you into not getting an education. But truthfully, you have to carry some of the blame yourself because you knew it was available and didn't think it was worthwhile just because you wouldn't get a higher wage.

I started in this field in 1988 as well as an on-the-job trained veterinary assistant. But I still chose to get an education when I learned that it was available 3 years later even though the cost of getting an education and working my hours at the clinic around school were going to make it extremely hard. And while most people may think that lots of years on the job means that you are going to be well-educated in the field, I can tell you that there is lots that I wouldn't have learned on-the-job in 20 years and I'm lucky to have had a formal education that required a broad base of knowledge.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

Sorry, got interrupted during my last post.

I didn't expect to get higher wages either when I started school because credentialing wasn't required to work as a veterinary technician and still isn't in this state.

So while it's sad that your previous employers discouraged you from seeking an education, it's really not something that you can completely blame on them. And the end of the opportunity to grand-father in and take the VTNE has been known about for a couple of years now as well. So remember that it is all of your choices in the end that have left you in this position. I've known lots of people who earned their degree more than 25 years ago knowing full well that it wouldn't earn them more pay or more recognition because it wasn't required. We all have to take responsibility for our own choices.

And not being credentialed doesn't mean that you will be left as a "cage cleaner and janitor", it just means that your duties may be limited somewhat or that you may not be able to perform certain tasks with as little supervision as you would if you were credentialled. You may also be required to stop using the title "veterinary technician". But all of those things are dependant on the state laws where you are.

Don't be so disheartened. It's not going to put you out of a job or make your years of experience useless. It just means that you may have to stop cringing and actually take the time to get a degree if using the title and performing certain duties means so much to you.

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chibaby in Chardon, Ohio

52 months ago

This is sort of off the subject, but thought this would be the place to ask.
I have recently taken and passed the VTNE in WA state. I am what is considered "grand-fathered" in and took advantage of this limited opportunity. I now am in OH though, and transfered the scores but am wondering if because I was granfathered in, will I still be able to hold a license in OH because they require a 2 year program. I have looked all over their website and can find no answer. I am also waiting to hear from them after AAVSB tranfered the scores. Also, since WA is LVT and OH is RVT, which would I be considered? Is it where you first passed test and or just dependant on which state you are in at the time? Any help would be much appreciated!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

Whether or not you can be credentialed in OH is going to depend strictly on their regulations and the interpretation of those regulations by the credentialing board in Ohio. In some states they will allow you to hold credentials if you have passed the VTNE without having a degree in veterinary technology and in others they will not. Based upon the wording on the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board's website, I would be inclined to believe that they will not accept you application because they state that you "must" be a graduate of an AVMA accredited program in veterinary technology. This is listed as a requirement in the state's administrative code which means that they have much less chance of accepting an application from someone who hasn't graduated from an approved program than a state who's veterinary technicians are certified or licensed by a non-governmental agency and sets it's own guidelines.

As for your title, online it would be appropriate to list both LVT and RVT with a notation as to which states those credentials are carried in. But in a practical setting, you would need to use only the title that you carry in the state you are in.

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lilly in Glendale, Arizona

48 months ago

I agree with thanks4nthg in scottsdale. Just because you pass the test and get your title does not make you a good technician. This only comes from years of experience and no amount of books can teach you common sense or instinct. Learning some of those tasks and mastering them is what experience gives you. So good luck to all of these newbys who think that getting a degree with a title is going to be enough. Yes change is good but we should all stick together and not degrade each other. No one is better than anyone else. Let us oldies teach you newby's what you can't find in your text books A life time of experience!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

48 months ago

Just because you have years of experience also doesn't mean you are going to be better at the position either. I had years of experience when I started vet tech school many moons ago now and it was simply amazing what all there was to learn and how much a good solid background in classes like physiology, anatomy and pharmacology could change how you looked at every patient and treatment protocol. It definitely takes both---a good education and lots of hands on experience. And those who want to remain good at the job never stop learning or questioning.

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LoriDVM in Glendale, Arizona

48 months ago

I just have to comment. We have certified techs and non certified/registered vet techs that work for us and must say that they are all amazing. Schooling provides for more of the "why we do things" and clinic time provides for the "how we do things". School is never wrong because education is always a benefit and there is always more to be learned. But, I don't think school should be required to take the exam. I think clinical hours are the most important and enjoy teaching our new hires. I am conducting a survey (takes less than 1 minute) about the studying methods for the vet tech exam (whether you have taken it or not) if you would mind taking it really quick. Thanks to all vet techs/assistants registered or not! Lori Click here or paste to browser PLEASE! :o) www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22AYLVBQ9MK

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

48 months ago

After the end of this year, the VTNE won't be open to anyone who hasn't earned a degree in veterinary technology from an AVMA accredited program.

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KAT the Dog Lover in Long Beach, California

48 months ago

Cindy, can you explain how that will affect current OTJ/non-credentialed "techs" going forward? Will non-credentialed yet experienced "techs" still be employable?

Also, if non-credentialed OTJ-trained veterinary technicians are not allowed to be called "techs" then what is the proper title for them? There has been much "discussion" about this issue. Thanks!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

48 months ago

It's not going to affect whether or not these people can work, what it is going to affect is who can sit for the credentialling exams and thus who can be termed a "veterinary technician" or perform certain tasks depending on the regulations in the state that they are in.

In most states there are statutes or codes that restrict the use of the title of "veterinary technician" or any other term that would imply that they are veterinary technicians only to those who have met the state's requirements for credentialing. For example, in CA the term is restricted to those who have passed the state's required credentialing exams. All other hospital staff are "unlicensed assistants". In any state where licensure of veterinary technicians is required, this is the case. There are still a few states where the term "veterinary technician" is not protected by law, but they are getting to be fewer and fewer.

The AVMA lists the correct terminology for anyone assisting a veterinary technician or veterinarian who is not a credentialed veterinary technician as "veterinary assistant".

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Lindsay in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis

45 months ago

Does anyone have a list of which states require licensing and which don't? I can't seem to find this online.

BTW - anyone that is wondering about TX I can tell you from personal experience getting a degree is not legally required, and most clinics will not pay more for it. That might change at some point, but I think rural places like TX will take a long time before they change. There are just too many vet clinics and too many unlicensed techs. I've worked in 7 different clinics over the years, from high-end to "small-town" to shelter medicine to emergency clinics. In all of those practices I met a total of 2 licensed techs, and they both made less than me because of my experience level. Not saying you shouldn't get a degree, but TX is one place where you can go and not worry about it for awhile.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

45 months ago

Actually, Texas is not one place where you can go and not worry about it for awhile. The Texas Veterinary Medical Association is eager to move forward with licensure for veterinary technicians and so is much of the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. I have been having meetings with representatives from both groups for more than a year now. I am also on the Technician Oversight Committee and a member of TVMA's task force on licensure for veterinary technicians. It is quite likely that licensure for veterinary technicians will become fact for veterinary technicians in Texas in the near future.

And even in Texas you can get a higher pay rate with the degree than without in rural or urban areas. I got a much higher starting salary at my rural practice just because I was an RVT than if I had not been. And I know more than 1 clinic in my very rural area that focuses on hiring RVTs and even helps to get their staff who are not registered to get their degree. I also got a higher pay rate when I worked in the DFW area because I was an RVT. And I see this trend when talking to TARVTs membership and when talking to veterinarians at the major conferences here in the state.

As for what states require licensure, I will have to spend a little time getting you a list together but it's well over 1/2 of the states in the US.

Cindy Dittmar, RVT
President, Texas Assoc. of Registered Veterinary Technicians
www.tarvt.org
cindyd@tarvt.org

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hopeful in San Antonio, Texas

42 months ago

do you know if a person with a felony drug charge {TX} will be certifiable?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

42 months ago

You would have to fill out your applications and write an explanation of what the felony charge was and then this would be brought before the Technician Oversight Committee for review of the specifics of the case. We would then look at the details and vote on the action to take, but in most cases a drug charge is going to lead to us voting against registering you because of te controlled substances that are used daily in a veterinary facility.

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NewRVT in Tiffin, Ohio

42 months ago

This is a hot topic with me. I graduated with a degree in Veterinary Technology last June and passed the VTNE in July. As a result, I am a Registered Veterinary Technician and proud of it. I in no way think I am "better than" anyone and do not want to put anyone down, but I feel VERY strongly that clinics that employ personnel that are not licensed and allow them to work as a Veterinary Technician, are very unethical. Especially since in the state I live in it is illegal. I believe it is disrespectful to their patients, their clients who are trusting them with their pets (especially since most people feel their pets are their family), and it is extremely disrespectful to their licensed Vet Techs. It's like saying "so what, you spent 2 years of your life and several thousand dollars doing things the right way, we don't care."

Experience is a great teacher but you need the book knowledge to go along with it. What those of you that have been working as a Vet Tech for years without being licensed don't seem to think about is, you gained your "experience" on other people's animals. I personally wouldn't want someone "practicing" on my dogs, especially if they have had no formal training, just like I wouldn't want someone practicing on my daughter, or even myself. Also, is it fair when there are options out there to become licensed to let some work without it, and be able to do all the same things a Tech can do, while others had to spend a LOT of money and time to get their license? I don't think so. I did things the right way because it was the right thing to do, and it meant a lot to me. So, why should someone else be allowed to practice unlicensed just because they've done it for 20 years? It's still not legal. When Veterinarians allow that it's basically a slap in the face to those of us who made sacrifices to get our license, it's like saying it doesn't mean anything to them, doesn't make you feel very valued. Just something to think about.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

42 months ago

As a licensed person, you are obligated to report these unlicensed individuals who are practicing as veterinary technicians.

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NewRVT in Tiffin, Ohio

42 months ago

Cindy, my post was mainly in response to a couple of people that had posted earlier and mentioned that they had been practicing as a Tech for 20 years but actually weren't licensed. As I look back at their posts they probably won't even read my post because it's been awhile ago since they commented, but I do feel very strongly about this subject so when I read this I felt like I had to say something.

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roxydotspot in Redmond, Washington

41 months ago

Im not sure if anyone has posted this yet, I stopped reading half way . Anyways, the law in Wa as of this last year is that you can grandfather in until _ _ of 2015! I have my certificate as an assistant. I agree with most people that say go for you tech license. Im treated like I have no education and I payed ten thousand for the course. Now im sick of being the Janitor and being unable to further my skills, so im trying to decide if im going back to school and paying another ten grand to get my tech lic. or if I should just wait another 2 years and get grandfathered in and take the test. From what I hear the test is alot of large animal, which i don't know a whole lot about. There for I think I need the classes. If I was good at teaching myself then maybe I would just wait the 2 years, but i will need the help of a techer and my peers to do well.

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roxydotspot in Redmond, Washington

41 months ago

BTW I'm aware I can't spell. Therefore? paid, teacher....

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

41 months ago

There is large animal stuff on the test and I'm betting alot more that you have not and will not learn in 2 years on-the-job training.

Where in the world did you pay $10k for a CVA program???? Wow, you can get your degree in veterinary technology for less than that!

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Lindsay in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis

41 months ago

The CVA program in Austin TX (where I live) costs about $13K.

To assume there is no way she could have learned as much on the job as needed to pass the test is silly - its the whole reason they have the "grandfather" rule - because it is very possible to learn "on the job" as it is to learn in school.

Of course there are some things you will learn in school that you won't learn on the job, but that is very true vice versa.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

41 months ago

I am assuming you are not talking about the CVA program through TVMA which I know doesn't cost $13K. (It's around $1675 for TVMA members to purchase all 3 levels and take the tests and $2400 for non-TVMA members.) And if there is one in Texas that is charging that much they are robbing people blind as it's not a college degree program and you can get your AS in veterinary technology for much less than that.

The number of people who work in this field for a year or two and can pass the VTNE is slim to none. On-the-job training is simply not that well-rounded or in-depth and the VTNE is that varied and in-depth. I've worked in this field too many years, taught people on the job and worked with many OTJ trained individuals and know this to be the case. The percentage of on-the-job trained individuals who could pass the VTNE is small. We just surveyed RVTs in Texas about this sort of thing and 70% said that their non-credentialed co-workers didn't have the skills/knowledge that they do.

The reason that they have the grandfather rule is simple politics. It would land the legislative governement of a state in hot water if they suddenly required licensure and a degree when the vast majority of people working in a position did not meet the requirements. So, they offer the opportunity to try to pass the exams and credential those who do for a few years time to allow for a more gradual transition into the requirements.

Cindy Dittmar, RVT
President, Texas Assoc. of Registered Veterinary Technicians
20+ years experience
member TVMA's CVA subcommittee
member TVMA's Technician Oversight Committee
member TVMA's RVT Licensure Task Force

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roxydotspot in Redmond, Washington

41 months ago

Im talking about PIMA medical institute in north seattle, which is in Washington. When I attended in 2007 it was ten thousand for the vet assistant program. By now I am sure it is a lot more. I have only been in the feild for three years post program and I would'nt attempt to take the VTNE. If i did choose to take the test and not return to school I would need five years experience total and I already have three. I'm pretty sure the rest of the program is 10k plus. Which I agree with Cindy, I felt like I got robed for the first half of the program. I don't want to waste my time and money again, but my only other options thats even close to my house is peirce college, all though an hour drive there and back is not a realistic option for me.

Cindy because you have 20 some years experience can I ask if you know anything about the online courses, like Penn Foster program? Ive heard that any online programs are a rip off. Also, I really want to work with animals and alternative therapy's like hydrotherapy, do you know much about training or schooling? If so do you need a to be a LVT? Ive been trying to find more information on this kind of thing and I found one school but by looking at the web site I wasn't able to find the answers to my questions. Its very possible I just missed it but If you know more info or where I can find some good information would you please let me know? Thanks!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

41 months ago

Oh wow! Pima was counting on people not knowing the difference just like so many schools that offer veterinary assisting programs. You can earn a degree in veterinary technology for less than $10k and since most states require licensure to be a vet tech that degree is more valuable in the real world than any veterinary assistant certification program.

There are lots of online programs that are rip offs, but the AVMA accredited programs are not. The AVMA does detailed scrutinization of the programs that they accredited to ensure that they are providing a quality education that fills the needs of people going into veterinary technology. They also require that the whole program isn't online courses-many hours of hands-on clinic experience is required in order finish an AVMA degree program. The AVMA also evaluates the schools based upon the passing rates for their students taking the VTNE. If a school doesn't turnout students that pass, they don't get accredited or loose their accredidation if their rates change after they gain initial accredidation. Penn Foster wouldn't be my first choice just because I've heard too many bad reviews by their students, but there are plenty of other options. San Juan College in New Mexico offers a good program at a very reasonable price---less than $100 a credit hour for out of state tuition. Cedar Valley College is another program that I'm comfortable recommending though their tuition rates are higher than San Juan.

The alternative therapies must still be performed under the direction of a licensed veterinarian. Typically if you want to get certified in rehabilitation (hydrotherapy is a part of this) then you need to be credentialed as a veterinary technician. This will become especially important as rehab is very likely to become an approved veterinary technician specialty and those require that you be a credentialed veterinary technician to sit for the board exams.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

41 months ago

You also need to consider that unless you find a clinic that does nothing but rehab (not very many of those around) you are going to be doing other duties and being a licensed veterinary technician is going to be beneficial in that instance.

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roxydotspot in Redmond, Washington

41 months ago

True, I figured it would be. More knowledge and skills, which is never a bad things. I now thats probably why I can find much. There is a spa near where I live, Im thinking I should see if someone there wouldnt mind answering some questions for me. Thats why im hesitant in making a decision.I know there is not a lot of work available for alternative type therapies, clients can barley afford a $42.00 office call where Im working. From what I've read most people open up there own spa, which im not looking to do. Anyways, thanks for you input.

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roxydotspot in Redmond, Washington

41 months ago

Thanks, I appreciate all you knowledge! I guess now I just need to decide on a school, I was so close to meeting with Dr. Mayer at Pima to try and get accepted into the program. Now Im not sure. I figured I would just make it easy and go back to pima because I would just pick up where I left off, I think I would have like 14 months left. Im going to look into the schools you had mentioned. Thanks again!!!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

41 months ago

If you can finish a degree in veterinary technology through Pima in 14 months, check into it before you just start all over again.

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