What are the CONS of being a vet tech?

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kristin in Gilbert, Arizona

81 months ago

i am currently going to kaplan college, which is an accredited school by the AVMA. its an associates degree as a vet tech. i know there are campuses all over the US and i wanted to go there because it is at an actual campus and pretty hands on. i am going to be dissecting a sheep's eyeball tonight! haha. its a 2 1/2 yr program because i take night classes and its year round! which is tough balancing the course load and full time work. but ive heard good things from graduates and they also help with studying for the CVT test and help find you jobs. im only 8 months in and its definately not easy but im excited to get into the field.
unfortunately ive been hearing that many clinics are feeling the pinch from the economy and are laying people off. so i am waiting until my externship next june or so to hopefully get my foot into a clinic and the job market is a lil better by then.

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sarah in Troy, Ohio

65 months ago

truthfully, if i had to do it over again, i would put a lot more thought into the career before i chose it. i love the work itself: i've always loved animals, and i find the medical aspect fascinating, but i don't know if it's worth the stress.... or the part where you're constantly overworked and EXTREMELY underpaid. (look at the salary for the human equivalent RN degree... you would expect to make twice as much with it).

so, i guess i'd say get a job as a kennel attendant or assistant for a while if you can. while you're there, pay attention to the little things: do you see the technicians frequently asked to juggle multiple tasks? do there seem to be enough staff for all the work that has to be done? are techs frequently stuck standing around waiting because there is no one available to help restrain a patient, draw a blood sample, etc? how stressed do the technicians seem on an average day? how late are technicians stuck at the clinic each night after closing? (both clinics i've worked @ so far, techs are usually stuck there for at least an hour after closing doing end-of-day procedures, cleaning, etc.) how long are working shifts? are staff members frequently being forced to not take lunch breaks bc there is too much work to be done and not enough people to cover it?

make a list of things that are important to you in any job situation and pay attention to those as well. (ex: if you enjoy teamwork, is the clinic environment one that seems to promote that?)

obviously don't completely base your career decision on what you see at one specific clinic, but try and learn what things are common throughout the field (understaffed clinics, long hours, high stress levels, etc.).

if you still like what you see after having assessed the field, then by all means, go for it! =)

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ottertot in Wichita, Kansas

63 months ago

POOL_GODDESS in Scottsdale, Arizona said: I'm studying to become a Vet Tech with Penn Foster college. It's a self paced online course, they send you the books & homework/exams in the mail. They are full accredited with go through the AVA - Anerican Veterinary Association.

The reason why I want to work with animals is because they agreeable patients & the give no critisim. Unlike people & human patients, you can hear them grumble, complain... but not animals. The only thing you'd deal with is caring & concerned owners who treat their pets as family members.

They are only agreeable because they can't speak english. Are you thinking about how the animals feel?

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isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota

63 months ago

check out vet technical institute in florida

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

63 months ago

The reason that there are different types of credentials for veterinary technicians is because each state sets it's own laws governing the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology. So in some states you may see LVTs while in others you may see RVTs or CVTs. All 3 types of credentials generally require that the person have a 2 year degree in veterinary technology from an AVMA accredited school though there are a few states that have approved programs at colleges that aren't AVMA accredited.

Licensure refers to a legal right to do something that is granted by a governing body. Just like a license to practice medicine or drive a car. It means that without having earned that license, it is illegal for you to perform certain actions. Registeration refers to keeping lists of people who have achieved set requirements. It doesn't necessarily imply a legal right to perform tasks/duties that others may not but it does in certain states. Registration may be granted by a governing or professional body. Certification is generally granted by a group other than a governing body. It doesn't imply a legal right to perform certain duties and is generally a voluntary achievement. It is often offered by an educational entity or in the case of veterinary technicians by a professional organization.

Don't be fooled though, some states don't use the credentials in these standard ways and call a technician registered or certified when it boils down to the same thing as being licensed. Meaning that the use of the title "veterinary technician" is still restricted to credentialed vet techs only and there are tasks that may only be performed by a credentialed vet tech.

It is a good idea to go ahead and take a job at a veterinary hospital before you enroll in a vet tech program. In general it is just a good way to really see what the profession is like before you put time and money into a degree and then find out that you don't like it.

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Sarah in West Salem, Ohio

62 months ago

Tiffany said: I've been reading everyones comments I've been trying to decide weither to go to school to be a vet tech or just start out as an assistant but my question is what is the difference between a licensed vet tech and a registered vet tech (obviously the license and being registered) but is the registered where you go to school for 4 years? And the license vet tech the 2 year program? I am also looking into going to st pete community (in florida) any reviews on the program and school? Thanks guys!

Basic differences:
1) a person who works in a veterinary office w/ no education is considered a vet assistant (You can get a certificate from some online schools for this, but honestly don't waste your money, as most places would rather just train you on the job for this)

2) a person with a 2 year degree in veterinary technology from an **AVMA accredited** school is called a veterinary technician. having this degree allows you to sit for the VTNE (veterinary technician national exam). upon passing this exam, and fulfilling other requirements as designated by the state in which you plan to work, you can apply to receive credentials (RVT, LVT, or CVT) in your state.

3) a person who completes a 4 year degree in veterinary technology is considered a veterinary technologist. not every school that offers 2 year degrees will offer a 4 year degree, but for the ones that do, it's typically a 2+2 program, meaning that you will complete the 2yrs toward an associate's degree, and then take 2 more years of classes to expand upon your animal health knowledge. people who receive this degree from an **AVMA accredited** school are also elidgeable to sit for the VTNE.

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tburris in Odessa, Florida

62 months ago

I worked in the Veterinary Field an entire 3 years! LOL! Yeah, I made it for 3 years. It was awesome learning all that I did, but I'll tell you now that I have never known a more self-righteous, hypocritical, snobby bunch of people as I did working in the Veterinary Field. Good luck to you.

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chickenfried in Tampa, Florida

62 months ago

the burnout rate for this field is alarmingly early and high. i wonder if there is anyway we can form union? i think that might solve the poor treatment/pay/benefits for all the hardworking techs out there who deserve better. anyone know how to go about doing that?

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Nicole in Brooklyn, New York

61 months ago

I was very passionate about becoming a vet tech 10 years ago. I went to veterinary nursing school and was the top of my class, loved it and passed my licensing exam with a high score. I have tried every type of small animal practice and have excelled in dentistry, emergency and critical care and even got promoted to be practice manager. All I can say is that I am indescribably disappointed in my career choice. Since there are no unions, vet techs are almost always exploited because they care so much about pets. They are underpaid, underappreciated, often work many hours with little compensation for their hard work. Vet techs are very frequently exposed to many job hazards (many illegal)without protection because employers prey on your willingness to be self-sacrificing because of your passion for love of animals and medicine. I always knew it would not be a high paying career but I’ve seen so many fellow vet techs get screwed over by hospitals (e.g. job related injuries) because there are no unions. I’ve had many jobs in both large and small hospitals in 3 states and it’s the same everywhere and the best technicians usually leave the field after working in it for about 4-5 years due to burn out and frustration. I wish that I could still love my career, but employers don’t take this career seriously. I strongly discourage anyone from entering this field until unions organize and develop into something similar to nurses unions in human hospitals today. Like many others, I have given up and plan to leave the field, because I too can no longer stand the exploitation.

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X in Alhambra, California

60 months ago

Wow! u are dead on. that's exactly the way this field is. Go all the way to D.V.M. IT'S NOT worth the risk of injury to your body and the compromise your health( x ray gloves impossible to use functionally %99 of time) for a career (if u can call it one) that barely pays the bills. its not IF you'll get hurt, its When! i speak from experience.

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CHADAMAYADA in Shreveport, Louisiana

60 months ago

OH MY GOSH, DID YOU GET GLOVES FOR X-RAYS....LOOK IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE CLINIC YOU WORK FOR. I DID NOT KNOW THIS TIL RECENTLY. IT REALLY IS ALL ABOUT THE ANIMALS...PAY SUCKS, BUT CLIENT EDUCATION RULES

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dachshund lover in Sugar Land, Texas

59 months ago

Susan in St. Pete. I realize that your post is many months old, but have you tried contacting Dr. Mark Brown DVM in St. Pete. He has two practices in the city and has been practicing in town for quite a number of years. I have also been looking at the St. Pete program but from a distance learning perspective. Did you start the Vet Tech program?

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Manxkats in Mantua, New Jersey

58 months ago

This is the best job in the world, for me. There lies the difference. You are either a "lifer" or this is your job. Yes it is a hard job. Sometimes a very hard job but for all the various reasons listed in all the above posts. Started work as someone with no experience at all and have had jobs in several hospitals over the last 12 years (only 2 bites, both from cats). Some were terrific and others not so much. I have worked in Emergency hospitals and in Regular practice. I do not neccessarily need my techs to be certified because I would hire someone with real experience over education and do not have a problem hiring with no experience because I can teach you what you need to know. It is the best job if it is right for you. More often than not I can't believe I get paid to do my job.

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sb in Tulsa, Oklahoma

56 months ago

Nicole in Brooklyn, New York said: I was very passionate about becoming a vet tech 10 years ago. I went to veterinary nursing school and was the top of my class, loved it and passed my licensing exam with a high score. I have tried every type of small animal practice and have excelled in dentistry, emergency and critical care and even got promoted to be practice manager. All I can say is that I am indescribably disappointed in my career choice. Since there are no unions, vet techs are almost always exploited because they care so much about pets. They are underpaid, underappreciated, often work many hours with little compensation for their hard work. Vet techs are very frequently exposed to many job hazards (many illegal)without protection because employers prey on your willingness to be self-sacrificing because of your passion for love of animals and medicine. I always knew it would not be a high paying career but I’ve seen so many fellow vet techs get screwed over by hospitals (e.g. job related injuries) because there are no unions. I’ve had many jobs in both large and small hospitals in 3 states and it’s the same everywhere and the best technicians usually leave the field after working in it for about 4-5 years due to burn out and frustration. I wish that I could still love my career, but employers don’t take this career seriously. I strongly discourage anyone from entering this field until unions organize and develop into something similar to nurses unions in human hospitals today. Like many others, I have given up and plan to leave the field, because I too can no longer stand the exploitation.

I am in high school still and I plan to be a vet in the future, but can you clarify to me what the union thing is all about???

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Matt in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

53 months ago

I found this article about the cons of being a vet tech: www.veterinary-technician.net/2010/06/15/the-cons-of-becoming-a-vet-tech/

It seems to be in line with what people are saying.

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Blair in Lafayette, Louisiana

52 months ago

I am about to graduate highschool. I am choosing from a RN or a vet tech. The real downer about being a vet tech is that they are so underpaid, but I love working with animals. Where do you know of where they are respected and get paid? Is that possible in louisiana since vet techs dont even have to get certified?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

52 months ago

Veterinary technicians in Lousiana do indeed get credentialed, licensed in fact.
www.lsbvm.org/app_veterinary_technicians.htm

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Jokey in Southfield, Michigan

51 months ago

I was doing better for a while, but finals are coming around and I feel crappy about it again. The standards are too high for a field where people are so under paid. I keep hearing from people telling me it's not worth it, because the vets are mean and stuff. I know that will be a problem, because I do not take to verbal abuse. We have way too heavy a class load too, for all we learn. I study more then people I know in nursing. It is hard, because I don't want to quit, before I give it my best shot, but I wish I had waited to see if I could have gotten into a different program. I hated being a Chef, but I was not sure about being a tech. My friends and family pushed me a lot, because "I love animals", but it turns out I don't like looking through a microscope three hours a day twice a week, or folding surgical packs. When I was younger, I was planning to be a vet, before I got engaged the first time and my life went to hell. I think I would have been a better vet, because my passions are structure, genetics, breeding for improvement, and nutrition. I have a feeling I will be disappointed when I graduate. It's hard too, because I love animals, but I am not one of those girls that kisses horses, or has romanticized views of rescuing every animal on earth. It screws me up, because most of the girls in the program are criers and huggers and lose it every time something dies. It's not that I don't feel bad, it's just that you can't save everything and you lose a lot of time, when you pine over stuff. I say if you can help the animal personally, good, foster it, keep it, or home it, but sobbing does nothing. I catch a lot of crap from having pure breds, from my peers, but I needed their solid structure for sport. There is a lot of personality conflict in vet tech, I think?

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Erica in Danville, California

50 months ago

Hello,
Different states have different laws, and California is one of the strictest. I just looked up AVMA approved schools, and Penn Foster is not on it (for California). (California also has one, if not the hardest RVT board exam). Before you choose your school, check with your states licensure board, and the AVMA. There is a place you can check for your state. Do not go off what the school is telling you, they want your money!
Good luck!

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Erica in Danville, California

50 months ago

Blair in Lafayette, Louisiana said: I am about to graduate highschool. I am choosing from a RN or a vet tech. The real downer about being a vet tech is that they are so underpaid, but I love working with animals. Where do you know of where they are respected and get paid? Is that possible in louisiana since vet techs dont even have to get certified?

Blair,
I love being a Tech, but I would have to say, go for the RN. You can always volunteer with animals. There is always a big need for volunteers at the shelters, you are so young, RN is a better choice in terms of a future, you will be able to support yourself better, and there is way more respect in it. Again, I love what I do, but as you have read above, there is a lot of crap that comes with it. If you are truly torn between the two, see if you can volunteer in both hospitals for a few days to see what you like more. Good luck!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

50 months ago

Erica in Danville, California said:
I just looked up AVMA approved schools, and Penn Foster is not on it (for California). (California also has one, if not the hardest RVT board exam). Before you choose your school, check with your states licensure board, and the AVMA. There is a place you can check for your state. Do not go off what the school is telling you, they want your money!
Good luck!

Penn Foster is accredited by the AVMA and an accredited school is not just good for people who live in that state. Someone in CA can get a degree from Penn Foster and sit for the credentialing exams in CA. CA accepts all AVMA accredited programs.

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Erica in Danville, California

50 months ago

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas said: Penn Foster is accredited by the AVMA and an accredited school is not just good for people who live in that state. Someone in CA can get a degree from Penn Foster and sit for the credentialing exams in CA. CA accepts all AVMA accredited programs.

I am sorry, you are totally correct. You can sit for the CA exam if you graduate from ANY AVMA accredited school.

Thank you for correcting me!

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xaniv in Rockaway Park, New York

50 months ago

Lauren in Joliet, Illinois said: I'm aware that the money isn't there, but that's not why people get into this business. Other than money, what are some of the cons of being a vet tech? Is the work physically draining? Will you burn out after only a few years? Do you get bit a lot? Do you clean up messes/fluids a lot? Are owners rude/disrespectful or hard to deal with?
I'm looking to change careers because I deal with a lot of corporate dissatisfaction right now and I'm wondering if there is just a different kind of hardship to deal with in this industry or not. Look forward to your feedback!

The easiest way for me to help is to describe my average workday/workweek and situation. I left a job @15/hr and no education requirements to get out of the office life 7yrs ago (2004). Began as an assistant @13, pt and going to tech school. At the end, elevated with license and specialty practice to 17 then 4months later to 19/hr. Where Ive stayed at until last year (2010) when I changed hospitals and now at 20/hr. Since Ive lived on my own and my family owns nothing, I put myself through school, albeit making bad financial decisions trying to survive (not buying prada). I now owe 30000 in credit debt from going to school and buying necessities (interest sucks). Since 2008 Ive worked two jobs/6 days a week. My current life is: Monday-Wed 9am-5pm. Thurs 9-4:30, second job till 12am. Fri 9am - 3pm, then 12am-9am (until january I went back to work sat from 4pm to 12am). My day job here is my essential duties: On my feet for 8 hrs, no lunch break, eat when I can/if I can.Begin the day with appointments, assisting in exam rooms, the same level of responsibility as the assistants, who are referred to as vet techs. In between appointments, I bring in the surgical cases for the day, read over their charts, figure out what is required for them medically, make sure their bloodwork is not only drawn but run and placed properly in the chart. As well,(see contd)

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xaniv in Rockaway Park, New York

50 months ago

as having 2-3 drs demand my attention for their appointments, by assisting in restraint or setting up lab neccessities. when the set surgeon is finished with appointments I must then set up for surgery, and hope not to be asked by 2-3 different vets if I wsa starting and to help them with something else. I knock down the patients and get them set up for their procedure if I have help or I restrain for a veterinarian. I then am solely responsible for proper charges and notes being put in the chart (the vet wont do it). If the drs draw blood, or draw meds that require logging - I am responsible. I am responsible for the patients recovery, the owners call for update/pickup, clean up of the surgery and patients. If I dont do all of this in a timely manner, I am scolded or at least nagged. This has been true of all the practices ive worked in (5). If I do my job well and finish by early afternoon (2p) and have no other responsibilites in surgery, and appointments are slow I am told to go home early without pay. If I wish to be able to stay I must do something such as wash the walls (I swear, no joke). My other responsiblities solely unto me are: surgery well stocked and cleaned (even if I wasn't the last to use it)equipment fully functional and put away correctly. If someone else assists the vet in knocking down the next surgery (because I am off waking another patient or was asked to do something else in the 5 min the surgeon was smoking) I am responsible for the charges and notes being written in the chart. There are times when I am not even able to monitor a patient and an unlicensed individual will go in to "watch" or no one at all. Good days are when I can sit down, and thats usually because I am performing a dentistry. Some ppl may like to be on their feet for 8-16hrs, but not me, my joints ache now. Ive rarely been actually bitten, but thats due to ability to read warning signs. Sometimes, however you are wrong. Thats only an added stress. (contd again)

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xaniv in Rockaway Park, New York

50 months ago

If I am not the one in surgery or was not there that day (because it is after my scheduled times) and it is left a mess, I am informed I did my job inproperly and am told to clean it. Moving on to the secondary job at a small er practice. I am the only person there with the vet and therefore am responsible for everything again. I restrain, I medicate, I clean, clean, clean, clean. For what its worth, being paid 20/hr to clean may seem like a good deal unless your joints ache so much by this point and your so tired u just want to sit for a little while. I am responsible again for drug logs but working in a shift 24/hr hospital has its pitfalls when you come in and no one told you there was a package sitting in a corner where you never look (its not an area you generally go and stare at i.e the managers desk), that had items that needed to be stocked and you get in trouble for obviously deliberatly not doing YOUR job. Never mind, you work 2 jobs, have been up for 24 hrs, must answer the phone and the door with the only other person there ASLEEP. Not to mention the little animals you must care for in between. if its slow it can be good, but again, not necessarily. Because then, every....little...speck...of...dirt....on...the...walls...means you sat on your butt all night not doing your job. Did you get on the chair to wash the top of the cages? Did you wash the windows? Did you clean up the mess the doctor made? Someone else didn't log the drugs right, sure the person in charge checked it but now YOU must fix it. Luckily, my dog is allowed to come with me on this shift so I dont have to be alone. But woe be if she is seen by a client (even though every client adores the fact my dog is out in the hospital, "helping" me watch over the patients..they really do love that she does that). Woe be if the last shift left something, and I dont see it. Woe be if the food order isn't put away, even though it is not clearly marked what is for the hospital vs employees.

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LVT in Rockaway Park, New York

50 months ago

(cont from last) Am I burnt out? is it that obvious? Its not so much the animals acting aggressivley due to their not being able to understand what is happening to them and why I insist on stabbing them with needles or holding them down, its not even as much the clients that yell at you for hating animals because you charge them money. The fact that the doctors can make you responsible for both their job and yours isnt so bad. Having uneducated colleagues get the same pay and respect as you, and in many many cases are your boss and tell you how to medically do something-is only a piece of it. If I want to specialize I can (great good for you) means nothing to most everyone that has employed me. The fact remains: Ive been earning the same rate of pay for 6 years then a 1 dollar raise. Ive known educated technicians with 15 years experience earning $5 more an hour than I was when I first started at 19. And their pay was equivialent to that of a colleague of theirs with the same number years experience and NO DEGREE or license. They shared the same duties. Ive been forced to train people without education at the expense of my gaining experience. Regardless of education or experience, most seasoned veterinary technicians after a certain number of years are very hardened people. They are rude, cuss, angry, lonely, and bitter (sounds great!). I may be generalizing but this is my experience.I get a vacation soon, but will still have to work some days that week because its so hard to get off the 2nd job. On the plus side: I am way more outgoing, care a lot less what people think of me, and have learned I am capable of a lot more than I thought. Ive cared for 16 patients that were post op and or in the icu, whilst seeing the emergencies-single handedly.Ive ushered countless lives to a most-needed end...& have seen countless victims because of money. I still prefer the animals to people.

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kwhicker in Northwood, Ohio

49 months ago

I am starting to think that being kicked out of the vet tech program is a blessing. Now im free to become something else that pays the bills. Its a shame, really. Something that alot of smart, hard working women are good at, and they dont go into the feild in fear that they will be living in a crappy apartment and constantly screamed at by a nasty vet. *sigh*

I am allready cynical about being a tech and im very young. I worked for 3 vets as an assitant. 2 of the vets were tyrannical nutcases and the other fired me after a week because i didnt do something right.( no idea what it was)

I have allways wonderd why my teachers in college wernt working in clincis and were so burnt out looking over it all. im starting to see why they chose long and crappy hours teaching school over a clinc.

I love animals, and i love the science you learn. but is it enough? im not thinking so. Im so glad i found this fourm. I hope i can use it to turn around my life. I feel like a total faliure for not finishing my goal to be a vet tech, but i have known all along it wasnt for me. Honestly, with the way people treat you, who IS this job for?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

49 months ago

I know alot of veterinary technicians and veterinary technology instructors and have been in the field for more than 20 years now and I have to tell you that you have to take a broader view. I even worked doing relief work (meaning that I bounced from clinic to clinic) for a couple of years and the number of veterinarians who were bad to work for has been very small. The college instructors I know, do their job because they believe in the value of an education both to the student and to the patients that that student will one day care for.

It's likely that since you "knew all along the job wasn't for you" that you experiences have been colored by this belief from the beginning and simply by the fact that it "isn't for you". Just like I would be miserable trying to earn a degree in electrical engineering or trying to work in that sort of situation even though I love messing with my computer.

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CJ in Red Bank, New Jersey

48 months ago

I am a CVT in NJ. I would not recomend this path unless you don't mind being poor or have a sugar daddy/momma. I do love the work, but we are always under paid for the amount of knowledge we have. I have a 4 year degree in animal science. I should have just went for the DVM, but i have an undying fear of failure. This is a dead end job with a salary cap of like 25 an hour. I do more work then any of our intern docotors (not that I'm knocking them, they are all very good). It's unfortunate, we either need a union or some middle ground between DVM and being a tech, similar to a physician's assistant. I think a proficient ER tech should be able to make 50-60K not 20-35.. PS Sorry for the poor spelling/grammer It's 2AM and i'm wiped. Also unless it's mandated, I would NOT go to school to be an assistant/ animal attendant. Your job is to hold an animal, clean up and not say too much. Cons include being disappointed by how badly owners treat their pets, and constantly having to humanely having to put pets to sleep because owner's negligence/ high costs of prolonged treatments.

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Elaina Walker in Los Angeles, California

48 months ago

Choosing career doesn't depend on salary only. Some people have a passion for veterinary, they want to be with animals, treating their ailments. For them I think this profession is the best. Every career has it's pros and cons like veterinary career. For becoming successful you should opt for the correct path. A veterinary technician also earns good once gained an experience of 2-3 years. You need to be patient and do your work sincerely.

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shawn in Tampa, Florida

47 months ago

Some vet tech programs also offer a bachelor's degree after two years in the program. This could lead practice management, specialty, and more. I know St. Petersburg College offers a 4 year bachelor degree after the two years, but very few schools do. Could be worth looking into.

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Mary Severance

47 months ago

anna in Shreveport, Louisiana said: You need to read over Penn Foster. If im not mistaken it not a accredited school for Vet tech. They don't even say Vet Tech classes they call it Vet Assistant. Even though you are taking the same classes you want be able to sit for the exam. They are getting your money i do believe. Here is a website for Vet Tech accredited schools www.avma.org

I just started my vet tech. program and Penn Foster is awesome and very affordable. I aske my vet before i enrolled and i checked for the state of NC and YES the school is accredited and no it is not vet assistant. It is a two year degree in applied science.So check your state by going to the avma site and put your state in front of it to verify.I also got in contact with a fully accredited college to make sure the credits from penn foster transfer so i can get my bachelers degree and the college in FL. which can also be completed on line take 41 of the credits from penn foster so that validaded that this is a regognized college. But to the that bachelors degree no have to have about 14 general education credits from another college. So i talked the the professor of the program and he told me to get the GE credits from a community college and then i will onl have to take 13 vet. tech. classes for my bachelers degree. He was telling me the cheapest and smartest way to save money and get my goal reached. and questions e-mail me at chardsev@juno.com put in subject box mary and vet tech questions i will help anywa i can.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

47 months ago

Tarleton State which is part of Texas A&M is also offering a bachelors degree in veterinary technology online. It's likely to be a bit less expensive than St. Petersburg. They are planning to start taking enrollments in the spring or fall of 2012.

Just a clarification, you don't have to have a bachelor's degree to specialize. You just have to have an associates degree and be credentialed as a veterinary technician.

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Mary Severance

47 months ago

if you go to the website and type in penn foster it will show you that it has been accredited since jan. 2006. Double check for me though. I may be misunderstanding. thanks mary

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KB in Glendale, Arizona

47 months ago

Mary - PF is fully accredited =0)

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KB in Glendale, Arizona

47 months ago

I am so torn after reading thru page after page of forums here, plus mountains of research elsewhere, whether the career of CVT is worth persuing. My main concern is the dreadful pay, which, while it isn't everything to me, I do need to put food on the table! I would be willing to take a paycut for a job that I would love though, but dropping to $10/hr would be a significant decrease in income for me (about half what I currently make in a totally different job), which would obviously have a big impact finacially. I am wavering between this career and becoming an RN. But then in my heart I know I would prefer to be a CVT, but the payscale of an RN is SO much higher. Ugh!
It seems an absolute travesty to me that CVTs are paid so lowly when you consider the amount of study involved, and beyond that the amount of work!!!
I think if I could be assured that I could be back up to around %18/hr within a few years then I would go for it, but I keep reading posts by people who didn't advance beyond $14 or so after years in the position.

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Mary Severance

47 months ago

what does the =0 mean,education not worth a crap? get back to me before i spend more money!

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KB in Glendale, Arizona

47 months ago

Mary Severance said: what does the =0 mean,education not worth a crap? get back to me before i spend more money!

LOL! No - it is a smiley face....the = sign is the eyes!

however, having said that, I would suggest you look into San Juan Community College distance learning degree. Same degree for 1/2-1/3rd the cost, and after all the research I have done and things I've read over the past months looking into this as a career, I have read quite a lot of negative reviews about PF. Now, I have never attended this college, so I am not talking from expereince, and also, there are some folks who love it, but I am very leary of any colleges that are "for profit" (as PF is) and prefer to go the community college route (as SJC is). If I go for this degree, I will definately be enrolling in SJC. I have had some email contact with them so far, and they have been really great!

Like I said though, each to their own - what works for one won;t work for another and you seem really happy with PF! Best of luck with your studies!

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Christy in Manhattan, Kansas

47 months ago

KB in Glendale, Arizona said: I am so torn after reading thru page after page of forums here, plus mountains of research elsewhere, whether the career of CVT is worth persuing. My main concern is the dreadful pay, which, while it isn't everything to me, I do need to put food on the table! I would be willing to take a paycut for a job that I would love though, but dropping to $10/hr would be a significant decrease in income for me (about half what I currently make in a totally different job), which would obviously have a big impact finacially. I am wavering between this career and becoming an RN. But then in my heart I know I would prefer to be a CVT, but the payscale of an RN is SO much higher. Ugh!
It seems an absolute travesty to me that CVTs are paid so lowly when you consider the amount of study involved, and beyond that the amount of work!!!
I think if I could be assured that I could be back up to around %18/hr within a few years then I would go for it, but I keep reading posts by people who didn't advance beyond $14 or so after years in the position.

If I could go back and do it again I think I'd opt for nursing school. There is a lot that I love about my job. However I work to live and not the other way around and the payscale in this career is such that it prevents me from accomplishing some things in my personal life that I consider important. I've looked into switching to nursing but it seems that even experienced nurses are having trouble finding work, so now is not the time.

Different people have different priorities. Back when I went to school to be a tech I thought I could live with the financial consequences but I'm starting to doubt it. If you truly can be happy with little income, or have a spouse that can provide financial security for your family then it might be worth it.

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Erin in State College, Pennsylvania

45 months ago

tburris in Odessa, Florida said: I agree with the "lumbering idiot" comment. Some days are better than others, but some days I just don't know how I'm going to make it. I'm new to the field. I am a student in the St.Pete College Vet Tech program with 5 semesters to go. I worked in a kennel for one year to start and now I'm at a different clinic. I'm getting more experience now, but get treated, for the most part, like a "lumbering idiot". I feel so degrated most days and I am a 37 year old woman. It's really hard and some days I go home crying wanting to quit.

I just started as an assistant a month ago in a very high volume, fast paced emergency/referral only clinic. I am still learning, but I work my a** off! Most of the staff are nice and helpful, but unfortunately, the 2 techs I work most closely and for the most hours with are horribly rude and condescending and treat me like I'm completely stupid. It really hurts. Hopefully the situation will improve as time goes on and I become more comfortable with things...

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777GIRL in Huntington Beach, California

45 months ago

Lauren in Joliet, Illinois said: I'm aware that the money isn't there, but that's not why people get into this business. Other than money, what are some of the cons of being a vet tech? Is the work physically draining? Will you burn out after only a few years? Do you get bit a lot? Do you clean up messes/fluids a lot? Are owners rude/disrespectful or hard to deal with?
I'm looking to change careers because I deal with a lot of corporate dissatisfaction right now and I'm wondering if there is just a different kind of hardship to deal with in this industry or not. Look forward to your feedback!

YOU CAN ACTUALLY MAKE GOOD MONEY AS A RVT (Registerd Vet Tech) HERE IN CALIFORNIA. YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE EXPERIENCE> I MAKE $22.00 /HR.

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FutureTech in Long Beach, California

45 months ago

777GIRL, is your facility hiring? I'm studying veterinary technology with San Juan and am looking for a preceptor for my second tier studies. An entry-level assistant position...kennel attendant/veterinary assistant perhaps?

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tabatha in Fulton, New York

43 months ago

tburris in Odessa, Florida said: I agree with the "lumbering idiot" comment. Some days are better than others, but some days I just don't know how I'm going to make it. I'm new to the field. I am a student in the St.Pete College Vet Tech program with 5 semesters to go. I worked in a kennel for one year to start and now I'm at a different clinic. I'm getting more experience now, but get treated, for the most part, like a "lumbering idiot". I feel so degrated most days and I am a 37 year old woman. It's really hard and some days I go home crying wanting to quit.

I am in the same boat as you are except the Dr. isn't always nice and yells at me for something that his senior tech. told me to do. I feel like I'm getting taken advantage of by the other Tech. because she's usually texting or putting on her makeup while I'm running around with my head cut off trying to get everything done before the Dr. comes in. It's really hard to deal with. When the Dr. and techs talk I try to enter into the casual conversation but it's like I'm not even there. I just keep my mouth shut and take the verbal nonsense. What ever you do don't stand up for your self or question things. I've learned it just makes things worse for you. I tried to explain my actions for doing something so that I could get it corrected but it only made things worse.

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Harlem117 in Saginaw, Michigan

42 months ago

anna in Shreveport, Louisiana said: You need to read over Penn Foster. If im not mistaken it not a accredited school for Vet tech. They don't even say Vet Tech classes they call it Vet Assistant. Even though you are taking the same classes you want be able to sit for the exam. They are getting your money i do believe. Here is a website for Vet Tech accredited schools www.avma.org

No, it's acredited. I just looked it up and I am taking the course this summer.

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JSmith in Citrus Heights, California

40 months ago

Lauren in Joliet, Illinois said: I'm aware that the money isn't there, but that's not why people get into this business. Other than money, what are some of the cons of being a vet tech? Is the work physically draining? Will you burn out after only a few years? Do you get bit a lot? Do you clean up messes/fluids a lot? Are owners rude/disrespectful or hard to deal with?
I'm looking to change careers because I deal with a lot of corporate dissatisfaction right now and I'm wondering if there is just a different kind of hardship to deal with in this industry or not. Look forward to your feedback!

I am a student of Carrington College of California. They have several campuses in California and in other states as well. This is an AVMA accredited school and I have to complete a 22 month program that costs around $45,000. I will graduate in a few months. This is an aggressively paced program and it's difficult. About 1/3 of every class fails at least 1 of the 5 terms and has to repeat, costing them an additional $9,000. This being said, 98% of graduates are placed in jobs right out of school.

I would not ever recommend this program to anyone in the Northern California area. It is poorly constructed, poorly run and the staff are incompetent and unfair in their grading. If you have a strong stomach for being insulted constantly and being treated like a child, then perhaps you would enjoy this program. There are community colleges in this area that offer a 4 year program that will prepare you for the same state licensing test.

Basically I am working as a technician until I complete this program and become a Registered Veterinary Technician after taking a state test. My pay will increase by almost 1/3-1/2. The job is hard. The clients can be rude, dumb or angry. But that happens everywhere. The pay is nothing compared to the amount of work, but to me it's worth it because working with animals is my calling.

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Apada in Winder, Georgia

40 months ago

That's one of the problems in my opinion. People would rather hire those who have no education so they can make them into robots that do as they are taught/told and have no understanding of what they are doing or why they are doing it or how to think through a problem based on knowledge of how the patients' bodies work. These people don't know what the laws are so they can't make sure they are treated properly. Too many times, these assistants are taught someone's "way" but not necessarily the right way to do something. I've seen too many assistants who do things with a patient because that's the way they were taught, and they have no idea that what they are doing is dangerous because they have no idea how the body functions or no understanding of disease processes. If people quit hiring uneducated assistants, the educated employees would finally receive what they deserve for their hard work. Would you want some Joe Blow off the streets taking care of your life in a hospital or would you prefer a registered nurse? If the hospitals utilized their registered techs, doctors would have more time for more appointments in a day and therefore, more income for the business AND the hospital wouldn't be risking a lawsuit any minute from under-trained or poorly-trained assistants.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

40 months ago

I understand some of your frustration, but I think you are wrong that vets should stop hiring assistants. The most efficient and profitable veterinary practices typically have a mix of credentialed employees and veterinary assistants. The clinic has a tiered structure where people do the duties that they are educated and trained and should be payed accordingly.

This is because there are such a wide variety of tasks to be done on a daily basis with many requiring more in-depth specialized knowledge and many requiring simply some special training in more basic skills. There is no sense in paying an RVT to come in and clean all the cages or restrain for another RVT, those are tasks that an assistant can and should do. There is no sense in paying an RVT to do much of the general maintenance and restocking in exam rooms, treatment rooms or in cleaning and repacking surgical instruments. All of these tasks can be managed by an assistant. RVTs should be overseeing assistants and performing the duties that they have extensive special knowledge and training for such as the medical and surgical nursing, client education, pharmacy duties, etc.

When a tiered system is in place and each staff member does their job, they allow those who have a wider knowledge base/skills to focus on things that they are equiped to do. For example, if the RVT handles the lab work and general nursing, the veterinarian is free to see more appointments and diagnose and prescribe for more cases in a day. The RVT is more efficient if he/she has an assistant who can handle many of the routine tasks and be available to restrain for sample collection, x-rays, etc--those tasks that require more than one set of hands to complete where the RVT has the increased knowledge and skills to direct the procedure and oversee the assistant.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

40 months ago

What really needs to occur is that the credentialed technicians take on the training and oversight of assistants. Vets tend to do a quick, rather shoddy job of training new assistants because they themselves don't typically have the best understanding of many of the duties an assistant should perform and because they know that every minute they spend training is a minute that they aren't earning money for the practice.

Credentialed technicians are trained specifically in the kinds of tasks that assistants can do and know how an assistant can best increase the productivity and efficiency of their work on a daily basis. Credentialed technicians are also taught ethics and legal issues concerning the practice of veterinary technology and know where to find the laws governing who and legally do what.

It is up to those of us who do know what is right and what is wrong to educate those who are making mistakes that could be dangerous to the patients or that are simply illegal.

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Apada in Winder, Georgia

40 months ago

A very wise post, in my opinion. I agree 100%. I have been recently employed by a company that believes assistants and RVTs have the same jobs (ALL of them, lol), and they tend to suck the lifeblood out of both, draining them of everything and anything they can get from them. Most recently I heard our manager mention to me and an assistant - whose name tag is labeled "veterinary technician" - that one of us will have to work the kennel position that day because the kennel tech was out. In an effort to save money, they will also send the kennel tech home in the middle hours of the day and if any kennel work comes up during those hours, the techs or assistants add that to their laundry list of duties. They don't want to hire anyone to clean, so the kennel techs, assistants, and RVTs get that job, too. It's not that I'm above cleaning mind you because I'm not and actually love to clean, but it's the attitude that RVTs are in no way different from assistants, janitors, or kennel techs that gripes me. They also believe we have to obey a vet regardless of whether or not it is a legal request, and that we have to do it without question or hesitation. It is clear that they just don't have a clue and their main priority is getting the most they can for their money regardless of legalities or ethics.

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Apada in Winder, Georgia

40 months ago

I suppose I should not have left it at "stop hiring assistants" and instead been more clear. I meant, stop hiring assistants instead of, or as a replacement for, RVTs.

I think part of the problem is that the law, as it appears on the books, gives assistants and RVTs roughly the same roles, and the only major difference is in the level of veterinary supervision. That is such a loose and unverifiable/unenforceable distinction that most practices are willing to let the supervision criteria slide when the cost of an RVT is significantly different than an assistant.

Skills such as knowledge of the laws and regulations are not such desirable things for many practices because they want to do things their way, law or no law, and wouldn't really want to pay an RVT more money just to tell them what they can and can't do.

I think the only way this will end is if the states redefine assistant roles and RVT roles to such a degree that one cannot replace the other in any way.

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