Pet Preparedness: Training as an Emergency Veterinary Technician
Published on June 7, 2019 by arothstein
In part one of our animal preparedness series, we explore the challenges emergency veterinary technicians face caring for pets during severe weather. With an increase in weather crisis occurrences, the has become a need for emergency veterinary technicians.
With some additional certification and on the job experience, a veterinary technician can help out in a weather crisis. The critical and emergency veterinary services provided for animals is essential in any veterinary practice. For example, the quick thinking and skills of the veterinary technician can mean the difference between life and death for an animal.
Critical Care Veterinary Technicians
A veterinary technician that specializes in emergency and critical care treat animals in intensive care that must be monitored around the clock. Although these skilled veterinary technicians are able to care for seriously ill animals, they have special skills that qualify them to work in emergency situations.
An emergency and critical care veterinary technician receives specialized training and is certified to assist a veterinarian with emergency surgeries and critical care intervention.
Some of the duties of a critical care veterinary technician are to:
- Treat animals that have ingested toxic substances
- Care for animals that have been injured in traffic accidents
- Monitor animals suffering from infections
- Care for animals injured in fights with domestic or wild animals
- Treat bites from venomous creatures
Training to Specialize as an Emergency and Critical Care Veterinary Technician
To specialize in emergency and critical care, a veterinary technician must graduate from a veterinary technician program at a school accredited by the AVMA. Most programs run for two years. After graduation, the veterinary technician must pass a state examination that validates their expertise, skills, and knowledge. Although the qualifications for the exam vary from state to state, but the eligibility requirements are the same in all states.
Graduating From an AVMA-Accredited Program
A veterinary technician that wants to pursue a career in emergency and critical care must graduate from an accredited veterinary technician program. In addition, they must hold a valid and active license that allows them to practice. At least 5,700 hours; the equivalent of three years, is necessary to have enough experience to pursue care in critical and emergency veterinary care. The veterinary technician must have worked in emergency and critical care for 75% of their time.
To be certified in critical care and emergency veterinary medicine, a veterinary technician must provide proof that they have completed a minimum of 25 hours of education at a school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Case Portfolios and Recommendations
The veterinary technician must also provide a portfolio that contains a minimum of 50 cases. Each case in the portfolio must provide precise details of their skills as a veterinary technician. In addition to their portfolio, the candidate must provide two letters of recommendation from two certified veterinarians.
Responsibilities of an Emergency and Critical Care Veterinary Technician
The responsibilities of an emergency and critical care veterinary technician may vary from one practice to another, but usually include:
- Applying bandages and casts
- Being on call in the ICU
- Cleaning and disinfecting wounds
- Giving needed fluids
- Giving injections
- Handling all surgical equipment
- Monitoring vital signs
- Placing catheters
- Taking blood samples
- Taking x-rays
- Updating patient files
Veterinary technicians with critical care certification have an advantage over other candidates when they’re applying for a position at an emergency animal hospital due to their experience and advanced skills in handling emergency situations.
Clearly, a veterinary technician who specializes in critical and emergency care is an invaluable asset to any emergency veterinary clinic. Working to care for injured and lost animals is a rewarding career and helps to reunite and treat those in emergency situations.
Want to Learn More?
Did learning about how a veterinary technician can help during a weather crisis interest you? Ready to start a program to become a veterinary technician? With an associate degree in veterinary technology, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to start an entry-level career as a veterinary technician. Broadview University has been part of the community for more than 40 years, so we’ve developed connections that can help move your career forward. After completing our accredited degree program, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Passing the VTNE allows you to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), a designation that will give you a competitive advantage when you enter the job market.
Contact us today to learn more about becoming a veterinary technician and working in veterinary technology.
- POSTED IN: