Are Vet Techs in Demand?
Published on August 1, 2019 by arothstein
A vet tech works under the supervision of a veterinarian and performs diagnostic tests that can aid in diagnosing illnesses or injuries. Whether you work at a private veterinary practice or other locations, you will be expected to perform similar duties. When you enter the field as a vet tech, you’ll be expected to work hard to help your pet patients stay healthy. The rewards of helping animals are worth the challenges you face each day.
What Vet Techs Do
Vet technicians usually work in private veterinary practices while under the supervision of a veterinarian. They’re responsible for some lab work but have a lot of interaction with pet parents. The role of a vet tech is similar to that of a nurse to a doctor.
When a vet tech graduates, they must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) to have the necessary credentials to work in a veterinary practice. The American Association of Veterinary State Boards offers resources for students to prepare for the exam.
Vet techs do the following on a day-to-day basis at a veterinary practice:
- Observe the condition and behavior of pets when they’re brought in for an exam.
- Provide emergency care for animals that have been injured and nursing care for animals while recovering from surgery or illness.
- Veterinarians prescribe medications, treatments, and vaccinations for pets that the vet tech administers
- Prep pets for surgical procedures
- Sterilize and prepare surgical instruments prior to procedures
- Brush and cut pet’s fur and clip nails
- Restrain pets during examinations
- Take samples and x-rays
- Perform lab tests
- Record information provided by pet owners in case histories
Compassion for animals is a necessary attribute of a vet tech. Besides a love for animals, you must be able to handles animals of all sizes and restrain them during exams. Some animals will become aggressive when they’re frightened or in pain, and a vet tech must know how to handle animals in all kinds of situations.
The Places Vet Techs Work
As a vet tech, you have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. Veterinary technicians typically work in private clinics and animal hospitals. Here are some of the opportunities open to you as a vet tech:
Private Veterinary Clinics
Most vet techs work in private veterinary practices. Every private practice needs qualified vet techs, especially in larger communities where there are several veterinary hospitals.
Emergency Animal Hospitals
Emergency clinics require a large, qualified staff to handle emergency cases. The animals treated at emergency clinics may have life-threatening diseases or have been injured and have traumatic injuries.
Animals that are brought into shelters and put up for adoptions often have medical problems that must be addressed before they go to their new home. In addition to having a vet tech on staff, some animal shelters in larger cities have a veterinarian who comes in on a regular basis to examine animals.
Job Growth for Veterinary Technicians
The career outlook for anyone who wants to become a vet tech is excellent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that between 2016 and 2026 the number of vet techs needed to fill jobs will rise by 20%, which is much higher than many other professions.
The number of households in the U.S. in which pets are part of the family is on the rise. Consequently, more is spent on veterinary care. As the number of domestic pets increases, the demand for qualified vet techs is also on the increase.
People View Their Pets as Family
Almost all pet owners consider their pets to be a part of their family. Cats, dogs, and other family pets show their owners’ so much unconditional love that it’s not surprising that more households are adopting pets and consider them to be valued members of their family.
Here are some of the reasons why pets are so important to their families:
- Pets really love their families
- Animals really do grieve
- Animals are extremely intelligent
- Pets suffer from separation anxiety
- Pets are also protective of their owners
Emotional Attachment to Pets
When we’ve been away, even for a short time, we miss our pets, and they feel the same way. The joyous greeting you get when you come home is because your dog or cat loves you. Studies indicate that the structures of the brain that correspond to feelings of attachment and love are similar in humans and animals.
Our pets form deep emotional attachments and strong bonds to us and other pets in the family. When a human member of the family or another pet dies, our pets feel the loss like humans do and go through a grieving process. Not only is it essential to provide a stable, loving environment for the human members of our family but our pets as well.
Pets are Smarter Than You Think
Biologists that study animal behavior use sophisticated technology to discover the intelligence of different species. Through continued research, scientists are finding out that animals aren’t necessarily any less intelligent than people. Animal behavior specialists conclude that animals possess different types of intelligence than people. Because of this, the scientific findings could lead to better and more compassionate animal welfare.
People become accustomed to regular routines, and when we share our lives with pets, they get used to our routine. When people have long work schedules, leave their pets when they travel, or have a schedule that’s unpredictable, a pet can become distressed and suffer from separation anxiety.
Your dog or cat doesn’t understand when you’ll be home, and the disruption can cause them to feel depressed and anxious. When you’re planning a vacation, you can search for hotels that allow pets. As a result, many vacation resorts have accommodations geared toward pet owners and restaurants around the country are pet friendly.
If you must travel for business and taking your pet along isn’t an option, you can ask your vet tech or veterinarian for recommendations about boarding or reliable pet sitters in your area.
Our Pets are Protective of Us
Another reason pets are so loved by their owners is that they’re so protective of us. A dog’s protective demeanor is a result of training and instinct. For this reason, dogs thrive in a pack hierarchy with the owner as the pack leader. All the animals in the pack are assigned status by the pack leader, which should be the owner if the dog is trained well. When a dog has the proper training, they should be submissive to their owner and be ready to defend the owner from any threats.
Since the owner is the one who provides food, shelter, and companionship, it’s in the dog’s best interest to defend and obey the owner. There should always be respect and love between a dog and their owner.
How Connections to Pets Affect Job Growth for Vet Techs
Almost three-quarters of all households in the U.S. include pets in their families, and the number is on the rise. Expenses for pets include food, supplies, medicines, and veterinary services. Most people see their pets as family members, and to many, they’re like children.
Pets are a Lifetime Commitment
When you make the choice to adopt a pet, it’s a lifetime commitment. Because of this, pet owners are more aware of how vital it is to provide the best possible veterinary care. Pet parents want their dogs, cats, and other small pets to have the best care available. For this reason, pet owners realize that wellness checkups can detect potential health risks before they become serious.
More Pets, More Veterinary Care
More pets per household mean that veterinary practices are caring for more patients. Some veterinary practices have to double-book patients to accommodate the demand for veterinary care. The demand for quality veterinary care means that more vet techs are needed in practices around the country.
Qualified vet techs are vital to any successful veterinary practice or emergency clinic. Without a vet tech to assist in caring for animals each day, a veterinarian can’t provide the patients with the best healthcare and meet daily goals.
Advances in Veterinary Treatment
New advances in veterinary treatment make it possible for veterinarians to utilize stem cell therapy for arthritis in pets. Fiber optic technology allows veterinarians to pass an endoscope into an animal that’s under anesthesia to take biopsies of the gastrointestinal tract.
Advances in the use of anesthesia make it possible for animals to be anesthetized more safely with fewer side effects and less negative problems with animal’s cardiovascular and other internal systems. Newer types of anesthesia allow animals to recover faster from surgical procedures.
Tasks Handled by A Vet Tech Can Free Up the Veterinarian
A vet tech has the opportunity to gain an immense amount of knowledge which can help to heal and save the lives of countless animals. The vet tech is a valuable asset to any veterinary practice since they’re trained to handle tasks that free up the veterinarian to care for more animals.
A vet tech can conduct diagnostic tests, and based on the findings of the veterinarian, provide the most appropriate treatment. Although a vet tech can typically administer vaccinations and medications, the more experienced vet tech may consult with pet owners concerning diagnostic tests, results, and recommended treatment options.
With more advanced training and education, an experienced vet tech may work with exotic or farm animals and be able to provide more specialized treatment.
Want to Learn More?
Did learning about the demand for vet techs 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: