Vet Assistant or Vet Tech – Which One Is Right For You?

August 10th, 2012 by admin

If you have ever considered a career in veterinary medicine, you may have wondered about the difference between a licensed veterinarian, a vet assistant and a vet tech, short for veterinary technician. Veterinarians must undergo many years of graduate schooling to eventually earn a degree in veterinary medicine, just as medical doctors do to become licensed physicians. But becoming a vet assistant or a vet tech requires far less education than becoming a veterinarian. Veterinary assistants typically require very little schooling. Students can complete most vet assistant programs within a year. Becoming a vet tech takes more time, 2 to 4 years, and educational programs for vet techs are more in-depth. Because of this, veterinary tech positions generally pay higher salaries than vet assistant positions, and the people in those positions perform more complex tasks in their jobs than vet assistants.

Both positions require hands-on work with both animals and people. Vet assistants, however, will likely spend more time working with people, since their duties frequently encompass front office work, such as checking in animals as they arrive, taking payment for services and communicating with clients and pet owners. Veterinary assistants also educate people about how best to care for their animals. In addition, they clean the facilities, groom the animals and feed them. They offer assistance in the exam and operating rooms as well. Part of their job duties include bringing animals to and from the rooms, holding animals down when needed during procedures and sometimes administering medicines.

Vet techs spend less of their time working with people and more time doing research, lab work and surgery. They give exams to animals and give them injections like vaccines. They also do work that requires more precision and training, such as or performing surgical procedures alongside a licensed veterinarian or euthanizing seriously ill or injured animals. Like vet assistants, they also clean as part of their job. Vet techs must sterilize the equipment used at the veterinary hospital. Additionally, they may hold positions that require them to spend most of their time working in a lab or doing biomedical research.

Because of the difference in the type of work performed, to become a vet tech demands that you undergo much more schooling and training than a vet assistant. Someone who wants to become a veterinary assistant must complete a certificate program, which takes about a year of full-time study. The program generally consists of classroom learning, lab experience and an internship at a veterinary clinic or hospital. Once the certificate program has been completed, the new vet assistant can expect to earn anywhere from $17,000 to $34,000 annually, depending on salary rates in her area, according to VetTechs.com. By contrast, they state that vet tech salaries cap at about the same level but have a higher starting point, generally ranging from $25,000 to about $35,000 per year. For those who specialize in research, salaries can exceed $35,000 depending on the type of research and the employer. To become a veterinary technician, one must obtain an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology by an accredited college or university, which typically takes 2 years of full-time study for an associate’s degree and 4 years for a bachelor’s degree.

When deciding which career path to choose, understand what you desire from your career. Becoming a vet assistant requires less upfront cost and work, but has lower starting salaries and lacks opportunities for upward mobility without additional education. Becoming a vet tech means you will spend more and devote more time to your education at first, but you will have a higher starting salary as well as greater opportunities to conduct research and to advance your career should you ever decide you want to become a veterinarian.

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Who has a Sphynx Cat?

March 21st, 2011 by admin

infographic about the sphynx cat

Who has a Sphynx Cat?

This infographic provides a set of useful and interesting facts about Sphynx cats, including those pertaining to this unique breed’s personality traits, special care needs, and physical characteristics. The information may be helpful to vet tech students who are not familiar with Sphynx cats. A vet tech school that incorporates cat breed studies could easily include these facts on the Sphynx.

The first consideration for both an owner and veterinary technician is that while the Sphynx is not completely hairless, this cat breed does require some special hygiene care. A Sphynx actually has a fine covering of very thin hair that may be thicker or longer on its tail, ears, nose, and toes. This sparse hair is the result of a genetic mutation that naturally occurs approximately every 25 years. One area the Sphynx does not have hair is within the ear canals, so owners need to clean out their cat’s ears on a regular basis.

A Sphynx cat should also be bathed on a weekly basis to remove dirt and built-up skin oils. Nailbeds need to be cleaned as well to prevent discharge. Sphynx cat coloring is unique, resulting from skin pigmentation; this coloring can be any range of colors that also appear in other cat breeds. If a Sphynx cat carries the genetic trait of fine white hair, this cat often has two differently-colored eyes.

Sphynx cats have quite friendly personalities and will socialize even with strangers, so owners should be cautious about this trait. These cats can be quite expensive, costing up to $1,500. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for them to be stolen as a result. Sphynx cats are known for following their owners everywhere throughout the house and will even try to curl up in the owner’s bed as well.

A Sphynx cat owner should invest in high quality meats and remember that a Sphynx cat needs to eat about twice the amount of food as other cat breeds in order to generate enough body heat. A Sphynx will also seek the warmest areas possible within the house. Due to near-hairlessness, a Sphynx needs to be kept indoors to avoid becoming sunburned.

Other characteristics of a Sphynx cat are strong joints and flexible toes that can actually pick up small objects. Good news about a Sphynx is that it can live for up to 15 years with no major health problems. A Sphynx cat can also be easily obtained in over 50 different countries.

Infographic from: http://sphynxcatblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/sphynx-cat-inforgraphic.jpg

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The Science Behind Mega Shark

March 17th, 2011 by admin

The Science Behind Mega Shark

Those who appreciate B-Horror films such as “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” will delight in the film “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus”. Filmed in 2009, this schlock-y film is about two prehistoric sea creatures battling each other and causing chaos in the sea, and in one memorable instance, in the air. During the course of the film Mega Shark leaps out of the water and takes out a passenger plane at cruising altitude. This scenario is certainly laughable, but some might wonder, could such a thing actually happen?

In this illustration the physics behind such a feat are examined. First of all, Mega Shark must be fast. At minimum it would need to have a speed of 709.2 KM/H (or about 435 MPH). By comparison, this is about 150% of the top speed of a bullet train, and although still slower than a tomahawk missile’s speed of 880 KM/H. Secondly, Mega Shark needs to dive before it can climb. A descent of at least 1500 meters will be necessary to pick up enough speed to burst out of the water. Smaller objects, like small submarines and other marine life, might be hauled to the surface in the wake of Mega Shark’s speed. Finally, once in the air Mega Shark must do its best Superman impersonation and fly to plane in a mere 20 seconds before bringing it out of the sky.

Happily, there is no such thing as Mega Shark, but those with a love for marine life might consider a career path that would bring them up close and personal with some of Mega Shark’s smaller cousins. A veterinary technician can work in a variety of different arenas, including marine veterinary work. This type of career might lead to a job at a marine park or even rehabilitating wild marine life from the sea. These types of jobs can be very rewarding but also very competitive. If a student in vet tech school is thinking about following this career path, it is a good idea to get involved with professional associations that might help them network to their dream job. Also whenever possible, take classes in vet technician school specifically having to do with marine life. With careful planning and networking, you can look forward to a job in the marine world.

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You Had Me at “Woof”

March 16th, 2011 by admin

You Had Me at “Woof”

Dogs bark for all kinds of reasons, they are hungry, they’re scared, they want attention, they want to warn the family, or they’ve been commanded to do so. But few people stop to consider the science behind barking, or why dogs bark to begin with. It’s well known that dogs are closely related to wolves, yet wolves do not bark unless they are threatened or as an alarm for other wolves. So why do domesticated dogs bark more frequently? It’s possible that earlier humans chose to domesticate dogs that bark to serve as an early warning for a group. As a result, dogs that were predisposed to barking would have been more likely to be domesticated. Also some believe that domesticated dogs are in a constant state of “doggie adolescence” and therefore bark more frequently because of their lack of maturity.

Dogs are not the only animals that bark…foxes, monkeys, sea lions and even deer have all been known to use barking as a warning call. Around the world different words are used to signify the sound of barking. In English the word “woof” is most commonly used for barking, but in Bali it would be “kong kong”. In Ireland dogs say “amh amh”, while in Albania it’s “ham ham”. South Korea dogs say “meong meong”, which to us might sound more like the sound a cat would make!

There are many methods to quiet a dog’s barking, such counter conditioning and special collars. Certain drugs can also quiet a dog, although they can also have the side effect of making the dog sluggish. Some owners resort to surgery in the form of a chordectomy, although this will not silence the dog completely. If you can’t stand the loud barking of your dog, be thankful that you are not the owner of Daz, a white German Shepherd with a recorded bark of 108 decibels!

Interested in learning more about the biology of “man’s best friend”? Consider a career as a veterinary technician. At vet technician school students learn about the biology and anatomy of many animals, including cats and dogs. Upon graduation from vet tech school students can work in veterinary clinics, where they’ll come in daily contact with dogs, cats, and many other pets as well.

Infographic from: Dog The Blog

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What is the difference between a vet tech and a veterinarian?

January 18th, 2011 by admin

vet tech and dog - ts-78035084People who want to work with animals but are not interested in becoming veterinarians may wish to attend a vet tech school.

One difference between a vet tech and a veterinarian is the duties that each performs. A vet tech is an assistant to a veterinarian. A vet tech’s duties include assisting a veterinarian during surgeries, performing tests, doing dental work, doing lab work and keeping patient records.

Another difference between a vet tech and a veterinarian is the education required. Vet techs do not need to complete as much school as veterinarians. It is possible to enter the vet tech field with an Associate’s Degree. Some vet tech programs have online courses. Other vet tech programs allow students to enroll part time. Students in vet tech programs are trained in handling animal patients, radiology, pharmacology, anesthesia, sterilization and office procedures. They are usually required to work with veterinarians during their training. Veterinarians must complete a Bachelor’s Degree and then study for at least four years at a veterinary college.

Anyone interested in working with animals who has completed a program in veterinarian technology at a vet tech school or a vet tech college will be well prepared for a career as a vet tech.

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Do vet tech programs offer financial aid or student loans?

January 18th, 2011 by admin

Many students worry about the costs of different schools. For anyone looking to study a vet tech pfinancial aid for vet tech - shutterstock_29071132rogram, the cost of the school can be a big concern. Many people think they will not be able to afford a vet tech school. The good news is, these schools do offer financial aid and loans.

Students who want to apply for financial aid will need to fill out a FAFSA, just like they would with any other school. This will help the student to see what types of financial aid will be available for the vet tech college of their choosing. Your school will help you figure out what financial aid is available to help pay for the cost of your education.

Students always have the opportunity to take out student loans to pay for their education. This is also the case with vet tech colleges. Students can discuss these options with the financial aid office, in order to better understand the different types of loans and whether they will qualify. The financial aid office will help you throughout the whole loan process.

If you are looking to attend a vet tech college, do not worry about the costs. You may be able to get assistance with your tuition. This will allow you to learn the program that interests you, and will allow you more career options in the future.

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Can I go to an online vet tech school?

January 18th, 2011 by admin

online vet techAbsolutely. Many academic and medical disciplines are finding their way online as completely electronically administered programs, and vet school is no exception. As tuitions rise for brick and mortar institutions even as the ability of the students to pay is diminished through an increased outside workload, the online option for vet tech school is becoming more and more viable to many people wishing to learn the discipline.

Online vet tech schools are fully accredited, and students may immediately begin practice in the field upon graduation just as if they went to a vet tech college campus.

Vet tech colleges are also more convenient for students because lectures are often recorded and homework assignments are online. Students can listen to their teachers at any time and complete their homework at any point before the due date, giving them the freedom to work a day job, care for a child, or be otherwise occupied.

Online vet tech students also do not have to worry about class sizes, and message boards often provide a better forum for discussion than a classroom. Instead of running out of time before the teacher can answer all of a student’s questions, the student simply posts the question to the message board at his or her leisure, and has it answered directly by the teacher or discussed by the rest of the class.

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How long does vet tech school take?

January 18th, 2011 by admin

vet tech - shutterstock_15354721Completing courses to become a Veterinary Technician is an exciting journey; however, many persons have the initial question of “How long will it take me to complete the courses required to become a Vet Tech?” There is not a single answer to this question because the length of time to complete the required courses depends on the student’s career goals, and sometimes the time lengths vary depending on what types of animals the student wants to be qualified to work with.

If a student is seeking a basic degree as a Vet Tech and can attend school full time then the answer is about two years. However, if a student cannot attend school full time, the length of time to complete this type of degree is based upon how much time a student does have to devote to completing their courses. Of course the less time they have to complete courses, the greater amount of time it will take to complete the entire degree program.

For a higher degree, such as a bachelor’s degree, the time to complete the required courses is four years, if the student can attend school full time. If they cannot attend full time, of course the length of time will be considerably longer.

Some students decide to take an overload of classes along with summer classes, and when they do so they can sometimes complete a Vet Tech degree program in less time than they would be able to if they completed them on a standard full time schedule. So, it is safe to say that a student can complete a Vet Tech associate program in less than two years if they have the time to do so.

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What should I look for when visiting a vet tech school?

January 18th, 2011 by admin

If you love working with animals and want to make a career out of it, vet tech school mavisiting a vet tech school - shutterstock_60591364y be a great career option. When visiting a vet tech school, there are several factors to consider. There are many vet tech schools across the country, which makes it essential that you choose the perfect one for you.

Ideally, you should first ask yourself three crucial questions pertaining to the type of education you will receive when visiting various vet tech schools.

1. Will this vet tech school prepare me for my certification or license exam?
You won’t be able to officially practice as a vet tech until you are either certified or earn your license. If your school program can help you prepare for it, you won’t have to worry about studying for the licensing exam completely on your own.

2. Is this vet tech school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association or the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities?
Ensuring that a vet tech school is accredited by either the AVMA or the CVTEA shows that the school teaches a legitimate curriculum and is on par with national veterinary standards.

3. Does this vet tech program include an internship requirement?
If you want to become a veterinary technician, on-the-job training is essential. An internship provides real life training that cannot be learned in the classroom. Ideally, you will be able to work with established veterinarians and one-on-one with the animals.

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How do I choose which vet tech school to attend?

January 18th, 2011 by admin

how do i choose which vet tech school to attend - ts - 86537145When searching for a vet tech school there are a few things to keep in mind. First, a person should research the types of courses offered at a vet tech school. A potential student should look for a vet tech college that offers all of the courses necessary for success in the field. Courses that deal with caring for ill animals, assisting during a veterinary examination, and performing laboratory duties are just a few to look for. Relevant, practical courses are a necessity in the education of a vet tech.

Next, when choosing a vet tech school a student should consider the school’s tuition. Ideally, a person is looking for a reputable vet tech college with a manageable tuition. Knowledgeable professors are another desirable feature of a vet tech school. In other words, the focus of a vet tech school must be on the success of its students. Vet tech instructors should be available to answer students’ questions regarding coursework. In order to become a successful vet tech a student must acquire a thorough knowledge of the work.

Finally, a student should consider whether he or she would like to learn via online courses or in a traditional classroom. Online courses are a convenient option for adults who work full-time and cannot travel to a school on a regular basis. However, some students prefer the atmosphere of a traditional classroom. Certainly, students should determine the type of learning environment that is best for them before beginning their vet tech studies.

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