Vet Techs? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-15-2011, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Vet Techs?

(I would post this in the Saloon but I feel like it might get more responses here, I don't know)

Are there any vet techs on here?
I'm getting to a point in life where I really need to decide to do something, anything, and do it. Since being a vet tech seems like a reachable goal and there's a vet tech program at a school really near me, I'm going for that (and I hate the idea of doing surgery on something so no being a vet).

I'm not squeamish at all and I have a very level head so gross crazy stuff would mostly likely not get to me. Blood doesn't phase me at all either. My one downfall is pus but I've heard, from a nurse, that all good nurses have one downfall like that and since a vet tech is kind of like a nurse to animals...well... haha

Basically, if you're a vet tech, what are your favorite things and least favorite things about your job? What are the general duties you do?
I'm not married to this idea really at all, I'm just interested so don't worry about crushing any dreams or whatever.

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

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post #2 of 14 Old 11-16-2011, 12:00 AM
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Subbing, because I've been considering the same thing!
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-16-2011, 01:00 AM
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I've been in veterinary medicine for 9 years, most of that in emergency and critial care. I love my job! I work in an amazing practice with advanced medicine.

* I did not go to school so I am not registered
* I would leave vet med before I would work an another day practice. Emergency is the way to go (for me)
* I do not work in equine medicine. I dont want horses to become a job for me.

Any specific questions?
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-16-2011, 10:50 AM
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I went through one year of Vet Tech courses before I discovered that it was not a good fit for me. I'm not trying to tell you to not pursue this career or anything, but just share with you my reasons for not completing my schooling and becoming a veterinary technician.

It can be a very rewarding career, but for me, the cons outweighed the pros. For the amount of work that a tech does (receptionist, janitor, surgery assistant, nurse, lab technician, anesthesiologist, researcher, computer technician, pet groomer, secretary, pharmacist, etc), it doesn't pay as well as it should. In my area, the average vet tech that graduated from my school makes $14,000 each year. Most of the people who graduate from the school I attended could only find part time technician jobs, so that is part of the reason as to why the salary was so low.

After speaking to an acquaintance that graduated as a vet tech and worked in the field, I found out how much euthanasia is actually involved. He worked at a rural vet office, and about 30% of his day was spent euthanizing animals. I can understand putting down an animal that is suffering, but he had to put down litters of puppies and kittens that the shelters couldn't take in. I love animals, but I know I could not handle watching so many die, especially when they are perfectly healthy.

For some people, this is the perfect job. You get to inform owners on how to take excellent care of their pets, help sick animals recover, wear comfy scrubs all day (my favorite part, lol), and there never is a dull moment.

| Kubie, Appaloosa (RIP) | Patches, Pinto Arabian Pony | Scotch, Paint Quarterhorse |

Last edited by CharliGirl; 11-16-2011 at 10:52 AM.
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-16-2011, 11:25 AM
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Being a tech is far from glamorous. The vet comes in does what s/he needs to and the tech is left with the grunt work.

But your patients don't talk back and they are truly happy to see you.

I very much enjoy all aspects. It can be heartbreaking to care for a horse for weeks only to have it be put down but more often the reverse is true.

The patients are great. The owners - not always so much!

P.S. - The pay is not the greatest! A lot of the single techs do side jobs - pet sitting, farm sitting, etc.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-16-2011, 11:45 AM
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Im glad someone posted something about this! I start next fall in a vet tech program at Baker College. I got my acceptence letter yesterday! :))))
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-16-2011, 12:33 PM
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Been in vet med for almost 8 years. Went to school and got my license. I love it, most of the time. Where you work *really* makes a difference.

-It doesn't pay well
-You play clean up after the vets
-You have to stay a step ahead of the vets
-You risk your arms, face, hands, and most of your upper body to bites, scratches and general harm.
-Most liscensed techs are in charge of everything except for surgery, diagnosing and prognosing, and prescribing. Everything in between is a gray line.

With that being said, I do love my job, but its not glamorous, and its hard on the body, mind, and soul.

~*~Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction. - Cowboy saying~*~
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-16-2011, 02:45 PM
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I have worked as a tech from 2001-2009, I loved it. But the pay was low for A LOT of work. I did rotations at an animal hospital, so some weeks was small animal, some weeks large animal, some weeks emergencies and so on and so forth.

Since stopping work as a tech I now own and operate a dog kennel which offers boarding, grooming and training. I find most owners love that I am/was a tech.

Try job shadowing for a few weeks to see if its something you can see yourself doing. And sometimes there is pus, a lot of it, so if you are the only tech on, you will HAVE to deal with it.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-16-2011, 03:37 PM
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I think a lot of it depends on finding your niche. There are sooo many specialties within vet med. A lot of people think of a tech as that person at your local vets office getting the vaccines ready and reading the fecal. Thats a great place to start to get your feet wet, but if you find you dont enjoy doing that all day every day, try a specialty. Emergency, Neurology, Surgery, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Opthomology, really is endless.

I agree the pay isnt great, but I've never heard of a tech, let alone an RVT, making only $14k.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-16-2011, 04:15 PM
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I think I made $24k last year.

~*~Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction. - Cowboy saying~*~
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