I'm an RVT and LOVE it. The price of vetschool was insane because the payoff is basically nil, so this is the next best thing. I can only speak from my own experience, but RVT's in my area often start out like any vet assistant (what you call folks that did not graduate from an AVMA accredited vet tech program) but RVT's often end up being the hospital managers, and hold higher positions often which carry more responsibility.
The RVT's across the U.S. along with NAVTA and our state charters are working on adding specific language to the veterinary code that states what duties and RVT may perform separate from a vet assistant. It is a slow process, but bound to be successful. I know there are several vet assistants out there with years of skill, and I hope there will be some sort of 'grandfather' clause that will accept them with, of course, some sort of test that can show their proficiency and not just 'word of mouth' from a friend veterinarian. Those who are serious will not hesitate to show their skill and be ready to prove it and thus carry the title.
Last I heard Texas is also considering licensing their RVT's which may include the responsibility of carrying insurance separate from what the veterinarian's insurance may cover. That might mean more expense for us, but better pay due to more responsibility given us as well - it will make RVT's be even more responsible and proficient and be taken more seriously as a professional.
The word 'veterinary technician' is only for those who have graduated from an AVMA accredited program - those who have taken the one year certificate course can be called a CVT, everyone else is a veterinary assistant - and that is the AVMA wording. An RVT who continues their program (Sam Houston takes the RVT classes and will transfer) and gets their 4 year degree will be called a Veterinary TEchnologist.
My experience as an RVT was mostly small animal and exotic as a hospital manager, altho I have over 25 years experience with equines. I ran all of the anesthesia and was the main surgical assistant after I became an RVT. We had vet assistants who worked there, but they didn't have the schooling to identify a heart murmer or recognize abnormal chemistries or could manually maintain a patient under anesthesia the old fashioned way if your machines quit in the middle of surgery. RVT's know what the vet needs and can read their mind and get them what they need as far as meds, tools, equipment, etc in an emergency to save life-saving minutes as they tick by, while the vet is elbow deep in a procedure.
I think going to vet tech school will be a wonderful challenge and is very HARD, but well worth it. My program accepted 45 every fall and the professor said 'take a look to your left and to your right - these people probably won't be here when you graduate' and they were right - my graduating class was 16. Be ready to go in for the long haul!
Last edited by clippityclop; 09-21-2012 at 11:29 PM.