Equine Vet Tech in Texas *Question??* - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Equine Vet Tech in Texas *Question??*

I was wondering yalls knowledge or opinion on becoming a Equinq Vet Tech in Texas. I have been wanting to go to school to become a vet tech for sometime now but not until late has it been heavy on my mind. I did some searching on places around my area who offer a vet tech program and found a place in the Dallas area that is suppose to be a good place to go. I believe its called Cedar Valley. It has a distance program where for 3 of the 4 semesters I can study online from home and not actually go up to the school till the 4th semester. I live 2 hrs alway from the location so a distance program would be great plus I have 2 young boys. Does anyone know of this college and if so is it a good place?

I have also been told by a handful of people that it is not necessary to go to school to become vet tech cause you can get hired on at the vets and they will train you and teach you their way. But I read that they are trying to make it mandatory to go and get an associates degree in it. Anyone care to enlighten me?

I also just found out that my local college offers a one year course but I believe the lady said its a certificate you get. Will I be as qualified to be hired as a person with an associates?

I just want to become a vet tech and do what I love. I also dont want to waste 2 yrs on something I could have done locally for a year or not at all but I also want to be knowledgable and confident about my skills and get paid decent. I dont mind going to school for 2 yrs either but I dont want to go to the interview to find out they really arent considering or impressed by my associates or certificate cause they are going to teach me their way.

Ive been told so much its left me confused on whats the right choice and where to start. HELP ANYONE WHO HAS KNOWLEDGE ON THIS! :)
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 03:58 PM
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I believe Cedar Valley is a community college...but i dont know anything about their program. I'm not sure where you are at, but have you checked into McLennan Community College near Waco? The Vet Tech school is located on Highlander Ranch, so you get hands on experience with horses. My BF was a teacher there and only has praise for the program.
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post #3 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Im up near Weatherford if you know where that is. Ill look into it still cause you never know. Thanks :)
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 07:03 PM
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I am a licensed vet tech. However, I only work with small animals but that shouldn't matter for your question. I think going to school is a great idea. I'm not exactly sure of the laws in your area, but yes its true that some places will hire "anybody off the street" and let them do tech things. In some states this is perfectly legal but in others, it is not. However, although you can learn a lot on the job I think going to school is a great thing. Think about it. Would you trust your life to a nurse that just learned on the job or learned on the job and has extensive book training as well? Make sure whatever school you choose is acredited. Maybe you can shadow at your local vet for a bit to make sure that's really what you want to do? Also, another good reason to go to school is if in the future you may have to move out of state. If you have your license you wouldn't have to worry about the different laws in different states. For instance, a friend of mine lived in California and could do all kinds of tech things like anesthesia, iv catheters, etc. but when she moved here that was illegal so she pretty much got demoted.
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 08:14 PM
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I am in school for that degree but I want to work with wildlife at a zoologic facility. I know a lot of folks who are interested in going into equine. I think its good. The only risk of online is time. You have to be really dedicated to class in order to be a successful online student. I know a few people who started out online and did not have the dedication to sit down for a few hours every week to study the material. Also, a lot of online courses can be intensive (Ie. they expect more participation because you are not in class).

You do need to be certified, a lot of states are asking for licensing for the reasons mentioned above. Its also something where if you want to move up the food chain you should have the degree. If you want to work with your local vet its not as big a deal but if you want to work at a veterinary school or equine specialty practice the degree is required. It will also garner you those jobs at speciality practices which would pay more in theory.
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post #6 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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So I just looked at my local colleges website and they offer a Veterinary Assisting Certificate program. Its only 9 months long. I went and looked at the Mc Lennan Community College and Cedar Valley College websites as well. If I read correctly at Cedar Valley the accredited (AVMA) distance program is aimed at Veterinary Assistances that want to further their education and obtain an Veterinary Technology Associates Degree. So Im figuring that maybe I can go to my local college and get certified then start working then do the distance program. Ill have to check the fine details on everything but God willing it works out.

In yalls opinion is an assistant who earns a certificate equal to someone off the street working with nothing? (<<Be honest please.)
To get your license you have to take a test after getting your associates degree right?
Rookie- Are you working at a vets or somewhere like that will going to school?
Being certified is different than having a certificate?
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 10:21 PM
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I think getting a certificate for assisting is a waste of time and money. You can usually learn what you need on the job. :)

I took the national board exam after I graduated. Some states require a state board exam as well.
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post #8 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 10:27 PM
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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!
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Last edited by clippityclop; 09-21-2012 at 10:29 PM.
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post #9 of 24 Old 09-22-2012, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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This is really what I want to do. Ive always struggled to find a career choice that I would really and truely enjoy. I know I wouldnt get tire of doing this! I definitly want to go for my associates degree.

So right now in Tx an RVT can not get licenced?
What does the license exactly benefit?

I read on a forum last year where people were going back and forth about techs, assistances, on the job experience, licencing, whats not fair, who should or shouldnt be called this or that, people talking down to this person cause of them using this title instead of that, women who dont have an associates but years of experience talking down to those who do but have no experience and visa versa etc. and it left me feeling kind of scarred and intimated and of course the lingo felt me saying "huh?". Is there a raw spot between people about this?
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-22-2012, 12:38 AM
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Don't go to school to learn assisting...most places will teach you on the job.

If you go to an online school for vet tech be sure you can get an internship site. Some online schools will make you find your own and I have seen people left high and dry that way.

I am an lvt and I love it. Be prepared for long, oddhours, NEVER getting home on time... but if you love animals it is worth it.

If you want to work as an equine vet tech you will likely have to work in an equine hospital since most equine vets that go to the owner do everything themselves and don't need a tech.
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Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be ****ed if you do, and ****ed if you don't. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Last edited by Nitefeatherz; 09-22-2012 at 12:41 AM.
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