There has been a dramatic increase in the need for high quality vet care that range from veterinary specialties to traditional procedures, clinical pathology, dental care, nutrition and oncology. The demand has expanded the field of vet medicine and making it a dynamic field career for students who are interested in financially rewarding and long-term profession. Below is a close look at veterinary technician career.
How to become a vet tech in Hawaii
Prospect vet techs should first finish their GED or high school diploma. This allows one to enroll in a vet tech program at an accredited college, university or school. The programs include lab and classroom work to cover various vet tech courses.
Look for a tech education at an institution accredited by the AVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association. Students can look for the approved and accredited at their website. Some programs are accredited to offer distance learning. Some of the distance learning programs may require volunteering, especially if they don’t have an internship under their programs. Volunteering gives the students an exposure to practical working environment and field experience which is required for one to be licensed.
Students earn their degree upon graduation. The degree can be either associate degree from a two-year program or a bachelor’s degree from a four-year program. Students should send their transcripts to AAVSB, the American Association of Veterinary State Boards before registering for the national exam.
The state of Hawaii doesn’t license or certify its vet technicians, although many employers prefer employing licensed technicians. It is advisable for graduates to sit for the national Veterinary Technology National Exam (VTNE). Prospects can register and book their examination date. The exam is offered twice a year during June and January.
Graduates who pass the national exam become CVTs or Certified Veterinary Technicians. The certification is very important since it opens doors to various positions in the field of veterinary technology within Hawaii.
Veterinary technicians help veterinarians in providing basic health care to livestock and pets. They have many responsibilities that involve nursing animals. Some of their common duties include
- Assist in animal treatment: Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in positioning animals for treatment. The duty involves restraining frightened and hostile animals to ensure they are treated without harming anyone.
- Administer drugs: The drugs are usually prescribed by a veterinarian to the animal. Vet techs administer and monitor the effects of these drugs to ensure they aren’t affecting the animal adversely.
- Assistance during surgical procedures: Vet tech may assist the veterinarian when carrying a surgical procedure. The assistance includes positioning the animal and reducing its hostility. In addition, they may monitor the animal and report how the animal is changing.
- Examine animals: Vet tech may carry out the initial examination of the sick animal. They record information such as breed, symptoms and weight for the veterinarian to have the right information when treating the animal.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Hawaii veterinary technicians compared to the national annual salaries, all based on the latest May 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state of Hawaii doesn’t currently require vet techs to obtain any licensing or certification. Nevertheless, it is advisable for vet tech graduates to sit for the national certification exam to be certified. The certification improves their salary earnings and career options. Graduates who have attended an accredited vet tech program need certification in order to practice in other parts of the country.
The graduates may be required to go for an internship or do volunteer work where they are mentored by supervisors under a professional setting. The internships provide a real-world experience and provide professional connection which may be useful when securing a job.
The graduate applies for the VTNE which is administered by the AAVSB. The exam evaluates the practical and academic skills of the graduate fully. The exam is limited to 5 retakes with a pass mark of 425. Students who attempt it for more than 5 times need approval by the AAVSB. Graduates preparing to take the exam should prepare well to ensure they pass the first time.
Hawaii vet tech schools
The number of vet tech schools in Hawaii is increasing greatly. Some of them offer distance learning while others offer class teaching. The schools include: