Today’s economic environment is very competitive and everybody aims at getting a long-term career that is personally and financially rewarding. By joining the veterinary field, an individual gets the chance to enjoy a vibrant career in the ever-growing field of veterinary medicine. Veterinary medicine has increasingly gained popularity in both industrial and domestic fields. In the next 10 years, the demand for vet techs will increase.
How to become a Vet Tech in Mississippi
All vet techs practicing in Mississippi must be licensed by the Mississippi Board of Veterinary Medicine. For a vet tech to be licensed by the board, he/she must:
- Be 18 years or above
- Complete a recognized veterinary technology program
- Sit and successfully pass the VTNE (Veterinary Technical National Examination)
- Sit and successfully pass the Mississippi State Board Exam
- A veterinary technician is just like a nurse. The vet technician assists the veterinarian in the same way as a nurse helps a doctor. Through the help of a vet technician, the veterinarian is able to provide top-notch veterinary care to animals thereby meeting the expectations of the pet owner. A registered vet tech has several duties. They include:
- Performing initiation evaluation of the animal. The information gathered during the initial examination/evaluation creates a baseline which is used by the veterinarian to create a clear and complete profile of the animal’s health.
- Administering drugs to the animal. The vet tech administers the drugs recommended by the veterinarian. The vet tech is also responsible for instructing the animal owner on how to administer drugs that they carry home with them.
- Collecting, storing and transporting biological samples. A vet tech is tasked with the responsibility of correctly packaging and transporting biological samples in accordance with the regulations.
- Respond to ill or injured animals at the veterinary office or clinic. In most instances, vet techs are the first responders and they are required to provide first aid to an injured or ill animal so that they can stabilize it before the veterinarian can attend to it.
- Assisting the veterinarian during surgery. They also help in post-surgical procedures and monitoring the animal until it recovers fully.
- Immobilizing combative animals. An injured or ill animal may become aggressive. The vet tech is required to immobilize the animal to enhance the safety of the staff at the facility. While immobilizing the animal, the vet tech should minimize fear and discomfort in the animal.
- Reassuring animal owners. Animal owners become distraught when their animals are ill or hurt. A vet tech reassures the animal owners so that they can give accurate information about the condition of the animal.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Mississippi 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.
Just like in other states, vet techs in Mississippi must take and successfully complete both the national and state exam. The VTNE is administered by the AAVSB (American Association of Veterinary State Boards) and it reflects the modern veterinary field. This exam analyses the skills of the candidate. A candidate must score at least 425 to pass this exam. Candidates should take the VTNE when they feel that they are prepared enough and confident to pass. Candidates who fail the VTNE are required to pay the registration fee again so that they can retake the exam.
The State Board Exam tests the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of Mississippi laws and their effect on veterinary technology. By passing the State Board Exam, the candidate shows that he/she fully understands the ethical and legal regulations and responsibilities of the state.
Vet Tech Schools in Mississippi
While searching for a vet school in Mississippi, it is very important for a student to consider several factors before enrolling for a course. A student should look at the courses offered at the school, the reputation of the institution and whether the school is accredited. Vet tech schools in Mississippi are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Some of the vet tech schools in Mississippi include:
- Hinds Community College– Located in Raymond, this AVMA-accredited school offers an associate degree in applied science for vet techs. The 2- year degree program covers several areas like animal anatomy, lab work, veterinary pharmacology and hospital and surgical procedures, among others.
- Mississippi State University– This school was accredited in 2012 by the AVMA. Mississippi State University offers a 4-year Bachelor of Science degree.