Zoo vet technicians are particularly appreciated in the field of veterinary medicine, as they are specifically trained to take care of both big and small animals in wildlife parks, zoos, aquariums and such. The duties and responsibilities of the zoo vet technicians vary greatly depending on their work environment, but these animal health care providers must be trained to provide medical services to animals of all kids, including reptiles, birds, tigers, monkeys and various other exotic animals that a regular vet tech would not be able to care for.
Having said that, it is the duty of the zoo vet tech to assist the zoological veterinarian during various examinations and procedures on zoo animals, and these professionals must also be ready to handle animals of all kinds, species and sizes, especially venomous animals such as scorpions or snakes, the latter requiring special attention.
Zoo vet techs also have to collect blood or tissue samples and to send them over to the laboratory for testing, to change the bandages of the animals if they get injured as well as to prepare the surgical site for the animal patient. In most cases, zoological veterinary technicians can also order, perform and interpret ultrasound operations, radiographs and other similar tests, and they must also be able to administer the IV fluids, along with injections, topical treatments and various other treatments exactly as prescribed by the veterinarian in charge.
Education Requirements For Becoming A Zoological Veterinary Technician
Those who want to become zoo vet techs must firstly pursue a career as licensed veterinary technicians – in order to do so, they must take a two-year course in veterinary science and then to graduate with an Associate’s Degree in the field. The next step upon graduation is sitting for the NVT certification exam, or the National Veterinary Technician exam, and only after that they can choose to specialize in one of the 11 different specialties in veterinary medicine (in this case, zoological medicine).
The certification is an aspect of utmost importance for every future zoo vet etch, this is why it is crucial for these animal health care professionals to graduate from a program that is NAVTA-approved. One of the most reputable, appreciated and trustworthy institutions that offer thorough theoretical and practical training for those who want to work as zoo vet techs is the AVZMT, or the Academy of Veterinary Zoological Medicine Technicians.
The requirements for becoming a zoological veterinary technicians do vary from one state of another, but generally speaking in addition to completing an approved training course, these future animal health care providers must also have at least 10,000 hours of practical experience as certified veterinary technicians, which is the equivalent of 5 years of experience.
In addition to this, the future zoo vet techs must also enroll in continuing education courses and complete at least 40 hours of training, at least five years before they decide to apply for the certification as zoological veterinary technicians. These professionals must also provide a proof of attendance, which shows that they have attended the lectures, in addition to a case log that contains at least 40 zoological medical cases, where they exemplify their knowledge as well as their skills in the field of animal patient management and care.
Residency Training And Certification
The residency training period also plays a pivotal role in the process of becoming a zoological veterinary technician, especially if you plan to seek certification in the field. That being said, the residency period can last anywhere between three and four months, and these programs are approved and regulated by ACZM, also known as the American College of Zoological Medicine, which is basically the certifying board for those who plan to become zoo vets and zoo vet technicians. The purpose of the residency period is to help you receive in-depth training in the field of zoological medicine, as well as to sharpen your clinical skills and your research abilities.
Although becoming certified is not mandatory, it does show that you have a superior level of training and expertise in the field of zoological veterinary medicine, and in order to be able to sit for the certification exam you must firstly graduate from an AVMA-approved zoo vet tech training program, to possess a license and to have published at least five articles in professional journals, on topics that are directly related to zoological medicine.