Do you love working with animals as well as people? Do you like science, solving problems and helping others? Veterinary technology could be the field for you.
What can I do in veterinary technology?
Veterinary technicians can do everything a veterinarian can do except diagnose, prescribe and perform surgery. Common tasks performed by veterinary technicians include taking medical history, providing treatment for routine problems and counseling clients. They draw blood, collect urine, and perform skin scrapings and routine lab procedures and tests. Veterinary technicians also administer medications, anesthesia and blood products to the animals as prescribed by the veterinarian, as well as dress wounds, take vital signs, clean teeth and take radiographs. They commonly assist veterinarians in surgery and maintain treatment records and inventory of all pharmaceuticals, equipment and supplies.
What characteristics and skills do I need to work in this field?
If you care about animals, enjoy working with your hands, are good at basic math and decision-making, and like working with people and handling a variety of responsibilities, then the challenging career of veterinary technology may be just right for you.
Where can I work?
While the majority of veterinary technicians are employed in private practice, the demand for technicians is rapidly expanding to include new employment opportunities in both human and animal health-related fields such as biomedical research, colleges and universities, diagnostic laboratories, drug and feed manufacturing companies, food safety inspection, humane societies and animal control facilities, military service, veterinary supply sales, and zoos and wildlife facilities. The job market for veterinary technicians is very strong. More and more veterinary practices in the area are recruiting as they recognize the positive impact that formally trained technicians can have on their practices.
What does Trident Technical College offer?
Trident Technical College’s Veterinary Technology accredited associate degree program is housed at the Berkeley Campus in a modern facility, which includes digital X-ray systems, a surgical laser, ultrasound machine and in-house blood machines. Clinical labs give students the opportunity to care for patients from a local animal shelter.
The Veterinary Technology program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.
Veterinary Technology General Information
Veterinary Technology program students by policy are only allowed to work with animals from local shelters. Animals that are less likely to be adopted are brought into the program. Their medical, surgical and social needs are addressed by program faculty and students. Students also socialize, clean and groom the animals. This greatly increases the likelihood of the animals being adopted upon their return to the shelter.
Credentialing Examinations and Licensure
Students who successfully complete the Veterinary Technology program are eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The fee for registering for the VTNE is currently $300, though this is subject to change. Many states also have their own licensure exam which must be passed successfully, in addition to the VTNE, in order to become licensed or certified in that state. You are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate licensing board in the state in which you plan to work to verify rules, regulations, fees, etc.
In South Carolina, after graduates have successfully completed the national exam (VTNE), they are eligible to register for the state licensing exam which covers rules and regulations relating to the practice of veterinary technology. The cost for registering for this exam is currently $50.
Once students have successfully completed both the VTNE and the state exam, they can register with the state to be credentialed as a Licensed Veterinary Technician, LVT. Detailed information about both examinations, including contact information, timelines, fees, documentation, etc, will be provided to program students at the beginning of their final semester in the program.
Program Graduate Licensure Exam Pass Rates
For the cohort of students eligible to take the exam during the testing period of July 2012 through June 2015, 54 candidates were eligible to sit for the exam. Of the 54 eligible candidates, 43 sat for the exam with a resulting average pass rate of 88 percent.
Who to Contact Regarding Animal Welfare Concerns
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is mandated to evaluate concerns raised by anyone regarding the care and use of animals at Trident Technical College. If you suspect mistreatment of animals or non-compliance with approved protocols, college policies or local, state or federal regulations, please contact the Animal Care and Use Committee chairman, the attending veterinarian or the office of the college president immediately. The contact can be made by telephone, fax, and in-person or in writing. Individuals making the report do not have to identify themselves, unless they wish to do so. If you are relaying your concerns in writing, you may use the Animal Welfare Concerns Reporting form and the allocated drop box located within the Veterinary Technology building.
Please use the following contact information to relay your concerns:
A. Attending Veterinarian
Paul Kerwin, DVM
B. Office of the College President
Helen Sughrue, Administrative Coordinator
All concerns will be investigated and immediate action will be taken by the committee as necessary to resolve any issues that are or may be a threat to animal health or safety. The minimum report must include nature of complaint, location of where the activity being reported occurred, date and approximate time of the incident. Whenever possible, indicate the name(s) of the individual(s) involved in the activity.
Mistreatment is physical or psychological, wrongful or abusive treatment of an animal. Non-compliance means that procedures or policies are not being followed, and this may be willful or stem from confusion or misunderstanding. The Animal Welfare Act protects the rights of individuals reporting animal welfare concerns and prohibits discrimination against or reprisal for reporting violations of regulations or standards under the Animal Welfare Act.