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Veterinary Technology – Making a Difference One Animal at a Time

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If you are someone who loves animals and the idea of working in the medical field, then veterinary technology may be a good career for you. A Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) is trained to work under the supervision of a veterinarian or in other animal health related fields.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for veterinary technicians is expected to grow 20% between the years 2016 – 2026; much faster than the average for all occupations.

What does a veterinary technician do?

Veterinary technicians must be trained to have knowledge and skills in all aspects of veterinary medicine.

Veterinary technicians perform tasks such as administering drugs, anesthesia, surgery preparation, drawing blood, giving vaccines and physical examinations. Veterinary technicians can work at private veterinary practices, medical centers, labs, animal hospitals, zoos, pharmaceutical companies, and/or in education.

What do you learn in a veterinary technology program?

Most veterinary technology programs give students the opportunity to earn an Associate in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology. The program provides training in animal husbandry and restraint, nursing, surgical preparation and techniques, drug administration, anesthesia, anatomy, laboratory techniques and radiography.

The two-year program allows students to study their general classes and be involved in many hands-on activities – which prepares them for their licensing exam while giving them clinical experience.

“Once they get into the second year of the program it really is almost all hands-on,” says Dr. Jennifer Wells, Chairperson of the Veterinary Technology Department at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College and past president of the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators (AVTE).

How do I become a veterinary technician?

Before students can become licensed veterinary technicians, they must pass a licensing exam and graduate from a program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

The AVMA webpage states “Accreditation by the AVMA Council on Education and Committee Veterinary Technician Education and Activities represents the highest standard of achievement for veterinary medical education in the United States.”

One of the reasons that Vicki Morris, who is in her second year of the program, chose to study veterinary technology at UC Blue Ash was the high success rate of the students passing their boards.

“National averages on the Veterinary Technology Licensing Exam tend to be in the 60 to 70 percentile and our students are consistently performing above that level,” says Dr. Wells.

Students at UC Blue Ash generally score in the upper 80s to lower 90s, explains Dr. Wells. “We’ve had some years where we’re close to 100 percent,” she says.

How to find a program that is right for you.

When deciding to go back to college, Lindsey Hird thought long and hard about her decision to attend UC Blue Ash and study veterinary technology.

“When I started researching veterinary technology, it didn’t take long for me to realize how great the program was at UC Blue Ash,” says Hird, who graduated in spring 2018. “Not only is it one of the best programs in the country, but it was just minutes from home.”

The Veterinary Technology Program at UC Blue Ash gives students the skills and tools they need to become a licensed veterinary technician.

While in the program, students are able to perform radiographs on animals, practice drawing blood, apply catheters, give vaccinations and put animals under anesthesia so that they can be spayed or neutered. These are all skills that Dr. Wells says students will use on a daily basis once they graduate.

Now working as a RVT, Kayla Scuitto says much of what she learned in the program applies directly to her career today. Sciutto graduated from the Veterinary Technology Program in 2016.

For anyone looking to apply to the program, Sciutto and Hird say to go for it. For more information and how to apply visit the webpage.

About Lori Rinehart

Lori Rinehart is the Communications Intern at UC Blue Ash for the 2018-19 academic year. Lori studies Journalism and Spanish at the University of Cincinnati Uptown campus.