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Like Rainheart said, you don't need schooling for being a vet assistant. Vet assistant is usually for people that walk in from the street into a vet clinic, because they love animals and want to work with them. It is also a job for students that want to get into vet school.
I am a licensed veterinary technician and I had to go to college to a veterinary technician program and then take a national board exam and a state board exam to be licensed. It is also a great career but sooo underpaid. It is always a slap in the face when a vet does not want to pay to have a licensed tech and instead hires somebody off the street and teaches them everything, then calls them a "technician". Often these people are allowed to draw blood,place IV catheters, and everything else which should only be done by a licensed tech or a vet. Often the law is being broken but I have seen my share of cheap vets, that don't care and won't get caught anyway. I have seen a vet assistant be allowed to neuter a cat, just because they planned on eventually going to vet school. That is so wrong on many levels. I would never do that, if a vet would ask me if I wanted to try it. ONLY vets can perform surgery, prescribe medications and diagnose diseases. These are the only three things that a licensed tech is not allowed to do. A vet assistant is suppose to be just an assistant to the vet and the technician.
Like I said, a licensed vet tech is a good job and career and those jobs will never go away, but it is underpaid. If vets continue to let "monkey see, monkey do" assistants do a licensed vet techs work, it will always be a battle for technicians to get better pay and recognition.
About the dog training thing, I really don't know much about that. I train my own dogs just by experience and reading books. I know there are schools out there, also schools for trainers for leaderdogs/service dogs. My niece wanted to attend one of those schools in California, but did not get the chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Thank you! Perfect advice :) I didn't know there was a difference between vet tech and vet assistant and I apologize for my ignorance... Appreciate the response!
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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Like Rainheart said, you don't need schooling for being a vet assistant. Vet assistant is usually for people that walk in from the street into a vet clinic, because they love animals and want to work with them. It is also a job for students that want to get into vet school.
I am a licensed veterinary technician and I had to go to college to a veterinary technician program and then take a national board exam and a state board exam to be licensed. It is also a great career but sooo underpaid. It is always a slap in the face when a vet does not want to pay to have a licensed tech and instead hires somebody off the street and teaches them everything, then calls them a "technician". Often these people are allowed to draw blood,place IV catheters, and everything else which should only be done by a licensed tech or a vet. Often the law is being broken but I have seen my share of cheap vets, that don't care and won't get caught anyway. I have seen a vet assistant be allowed to neuter a cat, just because they planned on eventually going to vet school. That is so wrong on many levels. I would never do that, if a vet would ask me if I wanted to try it. ONLY vets can perform surgery, prescribe medications and diagnose diseases. These are the only three things that a licensed tech is not allowed to do. A vet assistant is suppose to be just an assistant to the vet and the technician.
Like I said, a licensed vet tech is a good job and career and those jobs will never go away, but it is underpaid. If vets continue to let "monkey see, monkey do" assistants do a licensed vet techs work, it will always be a battle for technicians to get better pay and recognition.
About the dog training thing, I really don't know much about that. I train my own dogs just by experience and reading books. I know there are schools out there, also schools for trainers for leaderdogs/service dogs. My niece wanted to attend one of those schools in California, but did not get the chance.
I have definitely heard of people being called 'technician' who are only assistants and it makes me angry, too. Thankfully that is not the case where I work, but I would find it to be very rude if I just came in with no experience (like I did) and ended up doing the same thing as you who went through at least 2 years of school.

Working in a vet clinic would be a great idea, but it is definitely not for everyone. Vet techs have great jobs, so that may be something to look into. One of my fellow co-workers is taking her boards in April for it and finishing up school in May. She took it all online and has worked really hard. I know it will pay off and she will make a great 'official' tech (because for some reason if you are in vet tech school, you can do vet tech stuff).

Anyone at my work is allowed to draw blood (except from the jugular) but only tech's and vets are allowed to do catheters.
 

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I have a question for you Rainheart: I did not do online classes but I also heard about online vet tech programs. My question is and that is just out of curiosity: how does your coworker do her lab requirements? Does it count what she does at the clinic and gets like a homework to do? I had so many labs for different subjects on blood drawing, IV catheters, exams, injections, x-rays, anesthesia, bandaging, suturing, learning how to do CBCs and white blood cell counts manually, etc. etc. We always had dogs and cats from the humane society at the school for several weeks to practise on and then they went back to be adopted, because they had their shots and so on. When it came down to classes about laboratory animals, we had mice, rats, gerbils, hamster, bunnies and guinea pigs to practise blood drawing etc. For the large animal classes we went to a teaching farm and worked with the horses and livestock there. We also had to do two internships, one in the summer in the first year and one during the fall/winter semester, the second year.
Also we had to attend a lot of lectures in other places and visit different facilities such as specialty clinics.
I have always wondered how online schooling would work with all that has to be learned.
 

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Mardovar Goldens
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Kahuna - if you have xray tech experience, have you considered talking with a vet clinich which has alot of ortho work or specialization and offer to specialize in the xray work while you get some other hands on vet tech opportunities and training? This might give you a good feeling as to whether this is the sort of work you want to pursue for a career. On-line training and classes are great for basic and background knowledge for either training or vet tech - but hands on experience is paramount for training and for animal care. I also agree that formal training & classes leading to certification helps create a quality vet tech. That, and having a huge heart for animals! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Kahuna - if you have xray tech experience, have you considered talking with a vet clinich which has alot of ortho work or specialization and offer to specialize in the xray work while you get some other hands on vet tech opportunities and training? This might give you a good feeling as to whether this is the sort of work you want to pursue for a career. On-line training and classes are great for basic and background knowledge for either training or vet tech - but hands on experience is paramount for training and for animal care. I also agree that formal training & classes leading to certification helps create a quality vet tech. That, and having a huge heart for animals! :)
Great advice!!!!!! I will definitely look into that! Who says I can't Vet Tech AND train :D That covers X Ray too! Thanks so much :D
 

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One thing that usually doesn't get mentioned is a trainer needs a stable, well balanced demo dog. A trainer isn't really training jqp's dogs but teaching the owner to train their own dog. IMO, Going to many types of classes, seminars and assisting a good trainer (having a mentor) along with studying learning theory are a must.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
That was my intention with getting Kahuna :) I chose him for his temperment and energy level hoping he would make a great demo dog :D
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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I have a question for you Rainheart: I did not do online classes but I also heard about online vet tech programs. My question is and that is just out of curiosity: how does your coworker do her lab requirements? Does it count what she does at the clinic and gets like a homework to do? I had so many labs for different subjects on blood drawing, IV catheters, exams, injections, x-rays, anesthesia, bandaging, suturing, learning how to do CBCs and white blood cell counts manually, etc. etc. We always had dogs and cats from the humane society at the school for several weeks to practise on and then they went back to be adopted, because they had their shots and so on. When it came down to classes about laboratory animals, we had mice, rats, gerbils, hamster, bunnies and guinea pigs to practise blood drawing etc. For the large animal classes we went to a teaching farm and worked with the horses and livestock there. We also had to do two internships, one in the summer in the first year and one during the fall/winter semester, the second year.
Also we had to attend a lot of lectures in other places and visit different facilities such as specialty clinics.
I have always wondered how online schooling would work with all that has to be learned.
She has to video tape a lot of things she does and send that in along with xrays and whatnot. The owner of our clinic has a farm and that is where she gets most of her large animal experience from.
 
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