Veterinarians are feeling the crunch with the rising pet care demand. More people are opting out of going to the vet in the first place. That leaves vets working harder than ever to provide quality care. As a result, many vets have to hire extra help to cover their shifts. And that extra help is forcing some vets to turn to nursemaids, even though there is no physical difference between a vet and nursing student.
A number of US states have made licensing more difficult for veterinary nurses. Veterinarians are required to get a Veterinary Technology License (Vet) in order to treat pets. Licensing means that a vet has completed all required study and passed the necessary tests to become a licensed veterinary nurse. Some states, like Montana, still allow the vet to get an associate degree in nursing before they can get a license.
The demand for vet assistants is outstripping the number of positions available. In addition to having to deal with more sick pets, the job demands physically demanding tasks, such as standing for long periods of time in one position, or moving from one room to another. Veterinarians can’t do it all on their own either. They need help. So what options do vet assistants have? One option is working for a veterinary clinic as a veterinary technician.
One of the benefits of working as a vet assistant is having steady employment. This is especially important during economic times when everyone needs a paycheck. Many veterinary offices are closed during bad weather, but many others are open even during poor weather. Working as a vet assistant during bad weather helps reduce travel costs, because the travel expenses aren’t needed.
Even though a vet tech is not certified to perform surgeries, there are some things that they can do. Technicians are able to provide assistance to the vet and their patients. They can check the vital signs of animals, and they can treat minor injuries. If an animal is too sick to be taken in to the veterinarian, they can provide medication and assist in other ways. They can even provide x-rays, depending on the situation.
Vet techs have different responsibilities, depending on where they work. Some will simply work in the office as a receptionist, while others will be called to come and care for animals in the field. There are also vet assistants who take appointments for patients and perform other clerical duties. But one of the most common duties for a vet assistant is to help the vet in surgeries. This can mean administering anesthetics, assisting the surgeon with a surgical procedure, putting the cat into a gown, moving a catheter and sewing a suture.
It’s a good career choice, and most graduates get good jobs. Many people choose careers as veterinary assistants because they are not tied to one location. You can be a vet assistant in New York City and then move to a small town in Texas. You could even live in a large city and choose to become a veterinary assistant for a year, and then return to your home state to find work. Some people choose to travel the world, taking care of animals for a year or two. This is a very lucrative option, but it can take quite a while before you find a job in this field.
The pet care market has definitely grown, and this means that there are many more opportunities for workers. Demand for veterinarians has also grown, which means that the salary for these professionals has gone up as well. As you can see, it’s a very competitive field, and the rising job outlook should allow you to make a good income. If you are interested in becoming a veterinarian, you may want to start looking online for information on what the job entails, and the requirements to become a licensed veterinary technician and/or veterinary assistant.