Vet Tech

(Chris) Hello, I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center joined today by two registered veterinary technicians here at Kansas State Vet School. And I think with that I’d just like to welcome Beth Gallagher and Gina Jenson, both registered veterinary technicians here at the vet school. And I think that sometimes people don’t actually realize there is a difference between a veterinary technician and a veterinary assistant. And Beth could you elaborate kind of what a veterinary technician is? (Beth) Absolutely. A veterinary technician is somebody who has gone through a two-year credentialed veterinary technician program. They’ve graduated from that program, gone on to take their national board exam and then each state usually has an additional state board exam that they have to pass before they can become registered, licensed or certified, depending on the state, and actually practice as a veterinary technician in that state. (Chris) So as Beth had explained, being a registered veterinary technician you become registered within that state or individual states. What does it entail being registered within a state? (Gina) So, in the state of Kansas this state requires two tests. So, we take the state test that covers the laws the things that we are allowed and not allowed to do. And we also take our test for knowledge, just like veterinarians would take, our boards. So, we have to pass those two tests. After we pass those tests then we get licensed. After we get licensed, we have to keep that license up each year, that comes with continuing ed. So, keeping our knowledge base a little higher. Making sure that we’re up to date with the new treatments and techniques that are out there. (Chris) And think people, when you talk about continuing education, that could be a multitude of different things depending on the interest of whatever the veterinarian technician is working with animal wise, and how many hours is that for the state of Kansas? How many hours do they need to do continuing education? (Gina) For technicians, it’s 8 hours. (Chris) OK. Wow. And I think that’s great to keep up with that and maybe people don’t even realize that Beth, when it comes to when they go to a veterinary clinic, they see a registered veterinary technician, or a veterinary assistant. (Beth) Sure. (Chris) So, what’s a veterinary assistant then? (Beth) A veterinary assistant can be somebody who is trained within the clinic itself, or there are also programs either through vocational ed, or high school. There are also through veterinary technology programs, assistant certification programs. And so they haven’t had the same level of education that the veterinary technician has, but they’re there to support the veterinary technicians and the veterinarians while they are doing their daily procedures. (Chris) And so what a registered veterinary technician is if people want to relate that to the human side is a registered nurse. (Beth) Yea. (Chris) Pretty much for the animals. And I think being able to do quite a few things with the animals and really help out on a day-to-day basis of those animals is what a veterinary technician is available to do. Is there any specialities with the veterinary technicians? (Beth) There are. Absolutely. The North American Veterinary Technician Association, which is kind of our national organization, recognized 11 different specialty categories. And the navta.net is the website to go to if you have curiosity about information, but some of those happen to include small animal internal medicine board, the equine specialty board, emergency and critical care board, dentistry board. So very similar to any boarded veterinarian category, they are becoming boarded veterinary technician categories as well. (Chris) I didn’t even realize there was that many there for veterinary technicians too, which is great because the amount of specialty or needs of specialty is out there especially even at veterinary practices and hospitals. (Beth) Absolutely. (Chris) I sure… you know the aspects of having you guys here at the vet school and helping even teach students is one of the responsibilities and technical skills here at the vet school is also appreciated. And I think that’s something that people don’t even realize when they’re here at the vet school, the amount of support staff, and registered veterinary technicians we have here in the different departments. And Beth, I guess real quick, what’s your responsibility here at the vet school, as far as, what do you do? (Beth) I work in the small animal general medicine, which is as close as a senior student is going to get to a regular practice during their senior year. (Chris) OK. Perfect. (Beth) In dogs and cats. (Chris) And Gina what what is your responsibility here? (Gina) I work in equine. (Chris) OK. (Gina) So I help with medicine and surgery and so we just take care of the horses. (Chris) Yep. That is great. Well thank you guys both for joining us here at the Veterinary Health Center and being here. (Beth) Absolutely, you’re welcome. (Gina) Thank you. (Chris) I’m Dr. Chris Blevins, with Horsin’ Around and we’ll see you around.

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