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Is Veterinary Technology the Right Career for You?

April 29, 2014 General 0 Comments

Is Veterinary Technology the Right Career for You?If you're considering a career in veterinary technology but aren't quite sure whether you're ready to commit, you should learn a bit more about the daily routine and long-term job prospects in the industry. Here are a few things to consider before making a final decision.

Daily Routine

Working as a veterinary technologist in a clinic is similar to working as a nurse in conventional health care, except with a different patient base, of course. While humans can explicitly express their needs, you will have a little more difficulty communicating with your "patients" in a veterinary clinic. However, you will perform many similar tasks, such as collecting laboratory samples of blood or urine; preparing animals for surgery; administering medications, vaccinations or treatments ordered by the veterinarian; or collecting case histories.

If you work in animal research, your job duties will likely be very similar, although you'll be caring for research animals, not someone's personal pet.

Not the Typical Nine-to-Five Job

Another aspect to consider is the potential to work holidays, weekends and after hours if you work for a 24-hour clinic or facility. For some, working evenings and nights may fit in with juggling other responsibilities or childcare. However, if you prefer to exclusively work during the day, you should bear in mind that you may have to work other hours, especially in entry-level positions with low seniority.

Job Safety

Because you will be working with sick or frightened animals, there is a relatively high risk of minor injuries on the job in the veterinary technology profession. You'll be trained in several techniques to help keep you safe, but bites and scratches are a reality when you treating aggressive animals.

The Emotional Toll

If you are considering becoming a veterinary technologist, you obviously love animals, but are you ready to see them sick or injured? Are you ready to see them used in research or experiments? Providing these animals comfort can be tremendously rewarding, but as with any sort of health care profession, dealing with the suffering of another living being can take an emotional toll on you. You must develop coping skills that allow you to leave your emotions in the office, or you'll soon end up with a house full of strays and adopted pets.

The Outlook

If you think veterinary technology is the right choice for you, you should also consider the long-term prospects of this industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an estimated 30 percent job growth rate anticipated between 2012 and 2022, which is greater than the national average for most professions. There will always be people with pets who need care, which means there will always be a need for a variety of veterinary services.

Photo credit: Flickr

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