Monday, April 22, 2013

What is a veterinarian technician?

A veterinarian technician (also referred to as Vet Tech) is a person trained and licensed to work under the supervision of a veterinarian to perform laboratory and clinical positions.  The type of work done by a veterinarian technician can vary depending on your area of specialty, years of experience in the field and what type of office you are working in.
Responsibilities of a veterinarian technician
Similar to how medical doctors work with nurses, it is the veterinarian technician's responsibility to fill that role for a vet. They do not diagnose, prescribe or perform surgeries, but have other responsibilities that assist in veterinarian medicine. Some of those responsibilities include: nursing care for patients, surgical assisting, collecting lab samples, taking x-rays and educating clients on procedures. Each of the following responsibilities also fall to a veterinarian technician:  
General Responsibilities:
  • Assist with dental work for patients
  • Administer anesthesia
  • Medical tests like blood tests, collecting samples and taking x-rays
  • Prepare for surgery
  • Observe animal behavior
  • Give vaccinations and treatments prescribed by a veterinarian
  • Analyze patient results and case histories
During the Procedure:
  • Observe animal behavior
  • Monitor heart and respiratory rates
  • Assist in the procedure
  • Help with recovery
  • Administer post-op anesthesia and medications

In many cases animal owners develop a better connection with their technician, mainly because they are the ones with the most interaction with the animals, help clients understand procedures and make them feel most comfortable.

A veterinarian technician should not be confused with a veterinarian assistant. While both are important professions that assist with animal care, they actually incorporate different responsibilities. Unlike a vet tech, a veterinarian assistant does not need to be certified or licensed. Their duties often include feeding and cleaning the animals, sterilizing equipment and several other responsibilities that do not require a technical education.

Veterinarian Technician Trainings and Specialties
Becoming a veterinarian technician is not an easy accomplishment. Many who wish to become a vet tech first achieve their associate degree, which covers veterinarian technology, office management, and animal anatomy. After completion of their courses, students are required to pass a credential exam, in most cases it is the Veterinarian Technician National Examination. After taking the exam an application must be submitted to the state licensing board. Once education is completed a veterinarian technician will often work under a veterinarian in an office for trainings.  After becoming fully certified a veterinarian technician must renew their certification periodically.
There are a large collection of specialties a veterinarian technician can choose to focus on:
  • Anesthesia care
  • Behavioral medicine
  • Clinical pathology or practice
  • Dentistry
  • Emergency care
  • Internal Medicine
  • Surgical technology
  • Zoological medicine.

In most of these cases a technician will need to be certified and accumulate experience in a clinical setting learning from a veterinarian.
Salary for veterinarian technicians
The average salary for a veterinarian technician is about $31,000 annually. Of course this number changes depending on where your office is located, in what setting are you assisting in and experience in the field. For example vet techs that are employed by governmental agencies earn approximately $45,000. While those that work in general hospitals make an average of $43,000.
Location can play a major role in determining how much a veterinarian technician can earn. In Alaska (the highest paying state for vet techs) they make an average of $38,190 annually. The second best paying state for a technician is New York, where they earn an average of $37,460. The next three highest paying states are Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Veterinary Salary

Veterinarian is considered an economically stable and prosperous profession. Salaries for veterinarians generally increase with experience, usually in correlation with years of experience. Not all veterinarians make the same amount, it varies depending on what type of practice they have, how many years they have been in their field and where their office is located. The average salary for a veterinarian is between $80,000 and $91,000. It is estimated that there are 55,410 veterinarians employed in the U.S.

Some of the variables which can affect the amount a veterinarian can make:

First year veterinarians - In the first year of being a veterinarian, most earn approximately $60,000. However this number changes depending on what category of animal treatment you decide to focus on. The highest paid veterinarians are small animal practice veterinarians. Veterinarians who focus on smaller animal and pets earn on average $64,744. Large animal practice veterinarians earn a starting salary of $62,424. Doctors who decide to treat both small and large animal earn a starting salary of $58,522.
Partners or Associates - Veterinarians who are partners and own their practice make a significant amount more than hired associates. On average a practice owner will make $120,000. This is $40,000 more than an associate makes.
Office Location - Where your practice is situated can be a major determinate of how much money you will earn. Veterinarians with practices in high populated metropolitan areas earn a higher salary. The highest earning states for a veterinarian include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Hawaii, Delaware and the District of Columbia. 
Future growth factor- The more experience a veterinarian has the more money they tend to earn. On average a veterinarians salary will increase 6% every year.

Veterinarian continues to be a prosperous position, with much potential for growth. Training to become a veterinarian are extensive, however when completed you have the opportunity to earn a high salary that grows over time. 

Veterinarian School

Becoming a veterinarian in not an easy feat. It requires extensive schooling, trainings and experience. Veterinarians need to be able to treat all kinds of animals and need to be prepared to handle any issue that can arise.

Veterinarians need to be ready to treat and diagnose all types of animals, prevent the spread of infections to humans and assist researchers with animal related issues. To become a veterinarian a significant amount of schooling is required. A vet must first complete undergraduate school, four years of veterinarian school and then acquire a state license.

To apply to Veterinary school, a student must first complete undergraduate school, usually studying biological and physical sciences. The average GPA required to be admitted to veterinarian school is between 3.5 and 3.7.

Getting into veterinarian  school can be difficult; it is a competitive field and certain requirements must first be met. In the United States there are 28 Veterinary schools that are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) Council on Education. Only one third of the applicants are admitted to veterinarian  school. Many schools require more biology classes than medical schools do.

Once admitted to veterinarian school, four years of schooling are then required to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. The first two years of incorporate various aspects of basic science education. The final two years include clinical instruction; where hopeful student acquire experience in diagnosing and treating animal diseases. During the last year of veterinarian  school students generally concentrate on participating in clinical rotations in animal hospitals and learning from licensed veterinarians. Upon completion of school, veterinarians  in training are forced to obtain a license from the state licensing board. The veterinarian licensing exam covers veterinary laws and regulations and must be passed before becoming  a license veterinarian.

After acquiring a license to practice veterinary medicine, many choose to go into a specialty. There are currently over 40 veterinary specialties recognized by the AVMA. To successfully go into a specialty a applicant needs to achieve certification through the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties. Some specialties include: dentistry and pathology, internal medicine, radiology and oncology. Specialties require 3-4 years of experience and training in an approved residency program.

VET Supplies

Veterinarian equipment is somewhat similar to the supplies and tools used by many physicians, with additional modifications made to help adapt to animal patient needs. Over the years there have been significant innovations made in the field of veterinary technology. With all of the updates being implemented, animal care is of the highest standard and quality. Treatments last longer and have become more effective, and prognosis has been made vastly easier through sophisticated imaging capabilities and detailed assessments.

Ultrasound Equipment
Ultrasound equipment is used to direct sound wave to a specified organ and generate an image on a screen through the reflection of those waves. Veterinarians use ultrasounds for non-invasive imaging procedures in internal organs. The speed of the ultrasound allows the veterinarian to view the images as streaming footage of the organ and its functions.

Anesthesia Equipment
Anesthesia equipment is imperative to a veterinarian. The type of anesthesia tools used varies depending on what procedure the vet is implementing. In some cases a light anesthesia is used, given through an injection or gas. The gas can be delivered in two methods: rebreathing and non-rebreathing. Rebreathing systems involve a mixture of oxygen and anesthesia and is generally given to larger animals. It will recirculate exhaled gases, extract the carbon dioxide and refilling it with the oxygen and anesthesia. Non-rebreathing systems are similar to breathing systems in the fact that it utilizes a mixture of oxygen and anesthesia, with slight deviations involved. This system is generally used on smaller animals and expels exhaled gases through a hose.

X-Ray Equipment
X-Ray equipment is commonly used by veterinarians to identify gall stones, diagnose fractures and identify objects that an animal has swallowed.

Surgical Instruments
The surgical tools used by veterinarians greatly resemble the instruments used by physicians in hospitals. They use scissors, retractors, scalpels, forceps and other common instruments used in hospitals.

Pet Vaccinations

Many veterinarians  focus on the study of small animals or pets. These vets are the ones that you will bring your dog, cat or pet to for treatments and check-ups. Veterinarian's  recommendations for your pet can be broken down into two types; core pet vaccinations and non-core vaccinations. Core pet vaccinations are recommended for every pet, while non-core vaccines are prescribed for your specific pet's lifestyle. Vaccinations for pets can generally be administered when they reach 6 weeks old.
There have been tremendous improvements made to pet vaccinations and have been proven to protect your pets for a longer period of time.

Pet Vaccinations for Dogs
It is imperative that you take your dog to the vet for vaccines and treatments. Young puppies can be highly susceptible to certain diseases and need to be vaccinated against them when they become old enough to buildup an immunity. Some of the common disease puppies are at high risk of experiencing are hepatitis, parvovirus, rabies and distemper.
 What type and how often to vaccinate your dog can depend on certain variables that relate to your specific pet. Some of these variables include; the age of your dog,  the breed, current health status, lifestyle or travel habits. Each of these factors can determine whether or not your dog should be vaccinated at all. 
As mentioned before there are two categories of vaccination for your dog. Vaccines that are recommended for all dogs (core vaccines) are utilized to protect your dog against more serious diseases that could be life threatening. Diseases such as hepatitis, rabies or distemper are all treated with core vaccines. The vaccines which relate to your specific dog (non-core vaccines) are used to treat less threatening infections like Kennel cough or Lyme disease.
When a vet gives your dog or puppy a vaccine it helps its immune system become familiar with what the disease looks like, so it can then develop anti-bodies for future infection prevention. The vaccines given are designed to treat several diseases in one injection. A combination vaccine should be administered when your puppy reaches the six and nine week marks. At 12 and 15 weeks your puppy will require another combination vaccine and a rabies vaccine. Older dogs are given a shot once a year.
Reactions to the vaccinations are not common among dogs, but they do occur on occasion. If you feel that your dog is having a poor reaction to the vaccines, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as you can.

Pet Vaccinations for Cats
Vaccinations for your cat are vital for its ongoing health. Many vaccines administered to cats, varies depending on the type of cat and their lifestyle, while others can apply to all cats. Vaccines that are important to all cats can protect them from illnesses like panleukopenia, feline herpes virus type I and rabies. The vaccines which only apply to certain cats protect them from leukemia, and feline immunodeficiency. The vaccinations your cat will need depend on several conditions and the variables depending on your specific pet. Some of these variables include: the risk that the infection can spread to other people, the severity of reactions to the vaccines, the potential effectiveness of the vaccine, the age and overall health of your cat and how exposed your cat is to other disease carrying animals.
Kittens receive many of the essential antibodies from their mother's milk. These anti-bodies will help your kitten defend against infection and disease until its immune system develops. Vaccines are given at around this time period; generally around the age of 6 to 8 weeks of age. They are administered at four week intervals until your cat reaches 16 weeks old.
Reactions to the vaccinations are not common but can occur. If your cat is experiencing any allergic or dangerous reaction to the vaccines, you should consult your veterinarian  as soon as possible. 

What is a veterinarian?

A veterinarian is a professional trained and educated in the prevention and treatment of diseases, disorders and injuries relating to all non-human animals. They specialize in the treatment of a wide-variety of animals, broken down into three categories: large animals, small animals and exotic. Most veterinarians work in a clinical setting, giving treatments to animals directly.  They give vaccinations, administer medications, perform necessary surgeries and provide health care for animals of all kinds. Unlike human physicians, a veterinarian  is largely concerned with clinical signs, because animals cannot describe what specifically ails them.
The larger animals which a veterinarian will focus on generally refers to farm animals. Some specialize in large animal orthopedics, while others choose to focus on general large animal services. Small animal veterinarians care for the more common animals like dogs or cats for example. Exotic animals physicians most often work in zoos tending to the care of special animals like lions or have a private practice dedicated to exotic pets.
Your veterinarian can help advise you on every aspect of animal health; from diet and exercise, interaction with other animals to preventive measures. They play an integral role in the prevention of animal diseases and preventing the spread of those diseases to humans. They focus on areas that benefit people as well as animals; by identifying and preventing diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Similar to human physicians, a vet can focus on preventive medical treatments; determining potential problems with an animal and diagnosing preventive treatments. Doctors wanting to become a veterinarian  can enter into a number of different specialties that will define what kind of doctor they will be and what their responsibilities will include. For instance: a general practice veterinarian will be trained to treat a wide variety of conditions and offer basic surgeries to animals in need. Some of the specialties that some choose to enter are radiology, orthopedics, and oncology. There are currently over 40 veterinary specialties recognized.
Responsibilities of general practice veterinarians can include vaccinations, well pet exams, spay and neuter services, setting broken bones and dealing with medical condition like kidney failure or infections. Because it is required for them to be trained to treat animals of all types, the training to become a veterinarian is extensive. They must first complete medical school and then work as a clinical resident. Vets who choose to go into a specialty, continue to go through additional residencies for that subject.
Veterinary school takes four years to complete. Once completed the national and state board exam must be passed. For those wanting to become a veterinary specialist there are additional trainings that must be completed after graduation. To attain the specialty certification there is usually a minimum of two years required, however this number varies depending on the specialty selected. 

When a vet decides to go into a specialty there are a wide-variety of focuses related to Veterinary medicine to choose from:

Small animal practice - Focuses primarily on the care of pets or smaller animals.
Large animal practice - Field of veterinary medicine concerned with larger animals usually on a farm or with livestock.
Exotic animal vets - Specialty which largely focuses on exotic animals such as reptile and certain birds. many who go into this field do work at zoos.
Conservation medicine -  A field dedicated to the understanding of the interactions between humans and animals and how it relates to environmental conditions.
Food safety practice - Veterinarian  who are trained to advise on the health concerns of handling and storing food
Laboratory animal practice - Veterinarians which dedicate their work to the care and treatment of laboratory animals.
Equine medicine - Generally deals with the study and care of horses
Food animal medicine - Exclusively deals with animals raised for food purposes.
Wildlife medicine - Concerned with the overall health of wildlife.