I am going to be starting college in the fall and I'm trying to decide what I want to be.
It's either a neonatal nurse or a veterinarian. I honestly would love to do both if I could, but I have to narrow it down to one.
Is anyone else here a vet or gone through college to become one? How many years does it take to get a degree and what are some necessary courses?
I'd love to be a nurse because I aboslutely love children. I would love to work with the newborns and preemies. Also there is always work for a nurse, the pay is great, and you can make your own hours basically. This would be great as I plan on doing alot of agility with Riley and a future dog and possibly breeding, so I'd need the flexibility to take time off.
Then I'd love to be a vet because I absolutely love animals as well. Dogs, cats, bunnies, anything.. they are all wonderful. I know being a vet wouldn't be easy, but I'm sure it would be worth it too. I just don't know much about starting my own vet office. Would I start being an assistant and then go on my own? Or have a partner? What would be your suggestion?
Any info and suggestions would be great, I really can't decide!
Riley-- I wish you luck in your venture whichever you chose--
I am replying with my input on my stint in Vet School-- I completed all but 2 months of my final internship for vet school thru MSU-CVM. Miss. State. I dropped out because it was nothing like i thought it would be. I have wanted to be a vet for as long as i can remember. What they teach at vet school is minimal. Yeah they teach surgeries, simples Dx's and medications but the most important thing that they dont even touch on is nutrition and compassion. Yeah i loved it when i was there-- my dogs ate Eukanuba ( before they got bought out by P&G) for free and i gave away so many bags each year of Iams and Euk because my dogs were small at the time ( chinese cresteds) and didnt eat much. MSU-CVM is soooo based on politics and influence-- I had one teacher who failed me before she even met me on one rotation beacuse she was intimidated by my knowledge of horses. I had raised horses on my farm with my parents and knew many non allopathic methods of treatments and she balked at my knowledge since it wasnt traditional medicine. That was a pain in the butt trying to get it overturned and get my fair grade for that rotation. It seemed to be all based on money, who had it , how much they had and how they used it. Its sooo political-- they dont want you to learn on your own. When i was in vet school i started doing research on more natural ways of nutrition, (raw foods, homecooked, etc)homepoathic remedies, flower essences, etc. When i did a paper on homepoathic rememdies and flower essence use in dogs and cats i recieved the paper back with an Incomplete-- they wouldnt accept it because it wasnt traditional medicine and they dont teach that BS (exact quote from senior rotation veterinarian). Also-- having been there and worked with all those other vet students-- there are maybe 1 or 2 that i would trust with my animals. Over half of them didnt know how to draw blood-- they relied on the techs who were in rotation with them to draw the blood. Im sorry but if you are a vet you should be able to do it all. The techs could do more technically than the vet students could. Also, consider the liability being a vet. Today's world is one of civil lawsuits. People will sue over anything these days. A vet has all the liabilty he can stand plus more. You will be responsible for everything even if its the owners fault and most vets dont even make enough money to cover their malpractice insurance.
I dont know if all the vet schools in the USA are like MSU-CVM is but i wouldnt wish those 7 years of horror on anyone. There are a lot of incompetent vets that graduate from vet schools. Most of the graduates I woudlnt trust with the fleas and ticks in my backyard.
This is just my measly opinion but I dont want to discourage anyone from doing what they want. Just make sure this is what you want-- Its a long 7 years and demands a ton of time-- I remember being at the vet school at 5 am every morning and having rotatiing weekends and not getting home from school until after 7 each nite. My dogs really suffered when i was in vet school-- they didnt get near the attention they needed-- also a lot of vet students if they are not on top of their health will usualyl develop health conditions due to the extreme demands placed ont he students by the curriculum.
LIke you said though, there will always be work for nurses regardless of where you go-- there will always be a need--
but with Vet medicine- a town can have tooo many vets-- and there are some places where a vet is not looked upon as a neccesity. If you want to work on your own, there are freshly graduated vet students who do start their own clinics. Generally in more rural areas. most though tend to work with established vets to get their client base and or specialty built up then if they still want to work on their own then after a few years or even a couple of decades move off on their own. Its all in what you feel comfortable doing.
I hope this post didnt come off as i was trying to discourage you from going to vet school-- you know you could do the nurse thing for a few years and youd even have a good start for vet school beacust your core curriculum would be done and you would have some basic medical knowledge that would pertain to animal medicine as well. Vets use a lot of the same drugs and such as people.
Again, I wish you much luck in your venture....
Amity with Dobber and Shade the GSDs Calista the Chinese Crested and Peanut Butter Toast the kitten
I was in prevet at Auburn University. I went there with the intent of applying to the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine when I finished my undergraduate. However, I realized by the time I was a Junior in college that while I love working with animals, i had no interest in being a veterinarian. I wanted to take care of my own animals, not other peoples. Anyway.
How it works is this. You go to collge, preferably one (though it's not required) that has a pre-veterinary program. Auburn Univ had several different prevet curriculum, including two in the College of Agriculture - Animal and Dairy Sciences or Poultry Science, two in The College of Science and Mathematics - Microbiology or Zoology, and one in the school of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Each curriculum is basically a guideline of what classes you would need to qualify for application to Vet School, in addition to core classes as required by all universities, like English, Math, Chemistry, etc. It's all laid out so you know exactly what class you would take ahead of time in what subject. A total guideline to your 4 years in college to get a Bachelor of Sciences degree, basically. There'd be a few 'elective' courses, but not many.
I personally went the route of Animal and Dairy Sciences, which means I took a lot of classes that had to do with animal husbandry of livestock, beef and dairy cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, companion animals, etc. I really prefered that, there seemedt o be more 'hands on stuff' with live animals and less lab work and looking at dead animals under a microscope the way it was in Zoology.
At the end of your sophomore year, theoretically you could apply for vet school. However, if you did, you would basically have to have a LOT of experience with animals (like have worked in a kennel/on a farm) and have incredibly good grades to even be considered. Most vet school students are only accepted into vet school after they've completed 3 years of undergraduate school. Some applicants have to finish all 4 years of undergradute school before they're considered. Good grades in the applicable classes is a must. For example, getting Cs in Biology or something like that just won't do. A C in English is more likely to be overlooked.
Once you are accepteed to vet school, you go to vet school for 4 years. The first two years are oriented toward book learning/studies. The last two years are more surgical and live animal care oriented. So at the bare minimum, if you were an incredible student with a boatload of experience with animals, you could concievably finish in 6 years and be a veterinarian. However, most vets go 7 or 8 years total. 3-4 years as an undergraduate, and 4 years of vet school.
Auburn Univ CVM does have a course in veterinary nutrition, it's a 3rd year class. But there's also an Animal Nutrition course in Animal and Dairy Sciences that's offered to undergraduates. I took it (hard class, easy final.) It was very interesting.
Anyway I think that about sums it up from my perspective.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 6/19/2005 8:04:52 PM*** Reason: add
Riley- I too and going into 1st year university next year and am torn between human and animal medicine. I work in a vetrinary clinic and my moms is a doctor and I have worked in her office. working in the two different environments have really helped me recognize the differences. Do you have MSN? We could talk about it there.
do you lean toward wanting to actually take care of one more than the other? i'm a nurse and the healthcare field has lots of problems, but it has been good to me over the last 27 years. i had always wanted to be a vet but like minni said i really didn't, in the end, want to take care of other people's pets, or go to school that many years. but funny, i wound up going to school for that many years in nursing anyway because i started as a nurse's aid and put myself through each level one at a time.
I have always thought that I'd want to be a vet or continue to work as a tech, but recently have been condsidering nursing as well. My main reason for not going to vet school was that I saw what owning a practice did to my last boss. He was stressed all the time, he worked on call until 10:00 every night and all weekend long. He had a hard time balancing work and family life. I know you don't have to own your own practice, but then, what if I have to move somewhere where there's not a position open for a veternarian. Then what do you do? With nursing you can find a job anywhere. Plus, I want to be able to spend time with my own dogs, doing fun stuff like obedience and flyball, maybe even agility someday, which takes a lot of time. As a nurse I can have more flexibiltiy. Plus I love kids too and would like to work in the neonatal care or L&D. And I love people in general. I feel like if I have the abiltiy (which some people couldn't stomach nursing) and there is a need then why hold back in helping people? Anyway, it all boils down to what you really want to do. I wish you luck in your decision. I know its tough. Let us know what you decide to do!
Good luck and remember, nothing is written in stone. LOTS of kids change majors in school. If you find the choice you make isn't the right one, you can always change your major. Or complete the training, earn a bit and go back to study your other choice.
I had the same two careers in mind when I was younger,,,,having children a little early set aside all of that, by the time I had the energy...lol I went with nursing mostly due to cost and length of schooling.....I worked in a hospital 4 years....everything from ER, Acute care, skilled care, etc....I now do Pediatric Home health and love it!! All the babies/children have trachs, are on vents, have g-Tubes, the terminal ones are painful, but when you stay with one child and help them go from tied down to a vent 24/7 to a happy talking normal child.....WOW I just continue to raise the dogs and show to keep my hunger for animals satisfied. Hospital work is 365 days a year 24/7....home health or agency is the best field to pick your schedule and get whatever time off needed.
I think I'll be going into nursing and specialize in neonatal care. One, because I really want to work with children, and I'll still have time to work with dogs either volunteering or doing the agility with Riley. Two, I can't afford 8 years of college. I'm applying for financial aid and scholarships but I can't depend on that, and my parents can't help so I'm on my own. Three, from other peoples experiences, on here and ones I've met in person, I don't like how the vet school sounds. Isn't what I thought it to be.