I'm a nurse (22years) and I'm really sick of hospital politics and administration. I need a change. Since I love animals, what could I go to school for and possibly still make a decent buck. I'd love to go to vet school, but at my age, it's pretty far-fetched. What's the diffenence between a vet-tech and vet assistant.
vet-techs take an actual vetrenary technician course. i think scout is a tech and she can tell you about it. i think that it is three years and they have a great deal of responsablilty, they are the nurses of the vetranary care world. vet-assistants sometimes take a short course in animal care or behavior, they do not have nearly as much responsablilty as the techs. i think they would be the equivelent of a nurses aid.
lalayla - a tech is equivalent to a human nurse as far as our responsibilites go but the pay is about a 1/3 of what you probably make. a short list of my job duties includes - putting in iv's , drawing blood, medicating animals that are hospitalized, preparing animals for surgery - calculating the dose of anesthesia, administering it, tubing the animals, monitoring them while they are under, prepping them for surgery, ie shaving and scrubbing them, post surgery care, cleaning up, sterilizing equipment, doing dentistries, giving vaccines, running blood work and other lab work like urines and fecals, holding animals for the doctors if the owners cannot hold them, keeping track of inventory, and ordering supplies, client education. there is more but that is just a few points of my day. a vet assistant does much less, basically just holds the animals for us to do our part, gives baths, and maybe some kennel work. the national tech salary is about 12 - 14 dollars an hour depending on the side of the country you live and health benefits are only paid for 0 - 50 %. hope this info helps.
in new jersey it is a two year course. depending on the state, after you pass the certification test you are either a cvt, rvt or aht. each state has its own letters, like vet schools , depending on where you go you are either a dvm or a vmd
as far as hospitalized animals go it is random. we could have none for a week then we could have 7 in all at once. as far as surgeries go we have a minimum of 7 regular surgeries and at least 2-4 dentals a day. the biggest pitfall is it can become like an ER in a matter of minutes and of course it is always at 8 o clock when you are leaving in a half an hour. last tuesday night we were at work til 11 pm because of two dog fight victims coming in and needing surgery to repair wounds, and a blocked cat came in. makes for an exciting but tiring environment sometimes. if you have worked in an ER i am sure you could understand how the poop hits the fan all of a sudden. no different here.
Thanks for the encouragement, but I'm 46 and I only have an associate's degree in nursing. Lets face it, vet school would probably take up the next 10 years of my life. I'd be close to retiring. Maybe I'll stick with my present job and do some volunteering in my spare time.
i don't want to put a damper in your mind lalayla because i would never do anything else in my entire life. have known this since i was a little kid. but it is a VERY physically demanding job. we joke around at work asking each other were the retired techs wind up. because it is not a job that most people in their early 60's could do physically. vets could do it into their early 70's because they have us to do the labor part. but at 37 myself, my butt is wiped after a particularly hard day. i can't see doing this part of my job more than another 10-15 years max. i have no desire to do anything else so i have no idea what i will be doing in the far future.
I can understand that. Our job is also very physical. Walking people who can barely bare weight, getting very old people in and out of bed. Turning and bathing and believe me, I swear that every year people are getting bigger. I think it's almost time for a desk job. I've decided what I'll do is volunteer at a shelter, walking dogs, whatever they need, just to be closer to animals and do some good. Thanks for the input, it was really helpful. Sometimes when you get fed up, you start to fantasize that the grass is somehow greener on the other side.
lalayla you never to old heck I took a purse full of puppies. I am also a nurse at home now with my 4 kids I worked in an open heart unit for years and I always wished I would have gone to vet school also. But volunteering(SP) is also very rewarding. Wow Scout I had Know idea of your job description how wonderful for you.
Yea, well if I took home a purse full of puppies, my husband would divorce me. I'm lucky to have one dog. He's a cat lover, but I'm allergic to cats so we got a shih tzu, which is the closest thing to a cat you can get and not be a cat. (He loves her despite himself) Since I can't have a house full of animals, which I would love, I need to find a way to be around some more. I'm definately going to volunteer at the shelter or a clinic. (At least those "patients" can't put on the call light!)
I've also considered working w/animals. But there's no way I'm going to med school at my age!!! I've thought about asking my vet if I could get a discount on his services if I were to work part-time for him, whether it be front desk, or just helping out with animals, etc. And I've also thought about working at a shelter. In fact, I once applied at the SPCA for a part-time job, but a question on the application said that all employees had to help with putting animals to sleep, and would I have a problem with this? You bet I would!!! Needless to say, I didn't take that job. There's a no-kill shelter near my home, and I don't know what they pay, but I know I can't afford a several dollar an hour cut in pay.