Off late, veterinary science as a special branch of medical science has become highly popular in Texas. This is because the way the US Government is fanning its propaganda of loving and taking care of the animals that students are flocking to study veterinary science to show how much they love animals. As a result, a number of veterinary hospitals and clinics have opened up across the states of Texas where numerous vet doctors are associated.
If you wish to take care of the animals, you can do so by joining the veterinary assisting course. Let us look at the structure of the course and what are the career prospects after you graduate.
Texas’s growing veterinary medicine’s industry is calling for applications from numerous medical and Para-medical students to fill in the post for the veterinary assisting program. A number of pharmaceutical companies with innovative medicines and therapeutic treatment on the anvil have spread flourish the vet medicines industry across the state. In order to treat the pets and strays, a number of veterinary assistants are the need of the hour. This program exposes the students to all the areas of vet care. They gain practical knowledge of animal husbandry, animal pharmacy and experimenting in the lab.
The first program which is offered as an introductory course is the Orientation to Veterinary Medicine, which is a 12-hour long course. This program is aimed to train the students in the very basic aspects like how to maintain safety at the workplace, how to bond well with the animals, learn their gestures, vet medical terminologies, client relations, etc. This is a compulsory course required by every student to study.
The next course is 82 hours long, and it is the Introduction to Veterinary Technology which gives an insight into the science and technology related to vet service. One will learn from this course how to handle animals and take care of them, maintaining ethical and professional requirements while treating them or conducting an operation. A student has to invest 14 hours from the total schedule for field work.
The next course is about the Veterinary Assistant program which is a 500-hour field study in any veterinary hospitals or clinics. This course is focussed on equipping the required skills for the students so that they can enter the workforce. This course is affiliated to the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) who grants a license to the vet doctors on the successful completion of the course.
The Certified Veterinary Assistant program started by the TVMA is taken up by the students to learn the required knowledge and skills needed to become a trained vet assistant. They are also placed as a prized contributor to the vet medical care team. In order to receive this certificate, a student has to meet the following requirements:
a. Work experience of total 90 days
b. Learning the skills and demonstrating them according to the Skills Validation Checklist.
c. Students should successfully complete the certification examination or complete 70% of the coursework.
Apart from the above, there are some general areas where a vet assistant needs to work:
i. Anatomy- This class along with Physiology teaches the vet assistant every detail about the functioning and anatomical structure of the animal body.
ii. Nursing Small Animals- Here the vet assistant student will learn how to take care of the small animals with effective medicines and medical equipment.
iii. Pharmacology- It explores the field of veterinary medicines and their compositions. The students will learn about the different medical terminologies, dosage of the administered medicines, antidotes if any side effect is visible
iv. Large animal- It includes taking care of the animals found in farm or ranches like livestock or cattle.
v. Operation- Vet assistants have an important role to play in the operating room like setting up the operation table for surgeries, preparing the animal for operation, taking care of the surgical instruments and sterilizing them after the operation is over.
The students should show 100% of their skills and competence to do their job. It is not mandatory to have experiences of working in clinics because these clinics don’t generally adhere to the norms set down by TVMA. Thus they make it clear that the students shall somehow possess and demonstrate all the required skills much to the satisfaction of the supervisor. After the supervisor is satisfied with the students and tallies the skills with the checklist, the student is all set to get the certificate of the veterinary assistant.
Upon achieving the Level 1 certificate, the students must complete six months of this course and display the required skills and techniques before sitting for the Level 2 exam. Since veterinary science deals with something delicate as animals, it is mandatory for the students not to run for completing the course; instead, progress step by step. Thus it is very important that the students must strive to acquire all the skills which can make them a class 1 vet assistant. After they have qualified for the Level 2 exam, they have to spend another six months displaying skills in advance level so that they are considered eligible for the Level 3 exam. After the Level 2 exam is over, the college authority selects an independent invigilator who can work independently at any community colleges or local laboratories. The TVMA must make sure that the invigilator should not be any employer or anyone’s friend or have any connection with any clinic. The proctor or the invigilator is required for every exam after Level 1. This is to make sure that the students are impartially evaluated. After the TVMA receives the Application Forms and Checklist of Level 2 exam, it is sent directly to the selected invigilator.
In order to become a vet assistant in Texas, a student shall remain updated about the newer technology and medicine that has been introduced in this field. The treatment procedures are also changing drastically thanks to the advance technology. A student has to remain abreast about all the latest innovations to become one of the best vet assistants. Only being a certified vet assistant will do you no good if you cannot implement the latest knowledge in this field. If you really love animals and want to do your best for their welfare, you have to keep yourself updated about the medical and technological innovation in this field.
The Certified Vet Assistant license is subject to renewal annually. In order to retain the licenses, TVMA charges a renewal fee of $30. This is included in the CVA certificate along with minimum 5 hours of CE. If any student fails to provide the renewal fee within the fixed date, they are given a grace period of two weeks after which they have to compensate with a late fee of $15. If the student fails in both cases as passing the CE or paying the renewal fee, he/she has to sit for a retest to reclaim their license.
There are millions of job opportunities as a vet assistant in Texas as animal welfare facilities has expanded. Today the Government give stress on expanding health care facilities to every animal because animal conservation is now one of their main agenda. Since the number of vet hospitals has increased manifold, the need for vet assistants has increased too. As a result, there is no dearth of job opportunities when it comes to the post of vet assistants. It is expected that employment opportunities will grow another 30% within 2022. Vet assistants who are well trained in advanced medical technologies have more employment opportunities than normal assistants. The registered vet assistants can join specialty clinics and hospitals, rescue shelters, exotic animal rehabilitation facilities, research labs, NGOs and the military where sniffer dogs and other animals are kept. They can also go for higher education and join colleges and educational institutes as teachers.
As a licensed Vet practitioner, there are a number of service areas where one can perform:
b. Checking a canine or any other animals and record their medical history
c. Assisting the vet doctors during surgeries and other examinations
d. Collecting samples of blood, urine, and stool
e. Taking x-rays and learn to read them
f. Developing and reading radiographs
g. Getting all the equipment’s ready for surgery
h. Processing and developing lab test results
i. Joining animal hospitals as office manager.
j. Assisting the animals on their routine checkup.
k. Assisting the vet doctors to conduct physical exams
l. Giving anesthesia to the animals
m. Medical coding and billing
n. Keeping a track of new medicines
o. Checking the temperature, pulse, respiration and pressure of the animal
p. Administering and checking the wounds
q. Dressing the wounded area
r. Doing ECG on the animals
s. Sterilizing equipment used in laboratory and surgery room.
t. Vaccination of animals
1) Internal Medicine- This is an association of the renowned and expert vet technicians who collaborate and research on internal medicines and practice them in specialized laboratories.
2) Zoological and Exotic Animal Medicine- This is aimed to improve the level of professionalism among the zoo officials and create a cooperative work environment. They also aim to create a community for discussing issues related to wild animals and how to extend medical help to them.
3) Dental Medicine- The school of veterinary dental medicine is aimed to look after the dental health of the animals, provide special care for the teeth and prevent cavities formation.
4) Equine Medicine- The field of Equine Medicine is dedicated solely to take care of the horses with special care and medicine available to them.
5) Behavioural Modification- This field is related to checking the animal behavior and captures any change in that pattern. The vet assistants try their best to develop a positive human-animal interaction.
6) Surgery and Anaesthesia- This is one of the most important sectors in vet medicines and treatment. Not only operating the animals, but a vet assistant must also take every precaution to take care of the animals afterward.
Apart from practicing in a laboratory or clinics, vet assistant is often called to aid animals inside the forest from where picking up the animal for treating it in a hospital seem impossible. The vet assistant must be well trained to treat animals in such situations. He/she should be well informed about the medicines or herbs which can be administered then and there for nursing the animals. The vet assistant shall be prepared for all kinds of emergencies and how to deal with them at the earliest.
The vet assistants are even required to do a thorough check-up of the animals, especially dogs before they are sent for adoption. A number of canine export companies require vet assistants to take care of the animals and to keep a tab on their health from time to time. Special care shall be taken to look after their food habits; the vet assistants shall keep a close check on the change in their behavior pattern and immediately report to the higher authority if they observe any suspicious behavior. If required, the assistant shall give medicines to calm down their central nervous system and keep breathing under control. In the case of any infections or allergies, they must be ready to give antibiotics to the animals.
These are the overall job requirements of the vet assistant in Texas. If you really love animals and want to do something for their betterment, then the vet assistant program is suitable for you. Spending time with animals is cathartic and being able to treat them is something equally liberating. With the pay scale of the vet assistants in Texas ever increasing and with the rise in the number of hospitals, the vet assistant program is something to look forward to Texas with more and more students enrolling in the program every year.