Do you know the difference between a veterinary technician vs a veterinary assistant?

I'm a veterinary technician student and I need your help on a persuasive essay.

Please I would like to know your answers! :) Afterwards if you're curious to know and do not know definitely google/yahoo it :).

How important is your veterinarian's staff and how much do they matter to you? Do you feel like they are knowledgable?

Have any good stories you can tell me? (Ex: The receptionist almost dropped my dog?)

5 Answers

  • Megan
    Lv 4
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Technicians in America have to graduate for a 2 or 4 year program (Chris is wrong about the tech vs. assistant there but a technologist graduates from a 4 year program) that is AVMA accredited. They then have to pass the VTNE, a national examination. Most states also require a seperate state exam in order to be licensed as well. There is no education requirement for a veterinary assistant, though a high school diploma is minimal.

    A vet tech can bascially do everything except prescribe, diagnose, prognose, and perform surgery. Anything else animal related we can do. There are limits to a veterinary assistant legally, and many states and clinics have different policies.

    I love the clinic that I work at. A lot of the doctors are foreign and have different policies in their native countries. I love going to work and learning something new everyday. Just last week I learned about hypothermia in dogs and a new technique for holding cats in a lateral position.

    Personally I wouldn't go to a vet where there wasn't at least one vet tech on staff. I love assistants, but there is not an educational requirement for the job so unless you have a wealth of experience I'd like someone who's licensed to look after my dog. The staff should be friendly and knowledgable, but if they don't know the answer to a question they should admit it and look for one. I also look at AAHA accredation, though it is not necessary. I like a vet that does a full body exam. Ears, eyes, mouth, heart, lungs, joints. It took me awhile to find a vet for my horse that did a really good exam and not just vaccinate or draw blood.

    Funny story: Cats are slippery little creatures and we had one that wormed its way out of a taco style towel wrap and jumped up on the top of our cupboards. It was an aggressive cat and we had to use our x-ray gloves because she kept on trying to bite us. We had to have a ladder to get her down.

    Funny story #2: The first time I ever put in an IV catheter in vet tech school I dropped the cap on the floor and there ended up being blood everywhere! So much that I could barely tape it in. I still have stains on that lab coat.

    Source(s): I am a vet tech <3
  • 4 years ago

    In Canada, it is the other way around. The vet tech does usually does more administrative work. They're the ones that greet you when you come into the office, weighs your pet, and provide you with feeding instructions, etc. On the other hand, the vet assistant is the one that actually assists the vet, draws blood, etc...

  • 9 years ago

    The difference between a veterinary techician and a veterinary assistant are the education and credentialling requirements.

    No state in the US has any educational requirements for working as a veterinary ASSISTANT. This is an entry level-position in a veterinary facility and training is generally done on the job. Because most training is done on the job it is often very cursory and lacks the depth and breadth of a formal education. Veterinary assistants are generally taught the basic how-to but not the why or when you would do something different. They tend to do basic tasks such as animal restraint, basic care and sanitation, assist in patient monitoring, prepare instruments for use in surgeries or daily treatments, they may give medication as prescribed by the veterinarian, collect biological samples and perform basic diagnostic tests like reading fecals. Veterinary assistants are generally not the equivalent of a formally educated veterinary technician. For example, many assistants can place an IV catheter and hook up a fluid line to it, but they generally don't know how to calculate the appropriate amount of fluids to give in a 24 hour period to maintain hydration, replace lost fluids from vomiting/diarrhea, calculate the appropriate number of drops per hour to provide the correct amount of fluids or understand the different types of IV fluids available and when each type is appropriate to a given situation. They may monitor anesthesia but they generally don't know how the different anesthetic drugs they are giving affect the body other than producing sedation or anesthesia---do they cause a drop in blood pressure that needs to be compensated for, do they make it more likely for animals that have seizures to have one, do they need to change the anesthetic protocol to compensate for heart, liver or kidney issues in a given patient. Veterinary assistants generally require much more supervision than a credentialed veterinary technician

    There are voluntary educational opportunities, however these are not equivalent to a college degree program and are instead basic vocational training. There is no over-sight by a professional body to ensure that the majority of these programs provide adequate or correct information. There is no requirement for hands-on training and instructors often have little or no experience or education in the veterinary field. There are a handful of certification programs that are designed and approved by veterinary professional organizations or that are offered by colleges which also offer accredited veterinary technology programs and these are better choices for someone who wants to be a veterinary assistant. All of these programs offer certification as a veterinary assistant, but this certification is not legally recognized or required by any state in the US.

    Veterinary technicians are required (in most states) to have a 2 year degree in veterinary technology from an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program, to have passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam and a state exam in order to be credentialed. They are also generally required to attend a set number of continuing education courses each year to keep up with changes in veterinary medicine. Veterinary technicians are educated in veterinary anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, animal husbandry, surgical assisting, anesthesia, medical nursing, diagnostics such as radiology and ultrasonography, clinical pathology, parasitology, medical terminology and record keeping, biological collection and sample handling and preperation, etc. They can also specialize in areas such as emergency and critical care, internal medicine, anesthesia, dentistry, behavior and equine nursing.

    The quality of veterinary staff is extremely important as I understand that they will be the ones monitoring and providing the majority of the care for my pet. I always ask questions of staff members designed to determine the extent of their training, education and experience.

    The first time I ever drew blood in front of a client I had been warned to make sure that the client was ok with the sight of blood. So I asked and she said that she was a nurse and blood didn't bother her. But as soon as I started collecting the sample she actually fainted! She went to see her doctor as it was wierd for her to faint from seeing blood and discovered that she was pregnant!

    Source(s): Registered Veterinary Technician experience as a veterinary assistant for 3 years before getting my degree
  • 9 years ago

    there are a few differences here actually...

    Vet techs for one have a more in depth training then there counter parts. Vet techs usually will spend more time with the animal owners and dvm then an assistant will.. As well techs are usually the ones that do the largest majority of test and surgical prep work and assists the vet hand in hand on the procedure.. Not to leave out the vet assistant they are usually the ones that are responsible for the feeding and cleaning of the animals and office, as well as surgical room.

    now the biggest difference is wait for it, wait for it...

    VET TECHS usually graduate from a 4 year program (bachelor's degree)

    and VET ASSISTANCE you guessed it a 2 year program.

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  • Vet techs can do more then vet assistants.

    I feel that that staff at both of my vet clinics know a lot and I trust what they have to say.

    One of my guinea pigs had a cyst on his side that opened and when I took him in the vet looked at it, said "Ewww... that's gross" then cleaned it and gave me some cream to put on it. I just thought it was funny to hear a vet say "Ewww". lol

    Source(s): I was planning on becoming a vet tech but after working at the clinic I found out it's not the job for me.
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