Lecture 1: Careers in Veterinary Medicine

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1 Lecture 1: Careers in Veterinary Medicine

2 I. Careers in Veterinary Medicine A. Veterinary medicine is the branch of science that deals with the application of medical, surgical, dental, diagnostic, and therapeutic principles to pets, wildlife and livestock animals.

3 II. The Role of Veterinary Medicine A. Veterinary science helps human health through the careful monitoring of livestock, companion animal and wildlife health. B. Veterinarians assist in ensuring the quality, quantity, and security of food supplies by working to maintain the health of livestock and inspecting the meat itself. Veterinary scientists occupy important positions in biological, chemical, agricultural, and pharmaceutical research.

4 III. Veterinary Medicine has Become Increasingly Sophisticated and Complex. A. In order for veterinarians to provide high quality care they must have well trained staff to assist them. B. Veterinary Assistants are essential to veterinary practices: 1. As veterinary tech responsibilities grow with the increasing complexity of veterinary medicine the need for education is becoming a necessity.

5 IV. Responsibilities A. The veterinary assistant and technicians are an integral member of the veterinary health team. B. Veterinary assistants and technicians have been educated in the care and handling of animals, the basic principles of normal and abnormal life processes, and in many laboratory and clinical procedures. C. All veterinary assistants and technicians work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

6 IV. Responsibilities cont D. While a veterinary assistant or technician can assist in performing a wide variety of tasks, they cannot diagnose, prescribe, perform surgery, or engage in any activity prohibited by a state s veterinary practice act. E. As with any jobs, assistants and technicians are expected to: 1. Caring and humane to the animals. 2. To be prepared for the procedures. 3. Be on time to work. 4. Be professional to clients.

7 V. Job Duties at Different Types of Practices Vary A. In a private practice: 1. Each clinic will have different expectations of the veterinary assistants in their clinic and what they will be allowed to do. 2. Veterinary assistants and technicians employed in a veterinary clinic or hospital typically handle many of the same responsibilities nurses and others professionals perform for physicians.

8 V. Job Duties at Different Types of Practices Vary cont 2. Cont They are trained to: a. Obtain and record patient case histories. b. Collect specimens and perform laboratory procedures. d. Provide specialized nursing care. e. Prepare animals, instruments, and equipment for surgery. f. Assist in diagnostic, medical, and surgical procedures. g. Expose and develop radiographs (x-rays). h. Advise and educate animal owners. i. Supervise and train practice personnel and interns. j. Perform dental prophylaxes or preventative care.

9 V. Job Duties at Different Types of Practices Vary cont B. In biomedical research veterinary technicians employed in a biomedical field. 1. Perform duties under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a biomedical research scientist. 2. Supervise the humane care and handling of research animals. 3. Assist in the implementation of research projects.

10 VI. Career Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine 1. Private Practice 2. Biomedical research 3. Military service 4. Food safety inspection 5. Teaching 6. Zoo animal and wildlife care 7. Diagnostic laboratory support 8. Veterinary supply sales

11 VI. Career Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine cont 9. Animal control and humane society 10.Drug and feed company 11. Technical service and sales a. A wide spread shortage of vet techs has created an abundance of job opportunities.

12 VII. Requirements and Regulations A. Education 1. Recommended Courses: General science, math, and biology. 2. Vet Assistants and Techs should be able to demonstrate basic language and communication skills.

13 VII. Requirements and Regulations cont 3. Possible Careers in Veterinary Medicine: a. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)-complete a bachelors degree and a 4 year doctorate programs at one of the 28 licensed vet schools in the US. b. Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)-complete a 4 year bachelors degree or a 2 year associates degree. c. Certified Veterinary Assistant (CVA)-one year program through high school or a veterinary clinic.

14 VII. Requirements and Regulations cont 4. A period of clinical experience in a veterinary practice is required for all students in any of the degree programs available. 5. Distance learning or on-line programs may be an option for many students wishing to earn a degree in veterinary technology from home.

15 VII. Requirements and Regulations cont B. Veterinarian and veterinary technician specialties: 1. Some veterinary technicians decide to specialize in a certain area. 2. The recognized specialties include: a. Dental technology b. Anesthesia c. Internal medicine d. Emergency e. Critical care f. Behavior g. Zoological behavior h. Equine veterinary nursing

16 VII. Requirements and Regulations cont C. Salary 1. Salaries vary depending on the type of practice and certification level. 2. Salary.com is an excellent resource when researching a salary range for a specific job title and a specific zip code. 3. Typically veterinarians, RVT s, and CVA s make more money at practices in cities versus in rural areas.

17 VII. Requirements and Regulations cont 4. From 2003 to 2006, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Reported a 10.6% increase in salaries for veterinary technicians. 5. Salaries will continue to increase as veterinary techs become more educated and valuable to the veterinary profession.

18 VII. Requirements and Regulations cont D. Professional regulation 1. American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)- regulate veterinarian medicine in the US 2. Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA)- regulate veterinary medicine in Texas

19 Requirements and Regulations cont 3. American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)- optional association that veterinarians can join: a. Mission of AAHA i. Enhance the abilities of veterinarians to provide quality medical care to companion animals. ii. Enable veterinarians to successfully conduct their practices and maintain their facilities with high standards of excellence. iii. Meet the public s needs as they relate to the delivery of small animal veterinary medicine.

20 Requirements and Regulations cont 2. AAHA cont b. Veterinary offices must maintain certain standards to be a member c. They provide extra continuing education for member practices

21 VII. Requirements and Regulations cont 4. The majority of states have regulations that provide for technician credentialing (certification, licensure, or registration). 5. Students are usually required to take a certification examination regulated by the state board of veterinary medical examiners.

22 VII. Requirements and Regulations cont 6. A veterinarian, vet tech, and vet assistant must test for certification in the state they wish to practice in. Ex: If you go to school in Oklahoma but want to practice in Texas, then you must test through the TVMA. 7. Most states require candidates to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) before being issued a license to practice. Texas is one of the states that requires it for RVT s.

23 VII. Requirements and Regulations cont E. Continuing education 1. Many state licensing boards require a certain number of hours of continuing education (CE) to renew professional licenses. 2. CVA s in Texas are required to show proof of continuing education yearly to maintain their certification. These hours can not be done in the clinic. 3. With ongoing advances in technology and treatments, it is important to continue taking advantage of educational opportunities to keep skills and knowledge up-to-date.

24 VIII. Choosing a Career A. The importance of picking the right career: 1. A job is a regular activity performed in exchange for payment, especially as one s trade, occupation, or profession. 2. An occupation is an activity that serves as one s regular source of livelihood; a vocation.

25 VIII. Choosing a Career cont 3. A career is a chosen pursuit. 4. It is very important to choose a career not just a way to make money but a profession that not only brings you money but happiness.

26 VIII. Choosing a Career cont B. Factors involved in choosing a career: 1. Interests a. What topic, outside of work and school, draws you to read more about it in magazines, books, or online? 2. Natural skills and abilities a. Are you good in math or science?

27 VIII. Choosing a Career cont 3. Introversion vs. Extroversion a. Introverts prefer to be alone. b. Extroverts are very social people. 4. Rewards and goals a. Do you like to feel like you make a difference?

28 VIII. Choosing a Career cont C. Elements of a career plan 1. Detailed self analysis. 2. Exploring the career options that interest you the most. 3. Select possible career paths. 4. Identify any additional training you need, followed by education requirements.

29 VIII. Choosing a Career cont D. Tools for finding the right career for you 1. Career assessment test 2. Learn as much as possible about the career by researching on the internet, books, magazines, and from talking to other people in the same field.

30 VIII. Choosing a Career cont 3. Learn about the nature of the jobs that interest you. a. Salary expectations b. Working conditions c. Future outlook d. Employment rate e. Educational requirements

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