A certified veterinarian technician assists in the caring for animal patients. They have a wide range of duties, from keeping medical records to giving shots and medication, and generally work with veterinarians [and occasionally scientists] similarly to how nurses work with doctors. They generally work in private practices, 24-hour pet hospitals, animal shelters, and laboratories, but may also work in zoos, racetracks, boarding kennels, or rescue agencies.
CVTs are always working with animals, but may specialize in veterinary internal medicine, zoo keeping, avian medicine, dentistry, exotic animals, large or small animals, clinic supervision, or surgery. Basic duties of the job include observing animal patients for changes in their behavior, preparing them for exams or surgery, collecting and testing lab samples, taking and developing X-rays, giving medications, shots, or other treatments, and collecting and maintaining patient records.
CVTs normally work long hours, including evenings and weekends.
To become a certified veterinary technician, one must have good communication skills, attention to detail, and, of course, a love for animals. Applicants should have a degree in Veterinary Technology, preferably from a program that is approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Applicants should also acquire a license through the Veterinary Technician National Examination.
Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) Tasks
- Interact with owners and animals to collect and convey information.
- Perform imaging and diagnostic tests and interpret results.
- Administer vaccines and medications, dress wounds, and perform dental cleanings.
- Assist with procedures and examinations.
- Provide paperwork and summaries to owners and veterinaries.