When you’re looking for employment as a veterinary technician, you’re doing more than simply applying for a job; you’re committing yourself to a profession that serves animals and their owners.
But in most states, in order to receive this honor, you will need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), 4-hour, 200-question monstrosity of an exam that might just have you quaking in your scrubs.
The exam is prepared by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, and is administered only at certain times of the year. It is a comprehensive exam covering the seven major areas of knowledge for a vet technician, including:
- Pharmacy and pharmacology
- Animal nursing
- Surgical preparation and assisting
- Dentistry procedures
- Lab procedures
- Radiography and ultrasound
These are, of course, all topics of study you will go over during your studies as a veterinary technician student at Milwaukee Career College. Your job leading up to taking the exam is to learn as much about those areas as possible. It is advisable to learn more than required, doing additional study on your own, particularly if veterinary medicine is a passion.
But even so-called “entry level” topics can be a major headache, so be prepared. In addition to your normal study routine in your veterinary technician training courses at Milwaukee Career College, you may also purchase practice exams in the days or weeks leading up to your exam.
Standards vary by state, so be certain you consult your state’s Board of Health for specific requirements where you live. Although it’s always a good idea to hold yourself to a higher standard than the State Boards do, you don’t want to waste study time on items that are not going to be in your state’s exam.
For the most part, though, each state’s standards should be relatively similar, and it may also be a good idea for you to learn more than you need, just in case you ever relocate or accept a job in another state. For prospective veterinary techs who live close to a bordering state, it can significantly improve your job prospects to get licensed and certified in both states, or at least have the proper education necessary to obtain certification in a new state should it become necessary.
Whichever state you live in, you should have some basic skills, tasks, and information covered that give you the basics of veterinary studies that you can then use in your job. Those tasks include the following veterinary essentials:
- Animal diseases
- Basic animal nursing care
- Pharmaceutical training
- Anesthesia training
- Vet anatomy and physiology
- Vet pathology
- Surgical nursing for animals
As you begin considering when you are going to take the VTNE, be sure you have all of the pertinent information offered in the exam, and that you have the appropriate knowledge you need to pass. Proper study techniques and materials are vital for passing, and your commitment to your burgeoning craft will make the difference between passing the exam and beginning a new career, or being stuck without the training you need for the job you want.