What It Takes to Be a Veterinary Technology Student

In honor of Veterinary Technician Week (Oct. 14-18), Globe University-Appleton wants you to be informed of what it takes to be a veterinary technology student. We recently interviewed Rebecca Lange, certified veterinary technician and veterinary technology program chair at our Appleton campus. Keep reading to learn what vet techs do, what sort of person you have to be, experiences you’ll gain as a student in the vet tech program, and your potential career outlook.

What does a veterinary technician do?

veterinary technology program

Rebecca Lange, vet tech program chair, instructs her students on how to properly prepare a patient for surgery.

“A vet tech is part of a team that cares for and treats animals. On a daily basis, we will do many, if not all of the following:

  • deliver and monitor anesthesia
  • assist in surgery
  • perform dental cleanings
  • take X-rays
  • draw blood
  • place catheters
  • obtain patient vital signs
  • run samples in the lab (urine, fecal and blood tests)
  • provide client education
  • fill prescriptions
  • medicate patients

Sometimes an easier way to explain what we do is to state what we legally cannot do which is diagnose, prescribe medication and perform surgery.  These three duties are the responsibility of the veterinarian.  In a nutshell, our job is to do everything else to help the veterinarian do those three things!”

What type of person does it take to be a vet tech?

“You have to be outgoing and enjoy being with and working with people. You obviously have a passion for animals, but you also need to like the science of medicine. Great techs have curious minds and want to know how and why things work. You need to be patient and kind and have the ability to comfort both the patients and their owners.”

veterinary technology program

Vet tech students receive hands-on experience in their classes. Here, students are practicing how to properly secure a patient for surgical preparation.

Through Globe University’s vet tech program, what sorts of hands-on experience can a vet tech student expect to gain?

“Our students get to practice what they will actually do as a vet tech starting with their introductory classes. Students learn with real animals how to do all of the above skills. Students begin with basic restraint and basic nursing care, and advance all the way to anesthesia and surgical assisting.  We do our best to emulate what they will be experiencing in a clinic so they will be prepared for the real world.”

After graduating, what sorts of settings can veterinary technicians expect to work in?

“Most of our students will work in a small animal clinic, which will likely either be a general practice or an emergency and specialty clinic. There are a few students that will work in a mixed practice which sees both large and small animals, while some will work exclusively with large animals. Students also have the opportunity to work in research, shelters or rescues, and although more rare, some work in a zoo.”

What is your best advice to excel in the VT program?

“My best advice is to take your instructors’ recommendations and use your fellow classmates for help.  The instructors have all been in your shoes and know how hard it can be to be a student, so we know what can help you best succeed.  Also remember that all of your classes are tied together and all the information we give you is indeed important. You cannot learn something in an early class and forget it because it will be necessary in a later class and as a future vet tech!”

Many thanks to Rebecca Lange and her staff for equipping our future vet techs to be the best they can be. In honor of Veterinary Technician Week, thank you for all you do! For more information on our vet tech program, please visit us at www.globeuniversity.edu or call 1-877-303-6060.