What is a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)?
A certified veterinary technician is a member of the veterinary healthcare team that provides technical support to the veterinarian in all aspects of animal care. They are educated to be the veterinarian’s nurse, laboratory technician, radiography technician, anesthetist, surgical nurse and client educator. There are specific duties that only a technician (not a veterinary assistant) is trained / qualified to do such as:
- Collecting and recording patients’ case histories
- Performing the inital physical exam
- Taking and developing x-rays
- Collecting samples and performing laboratory tests (urinalysis, blood counts, ect.)
- Administering anesthesia
- Assisting in surgery
- Performing dental cleanings
A veterinary technician should have attended a nationally accredited college for 2 years, receiving an Associate’s of Science degree. Upon graduation from this accredited college, a veterinary technician applies for the ability to take a national and local state certification board exam in order to be considered truly certified. If the veterinary technician has passed both sets of exams, they are considered certified, and must complete a certain set amount of Continuing Education hours during each 2 year term before they can renew their license.
Many times, veterinarians employ individuals who may be called veterinary technicians in their practice, but actually lack the formal education required for this title. That does not, however, diminish their ability to be great Veterinary Assistants! Certified Veterinary Technicians have learned how your pet is physically built, how different drugs may interact with their body, how anesthesia is safely and appropriately administered to your pet, and how to ultimately help the veterinarian in their goal to providing top notch care. As important as your pet is to you, make sure you have the best team partnering with you in keeping your pet well!