How hard is it to be a veterinary technician?

The simple answer is that it is not easy to be a veterinary technician. You must finish a degree program from an accredited school to even take the national exam. Some people seem to find schooling hard and may find it difficult to complete either a 2 or 4 year program to become a vet tech. Some people also aren’t good test takers and may find the national exam to be harder than expected. But, when I pose the question, “How hard is it to be a veterinary technician?”, I don’t mean in the since of finishing school or taking an exam. I am referring to the actual job itself. How hard is the actual job of a vet tech?

I think that the general answer to the question is that each individual veterinary technician will have a different take on how hard the job is. Each vet tech will also have their strengths and weaknesses in different areas of the job. For example, maybe one vet tech is more comfortable being in surgery and another is better being in the examine room with clients. So the question is somewhat hard to answer and may vary a lot from person to person.

One area that I think all veterinary technicians would agree on is that the job is very physical. If you do not like sweating or being dirty throughout the day, then you may find it very difficult as a career. Restraining and lifting animals all day can be very tiring. You can’t always expect to go home with clean scrubs (just see the article on anal gland expression). There are many days when a vet tech will go home and only want to shower and fall to their bed. There is also not a lot of sitting involved with the job, a vet tech is constantly standing or moving around to different areas of the hospital.

There is also the very real possibility of physical harm. Being scratched, bitten, or in contact with infectious agents are always possible. Not every animal that comes through the hospital doors will want to be cooperative. Animals fighting tooth and nail to get out of the vet techs grasp are exactly the times when the job will seem very hard. Sweating while restraining an animal is not uncommon and may happen throughout the day. Not to say that a vet tech will always be sweaty, or always be restraining bad animals, but it is worth noting that those are part of the job. Many people may not be able to handle the physical duties of the job and come to the realization that being a vet tech is not right for them.

So in conclusion, as a vet tech, you may go home tired, sweaty, scratched, bitten, and bruised at the end of the day. Which sounds horrible. Unfortunately it is true! I think it is important in those situations to remember why you wanted to become a vet tech in the first place, to help the animals! And not all days will be hard, many will go perfectly smooth. But, if you are thinking about becoming a veterinary technician, just remember that the actual job can be very physically demanding!

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