Any other vet techs here? :)

  1. Hey all,

    I'm new here and have recently decided to take the plunge and start working toward getting into a nursing program! I've been indecisive for a long time about entering the nursing field, but a couple life events have helped me in my decision. Despite my indecision, I've taken a ton of general ed courses at the local community college and am currently only 3-4 classes away from applying to various nursing programs. :)

    At any rate, I was wondering how many people here have come from or are currently working in the veterinary field. I currently work as a veterinary technician at a Specialty/Emergency veterinary hospital in Southern CA. I mostly work with the ER side and keep our in-house lab running smoothly. It's an awesome job and I work with some of the best vets in the state. However... there isn't much money in the field for us techs, and I'm sick of living paycheck to paycheck. Not that money is my only motive. I'm fascinated by medicine and think I might eventually be able to find a place for myself in a trauma center some day. Big aspirations!

    And since I figure you guys might be curious, I'm a non-licensed veterinary technician and have been in the field for about 10 years. If I wanted to go further I could get my RVT (registered vet tech) license - which is kind of a like an RN for pets - but I frankly would rather use that time (and money) in school to obtain an RN license instead. Not much money for RVTs either. ;)
    Last edit by ERVetTech2RN on Nov 5, '11 : Reason: typo
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   TiffTiff
    I'm also a non-licensed vet tech. I started about 20 years ago and over the years have worked in many clinics and ER clinics. I have worked in MI, FL, and here in TN. In GA I worked as a sales rep for a veterinary pharmaceutical company. Like you I love the medical side of the veterinary clinic especially the ER side. I am hoping that working with all the equipment, drugs, and procedures will be an advantage in nursing school. I am in my last semester of pre-reqs and waiting to hear if I get into the Spring program.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   Tofayelbd
    Yes RN license is more prospective for more earn.
  5. by   Kell Arellano
    I started out in the Army as a Vet Tech but I didn't pursue nursing right away (after I got out), you may find you are leaps & bounds ahead of all the other nursing students. I would say your experience & education as a Vet Tech is at a higher level than any of the Nursing Assistants/CNA's in your classes. get your RN! you're earning potential & opportunities for advancement will probably triple in most markets compared to a registered/licensed vet tech.
  6. by   sillywilly

    Our stories are so similar! I was a vet tech for 7 years before I got my LVN license. I also didn't want to bother getting my RVT license because the pay is really not that much better. I just started applying to LVN to RN programs a few weeks ago. I too was sick of living paycheck to paycheck. I loved surgery so much I decided to get my RN license so I can work in surgery all day every day.

    I had a huge advantage in school because all of the medications, disease processes, and terminology are the same. A couple of my teachers found out that I was a vet tech and seemed to go out of their way to tell me how different veterinary and human medicine are, and how my vet tech experience would only hurt me. They were very negative towards me. I wish I never would have told anyone in school that I was a vet tech.

    I really miss working with animals. It was also hard for me to get used to the limited scope of practice for nurses. I loved that as a vet tech you got to be the X ray tech, run the lab, administer anesthesia, assist in surgery and so on.

    But as a RN you will have so many more options. There are so many areas you can work in, and you will actually have money left over when you pay your bills : )

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or wanna chat.
  7. by   mrmedical
    Just my 2c, I've been working as a VT for 4 years in an emergency clinic while I finished up my last semester of nursing. Floor nursing and the wards is a really slow compared to teching - and in my opinion - tedious, and like you stated, trauma or the ER would be most similar if you like what you do as a VT.

    Many of the things are similar and you'll have an edge provided you have good assessment skills. But going back to what I was saying about the "slowness" of the regular floor, for the most part don't think you'll be doing jugular sticks, doing rads, or microscopy for obvious reasons.

    I find that nursing, while you do get good bang for your buck, you are far more limited in your autonomy as opposed to working as a VT: that's still something I'm trying to get used to as well.

    I guess what I'm really trying to say is that if you liked the "procedure" part of VTing, then maybe something like Respiratory Therapy may something to consider (putting in chest tubes, intubation, arterial lines, ect...) plus they make pretty good $$$ as well. Putting in IVs and foley's just ain't the same!

    Not trying to dissuade you, but keep your options open! Good luck.