Program Overview

Get the academic foundation in Veterinary Technology essential to becoming a member of a veterinary health care team.

Laboratory and clinical experiences expand on classroom knowledge to equip you with the necessary skills of an entry-level veterinary technician.

Graduates pursue careers in private veterinary practices, biomedical research, academia, and other health-related fields.

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Full Description

The Associate in Science in Veterinary Technology prepares students as entry-level veterinary technicians. These students are provided with the educational foundation necessary to develop the required critical thinking, managerial, and clinical professional skills necessary to perform as effective members of the veterinary healthcare team.

Veterinary technology is the science and art of providing professional support to veterinarians. Veterinary technicians provide professional health care for animals under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Examples of areas of responsibility for veterinary technicians include surgical assisting, anesthesiology, radiology, caring for hospitalized patients, administering vaccines and medications, dental prophylaxis, collecting specimens and performing clinical laboratory procedures, client education, physical examination and patient history, and office/hospital management. Veterinary technicians cannot diagnose, prescribe, or perform surgery.

Throughout the curriculum, students are exposed to veterinary team concepts and appropriate modeling of professional and ethical conduct.

There are planned laboratory and clinical practice experiences that expand student knowledge and lead to proficiency in task-specific essential and recommended skills for the entry-level veterinary technician.

Potential Career Opportunities

Graduates of our AVMA Accredited vet tech program will acquire the skill set needed to pursue different employment opportunities at animal hospitals or research institutions including:

Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Assistant

Animal Care and Service Worker

Veterinary Technician Specialist


  • Can I be a vet tech with an associate degree?

    Graduates of an associate degree program can find work as a veterinary technician.

  • Can vet techs become veterinarians?

    The experience gained as a veterinary technician is a great way to prepare for a career as a veterinarian. Individuals must gain a bachelor’s degree and then earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine. This process typically takes around six years.

  • Is it worth becoming a vet tech?

    Becoming a veterinary technician is a great choice for animal-lovers who want to begin work quickly. The job will also provide important experience to individuals who wish to continue their education to advance in the field.

  • What are the benefits of being a vet tech?

    Benefits surrounding life as a veterinary technician revolve around the unique work environment, opportunities for growth, and the ability to enter the workforce quickly.

Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The mission of the NEIT Veterinary Technology program is to provide students with the educational foundation necessary to develop the required critical thinking, managerial, and clinical professional skills necessary to perform as effective members of the veterinary health care team. Through a combination of classroom, hands-on laboratory and clinical educational experiences, students will master the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinary Technology Student Essential and Recommended Skills List which will prepare students as entry-level veterinary technicians. Graduates of this program will recognize career opportunities in traditional and non-traditional settings such as private veterinary practice, biomedical research, academia, food safety inspection, and other health-related fields.

Program Goals

  1. To prepare competent entry-level veterinary technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for the national certification examination.
  2. To provide a variety of planned laboratory and clinical practice experiences that expand student knowledge and lead to proficiency in task-specific essential and recommended skills for the entry-level veterinary technician.
  3. To instill a commitment to uphold the ethical standards of the profession and to lifelong learning and advancement of professional knowledge through continuing education.

Program Outcomes

Veterinary Technology graduates will:

  1. Be able to effectively communicate in all formats including written, oral, and electronic.
  2. Demonstrate skills in problem solving and in decision-making abilities.
  3. Be able to demonstrate entry-level veterinary technician clinical skills enabling them to work individually and as a member of a team.
  4. Understand and appreciate the importance of following and upholding applicable laws and the veterinary technology profession’s ethical codes while providing high quality patient care.

Accreditation Status

The Veterinary Technology program is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as a program for educating veterinary technicians.

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA)
Education and Research Division
1931 N. Meacham Rd., Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4630
800/248-2862 ext. 6624

Veterinary Technician National Exam Three-Year Pass Rate

The three-year pass percentage on VTNE is calculated as follows: X/Y x 100 = Three-year pass percentage whereby X is the number of first-time candidates that passed the VTNE and Y is the number of first-time candidates that have taken the VTNE Period from

July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2023

Number of first-time candidates that have taken the VTNE 43
Three-year VTNE pass percentage 60.46%

Rhode Island does not require certification to work as a veterinary technician. Therefore, all New England Institute of Technology veterinary technology graduates though eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination may not sit for the exam.

In accordance with the 2019 Re-authorization of the Higher Education Act, New England Institute of Technology hereby discloses only that the curriculum for this program meets the educational requirements for licensure as Veterinary Technicians in the State of Rhode Island.

The applicable licensing board in Rhode Island may impose additional requirements on candidates prior to granting a license, we encourage you to investigate those requirements.

NEIT has not determined whether the curriculum for this program meets the educational requirements for licensure in any other states or territories and we encourage you to investigate the requirements in your state or territory prior to accepting an offer of admission at NEIT.

Courses Offered

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When do my classes meet?
    Day Classes: Technical classes normally meet for at least three hours a day for up to five days a week. Classes normally begin in the early morning (7:45 a.m.), late morning (usually 11:25 a.m.), or mid-afternoon. The time slot for your program may vary from term to term. Evening Classes: Technical classes meet on the average of three nights a week, although there may be times when they will meet four nights a week. Classes normally begin at 5:45 p.m. In addition, to achieve your associate degree, you will take a total of approximately eight liberal arts courses which will be scheduled around your technical schedule over the course of your entire program. Each liberal arts course meets approximately four hours per week. Liberal arts courses are offered day, evening and Saturdays. At the beginning of each term you will receive a detailed schedule giving the exact time and location of all your classes. The College requires that all students be prepared to take classes and receive services at any of NEIT’s locations where the appropriate classes and services are offered. When a regularly scheduled class falls on a day which is an NEIT observed holiday (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day), an alternate class will be scheduled as a make up for that class. The make up class may fall on a Friday. It is the student’s responsibility to take note of when and where classes are offered.
  2. How large will my classes be?
    The average size for an on-campus lecture class is about 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  3. How much time will I spend in lab?
    Almost half of your technical courses consist of laboratory work. In order for you to get the most out of your laboratory experiences, you will first receive a thorough explanation of the theory behind your lab work.
  4. Where do my classes meet?
    Students should be prepared to attend classes at any of NEIT’s classroom facilities: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campus.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?
    A candidate for admission to an associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements.
  6. How long should it take me to complete my program?
    To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you will need to be a full-time student and take courses as outlined in the prescribed curriculum. For a typical six-term curriculum, a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months. To complete all your degree requirements in the shortest time, you should take at least one liberal arts course each term. Students are required to complete all Term 1 through 4 courses, including liberal arts courses, to progress to Term 5 of the curriculum when off-campus practicum experience begins. Students must complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Terms. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees. Students needing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.
  7. Is NEIT accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  8. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?
    The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Office of Teaching and Learning for further information.
  9. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?
    Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at an accredited institution will be considered for admission based on the following table and upon receipt of an official transcript:

    Courses Age of Courses Grade Needed for Transfer to VET
    EN 100 Introduction to College Writing B or above
    EN 200 Workplace Communications (or EN 110 Healthcare Communications) B or above
    MA 109 Math for Life Sciences B or above
    English/Communications Liberal Arts Courses 10 years old C or above
    Math Course 3 years old C or above
    Biology Course 3 years old C or above
    Science Course 3 years old C or above
    Major Courses 3 years old C or above

    The Office of Teaching and Learning maintains the prerogative to waive these requirements based upon individual review.

    An official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students will receive a tuition reduction for the approved major courses based on the program rate and will be applied against the final major term of the curriculum’s tuition amount. No tuition credit is provided for courses which are not a part of the major curriculum. If the student has a degree from another institution, every opportunity will be reviewed to give the student as many transfer credits as possible for liberal arts courses (math, science, English, humanities, and social sciences) regardless of the age of the degree. Courses in the major will be reviewed individually for relevancy.

  10. What is the “Feinstein Enriching America” Program?
    New England Institute of Technology is the proud recipient of a grant from the Feinstein Foundation. To satisfy the terms of the grant, the College has developed a one-credit community enrichment course which includes hands-on community enrichment projects. The course can be taken for a few hours per term, spread over several terms. Students who are already engaged in community enrichment on their own may be able to count that service towards course credit.
  11. How many credits do I need to acquire my Financial Aid?
    In order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award, you need to maintain at least 12 credits per academic term.
  12. What does my program cost?
    The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with your cost for books and other course materials. Students who decide to take more terms than the enrollment agreement describes to complete the technical courses in their curriculum will be subject to additional fees and possible additional tuition costs. Students who elect to take the technical portion of the degree requirements at a rate faster than the rate prescribed in the curriculum and the enrollment agreement will be assessed additional tuition. Students who require prerequisite courses will incur additional tuition and fees above those outlined in their enrollment agreement. If a student elects to take a course(s) outside of the prescribed curriculum, additional tuition and fees will be assessed.Remember, students who withdraw and re-enter, one time only, pay the tuition rate that was in effect for them at the time of their last day of attendance for up to one year from their last day of attendance. Second re-entries and beyond pay the tuition rate in effect at the time they re-enter. The most economical way for you to complete your college degree is to begin your program now and continue your studies straight through for the seven terms necessary to complete your degree requirements.
  13. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?
    The Office of Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing a job search strategy. Upon completion of their program, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates employment or a specific starting salary.
  14. Where will job opportunities exist?
    Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the most exciting aspects of this program is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities.
  15. Is the Veterinary Technology program accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as a program for educating veterinary technicians. American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
    Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA)
    Education and Research Division
    1931 N. Meacham Rd., Suite 100
    Schaumburg, IL 60173-4630
    800/248-2862 ext. 6624
  16. How many students will be in my clinical laboratory experience classes?
    The average size for clinical laboratory experiences is about 8 to 12 students per lab.
  17. Where will my practical experiences be?
    Practical experiences will include rotations at off-campus veterinary facilities, farms, and animal shelters.
  18. What if I need to leave the program and re-enter at a later date?
    It is in the best interest of students to adhere to the prescribed curriculum without interruption. Students who are not enrolled during one or more terms of their program or in VET classes may find that there is a wait list in place at the time they want to return to NEIT or to VET classes. Students should check with their Student Advisor for further details about wait list procedures. All VET classes must be completed within three years from the date of initial entry into the program. Any student who delays their VET courses, or withdraws and re-enters the program will either have to retake any VET courses that were taken over three years earlier or the student will be offered a Challenge Exam to demonstrate competency for any courses in which the credits are no longer current, at the discretion of the Program Director.
  19. Does the Veterinary Technology Program accept experiential learning to earn credit for veterinary technology courses?
    Although transfer credit from another college may be considered, no experiential learning or challenge exams are offered for Veterinary Technology courses.
  20. Does the Veterinary Technology Program accept high school courses to earn credit for veterinary technology courses?
    High school agricultural and veterinary assisting courses are very valuable preparation for the program but no college credit is granted for these courses.
  21. What is a Veterinary Technician?
    A veterinary technician (VT) is an integral member of the veterinary health care team. Veterinary technicians are educated in the care and handling of animals, the basic principles of normal and abnormal life processes, and in routine clinical and laboratory procedures. All veterinary technicians in private practice work under the supervision of a veterinarian. Examples of areas of responsibility for veterinary technicians include surgical assisting, anesthesiology, radiology, caring for hospitalized patients, administering vaccines and medications, dental prophylaxis, collecting and performing clinical laboratory procedures, client education, physical examination and patient history, and office/hospital management. Veterinary technicians cannot diagnose, prescribe, or perform surgery.
  22. When I graduate, will I be a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)?
    Upon completing the program, you will receive an Associate in Science Degree in Veterinary Technology. Only individuals who have graduated from an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program within an accredited institution may sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE, the mandatory examination for CVTs) in Rhode Island. Once you apply for certification through the RI Veterinary Technician Association and have passed the VTNE you are officially a CVT and may practice as one. You have the opportunity to register for the examination and apply for certification, licensure, or registration in any of the 50 states in the United States.
  23. When is the national board exam offered?
    The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is given several times throughout the year. For exam dates and application deadlines, contact the American Association of Veterinary State Boards on the internet at
  24. Who employs Veterinary Technicians?
    While the majority of veterinary technicians are employed in private practice, the American Veterinary Medical Association indicates that “the demand for technicians is rapidly expanding to include new employment opportunities in both human and health-related fields such as: biomedical research, colleges/universities, zoos and wildlife facilities, military service, food safety inspection, diagnostic laboratories, veterinary supply sales, humane societies and animal control facilities, and drug and feed manufacturing companies.
  25. What is the work environment for veterinary technicians?
    Most people who work with animals get tremendous satisfaction caring for them. Sometimes work can be physically and emotionally demanding, and there is a risk of physical injury such as a bite or scratch or contracting a zoonotic disease (a disease transmissible from animals to people). Also, veterinary technicians must witness and assist in the euthanasia of terminally ill patients, unwanted pets, or vicious animals and may experience emotional distress.
  26. What if I have taken science courses more than 3 years ago?
    All science courses should be completed within 3 years of entering the veterinary technology program. These courses are important and serve as foundation courses for the information you will receive in the program. Students will have the opportunity to take a challenge exam or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test. The CLEP test allows students to earn credit for knowledge they have acquired through independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, professional development, cultural pursuits, or internships.
  27. Is there any open lab time?
    Most laboratories and especially those utilizing live animals will not be open outside of scheduled course times. Attendance is mandatory and participation in the laboratory is integral to learning the important techniques and acquiring the essential skills necessary to succeed. If preparatory assignments are completed, there is sufficient time built into your lab schedule to complete required tasks. 
  28. Are good math skills a necessary requirement for success as a veterinary technician?
    Yes, dosage calculations are made by veterinary technicians on a daily basis. Ability to utilize these skills is required in clinical practice settings.
  29. Is dissection a requirement in the anatomy laboratory?
    Yes, dissection of cadaver animals and organs is a central part of the veterinary anatomy and physiology laboratories.
  30. What skills will I learn during my Veterinary Technology education?
    The American Veterinary Medical Association requires that students understand or master many didactic and hands-on skills in areas such as Hospital Procedures, Client Communications, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Small and Large Animal Nursing, Anesthesia, Surgical Nursing, Laboratory Procedures, Laboratory and Exotic Animal Procedures, and Imaging. The full list can be found at
  31. If I should experience a disruption in my veterinary technology (VET) courses, due to illness, etc., is there a laboratory skill refresher course that might be available to me?
    No. The experience students obtain from the clinical rotations at health care facilities cannot be duplicated in the laboratory. 
  32. Do I need to maintain a certain grade point average?
    Yes. For all terms, a grade of C or better must be attained in all VET, BIO, and CHM courses in order to advance to the next term. A grade of C or better is required in MA 109. A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 must be maintained throughout the program. A student will be dismissed from the program if any two VET courses are not passed with a C or better.
  33. Is there a Veterinary Technology Program attendance policy?
    Yes. Professional behaviors are an integral part of becoming a veterinary technician. Professional behaviors include prompt and consistent attendance. In preparing to become members of the healthcare team, students in the Veterinary Technology program must acknowledge how their actions affect others and take responsibility for their own actions. All Veterinary Technology instructors value and require active participation in classes, your lateness or absence has negative effects on everyone. Attendance is based on time in class, from beginning to end of each session. Any student missing more than 20% of overall class time in either the lecture or the lab will automatically fail the course. There will be no exceptions. Additionally, all work missed due to absence or tardiness, regardless of cause, must be made up to the satisfaction of the instructor. A student who knows that he or she will be absent is expected to call the instructor in advance. The student is responsible for getting assignments from instructors in advance so that the necessary work will be completed before the student leaves or immediately upon his or her return. Speaking to a classmate about what you missed is not a substitute for speaking to your instructor. Students must take responsibility for contacting the instructor regarding class, lab or fieldwork that was missed. Students should also be aware that some quizzes, tests and classroom assignments cannot be made up. Missing a laboratory session does not release the student from his/her responsibility for laboratory content. Students will be required to demonstrate clinical competencies (essential skills) normally obtained during the scheduled laboratory session at a time and location convenient to the faculty instructor(s). Failure to do so will result in a final course grade of “F”. In some circumstances, a make-up laboratory session is impossible – failure to attend these unique laboratory experiences will result in a final course grade of “F”. Courses in which these unique learning laboratories occur are clearly identified in the course syllabi.
  34. Are there any additional costs/activities associated with this program?
    In addition to what is stated in the university catalog, all students enrolled in the veterinary technology program are required to have proof of pre-exposure rabies vaccination and/or proof of a protective titer (where appropriate) prior to the start of Term II. The estimated cost of the rabies vaccine series is $1150.00, which may be covered by your health insurance policy. Uniforms, equipment, laboratory fees and textbooks will also need to be purchased. Some practicum sites may have individual health provision requirements.
  35. Where can I purchase a uniform and what kind of uniform do I need?
    Students may purchase items for their uniforms online at Alexander’s Uniforms At the site’s homepage, click “New England Institute of Technology” from either the icon or the left tab, then select your department from the list. All items are priced to include a 15% discount. If you have any questions, contact Wendy Magnette via email at [email protected] or at 401-654-6500. 

    The required uniforms include:
    Navy Cherokee 4777 Unisex Scrub Top with emb. logo $15.80 (S-XL) $18.35 (2X-5X)
    Navy Cherokee 4100 Unisex Scrub Pant $11.90 (XXS-XL; XS S-XL S) $14.45 (S T-XL T) $13.60 (2X-5X)


    You may also purchase your uniform items at Alexander’s Uniforms at one of their three locations (recommended if you are unsure of the size): 1) Rhode Island: Marshall’s Plaza, 1 Lambert Lind Highway, Warwick RI 02886, 860-889-7744, 401-654-6500; 2) Connecticut: 77 Salem Turnpike, Norwich, CT 06360, 781-762-1449; 3) Massachusetts: 500 Providence Highway, Norwood MA 02062. A Student ID is needed to ensure you receive your 15% discount at checkout.

  36. Are there any health provision requirements?
    In addition to the physical exam, required immunizations, students should be in good physical condition. Veterinary Technicians are required to have quick reflexes to avoid being injured by animals and may be required to do some heavy lifting (ca. 50 lbs.). Students must have hearing ability sufficient to hear and understand equipment alarms, verbal instructions given by someone wearing a surgical face mask, and sounds given off by animals in pain/distress. Students must have normal or corrected visual ability to observe, assess and/or treat animals both up close and at a distance. All students will be exposed to x-ray equipment and anesthetic gases, so the Program Director must be alerted to any pregnancy, condition that renders a student immunocompromised, or any other pertinent mental or physical condition, and a physician’s letter will be required. Due to the inherently unpredictable behavior of animals, there is an element of assumed risk in all animal related activities. All students must sign a Release and Assumption of Risk agreement before they can begin the program.
  37. Are there any behavior standards for this program?
    Veterinary technology students are expected to exhibit professional behavior on an ongoing basis. This behavior will be assessed on a continual basis and will not only encompass grades, but also adherence to classroom protocol, laboratory safety, attendance, participation and preparedness for class, appearance, ability to work as a team member, and general professional behavior. Practicum participation is dependent on the above. 
  38. Are there evening classes?
    Currently there are no evening classes offered in the veterinary technology program. However, students may choose to take their liberal arts classes during evening hours, on Saturday or online.
  39. Which personal traits fit best with a career in veterinary technology?
    Students need good study habits and excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Confidence, reliability, determination, and an eagerness to learn will guide you in your pursuit to help animals as a veterinary technician.
  40. Must I attend classes during the summer 5-week intersession?
    The liberal arts courses need to be completed by Term 5. This may include having to take up to two liberal arts classes during Intersession.
  41. What is a Practicum?
    A Practicum is a practical veterinary experience that expands student knowledge and builds proficiency of skills acquired in the classroom and laboratory. This Practicum is afforded by a cooperative effort between the student, the faculty, and a private veterinary hospital, clinic, zoo or biomedical research facility. The facility is chosen by the student and must be approved by the program director. Students are required to complete a minimum cumulative 240 contact hours.
  42. Where do I go for the Veterinary Practicum? Will that site be provided for me or must I find a site on my own?
    A practicum may be completed at various veterinary facilities throughout the region but must be approved in writing by the Program Director. These clinical experiences may be held on weekends, and weekday morning and evening time schedules. NEIT cannot guarantee placement at a particular facility and it is the student’s responsibility to make the arrangements for a practicum. Although the faculty will be glad to help with the selection of a clinic or facility, the student will be responsible for contacting a veterinary facility, making an appointment, setting up the interview, and making the final arrangements after the Program Director’s approval. Students should be prepared to commute for practicum experiences. NEIT does not provide transportation to internship sites nor does it reimburse students for traveling expenses (parking, mileage, etc.). Some veterinary practicum sites may require a criminal background check and/or drug testing.
  43. Can I complete the Veterinary Technology Program and go on to veterinary school to get my DVM?
    Yes, but the career path of a veterinary technician is divergent from that as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The Veterinary Technology Program prepares the student for a career in veterinary technology and focuses on the clinical and academic preparation for this role. Application to veterinary school will require additional coursework and will require you to complete your veterinary school pre-requisites at another college or university.
  44. Is any continuing education required after graduation from NEIT?
    Yes, many state associations require a certain number of hours of continuing education (CE) to renew certification. Additionally, ongoing advances in treatments and technology necessitate taking advantage of educational opportunities to keep knowledge and skills up to date.
  45. Is there a Veterinary Technician Code of Ethics?
    Yes, the Code has been developed by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America and can be found on the internet at

Technical Standards

The field of veterinary technology is both intellectually and physically challenging.

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensure that qualified applicants have the ability to pursue program admission. However, all students must meet the essential skills and technical standards to perform functions required of the Veterinary Technician program and profession. Every student will be held to the same standards with or without reasonable accommodations.

General Physical Requirements

  • Possess the physical ability to
    • tolerate walking and standing for at least ten minutes at a time, multiple times per hour.
    • lift and/or carry up to 50 pounds from floor to waist level or higher at least several times per day
    • lift objects weighing up to 50 pounds to a height of one meter or higher and carry the object or animal for a distance of two meters without assistance.
    • Use hands and arms to handle, install, position and move materials, equipment, and supplies without assistance.
    • Handle, position, and restrain live animals of small and large animal species.
    • Be able to have sustained contact with multiple species of animals and be amenable to learning the safe handling, restraining, and working with these animals. An individual should not be allergic to any species of animals to the extent that would prohibit working in a facility that has them.

Cognitive Ability

  • Be able to function in a structured environment within significant time constraints and capable of making rapid decisions in urgent situations and meeting deadlines.
  • Possess a willingness to assist with and perform a wide variety of routine medical, surgical, and diagnostic procedures common to the veterinary setting; including humane euthanasia and handling of sick, injured, fractious, or aggressive animals without fear
  • Be able to complete required tasks/functions under stressful and/or unpredictable conditions, including emergency situations.
  • Be able to access information from books, reference manuals, computers, and paper and electronic medical documents to perform duties and safely use equipment without assistance.
  • Be able to prioritize, organize, and utilize time-management skills to perform tasks.
  • Evaluate, synthesize and communicate diagnostic information to the attending veterinarian and/or staff.
  • Be able to progress toward minimal supervision as they advance through the program.

Communication Skills

  • Read, write, speak and report accurately and effectively in English.
  • Comprehend and carry out complex written and oral instructions given in English.
  • Be able, when communicating with other individuals by speech, either in person or by telephone, to make legible and coherent written notes in English within the margins and space provided on the appropriate forms.

Professionalism and Interpersonal Skills

  • Demonstrate professional and socially appropriate behavior; maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close human and animal contact.
  • Be able to interact appropriately with clients and all members of the veterinary healthcare team.
  • Have the ability to exercise good judgment and make appropriate professional and procedural judgment decisions under stressful and/or emergency conditions (i.e. unstable patient condition), emergent demands (i.e. stat test orders), and a distracting environment (i.e., high noise levels, complex visual stimuli, aggressive animals).

Manual Dexterity and Mobility

  • Be able to move his/her entire body a distance of no less than three meters within two seconds of a signal to do so, to move rapidly from danger while handling animals in confined spaces.
  • Possess fine motor movements in order to perform the essential functions of the profession. This includes the dexterity to manipulate small equipment, adjust resistance on equipment, hold hooves while cleaning and evaluating, manage syringes, catheters, and common surgical instruments.
  • Possess tactile ability necessary for physical assessment and to perform nursing duties in a timely manner. This includes performing palpation during physical exams, administering oral, intramuscular, subcutaneous, and intravenous medication, insert and remove tubes, collect organic samples from live animals and perform wound care.
  • Possess the ability to palpate and interpret findings, i.e. palpation of pulses, lymph nodes or trachea to determine proper endotracheal tube size.
  • Be able to hold surgical instruments in one hand and perform fine movements with such instruments. This includes ability to assist in holding of hemostats or other instruments while assisting in surgery; induce and monitor general anesthesia in an animal patient; place intravenous and urinary catheters without assistance.
  • Be able to hold, manipulate, or tie materials ranging from a cloth patch to a very fine string. This includes the ability to hold and manipulate a surgical sponge; tie a 00 silk suture; endotracheal intubation; intravenous injection; catheterize animals to obtain sample of urine and/or other body fluids; apply bandages without assistance.

Auditory, Olfactory, and Visual Skills

Veterinary technicians must have functional use of senses to safely and correctly assess patients and interpret and record data.

  • Possess adequate visual ability, with or without correction, that allows the determination of minute areas of detail, very small variations in color and adequate depth perception (size, shape and texture), including differentiation of details as viewed through a microscope. This includes ability to characterize and interpret the color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of body structures and fluids, observe variations in skin and mucus membrane color, integrity, pulsations, tissue swelling, etc.
  • Possess visual ability to allow for observation and assessment as necessary in nursing care both from a distance and close by in order to recognize physical status and non-verbal responses including behaviors.
  • Possess auditory ability necessary to monitor and assess health status, including auscultation of heart and lungs, and hear equipment alarms and warning sounds from animals, humans, and/or equipment of impending danger or injury.
  • Recognize and respond appropriately to distress sounds from animal and alarms/warning signals on animal-monitoring equipment directly and through intercommunication systems to ensure patient safety.
  • Detect and respond appropriately to odors in order to maintain environmental safety and patient needs.
  • Be able to use a compound microscope to identify cells and organisms and be able to differentiate colors of stained objects.
  • Be able to observe movement at a distance ranging from 30-45 centimeters to 15-20 meters at a discrimination level that permits detection of subtle differences in movement of the limbs in animals. This includes ability to detect and describe a change in color of hair coat caused by licking or trauma; detect abnormal head posture in a parakeet; monitoring respiratory rate during anesthesia; ability to read anesthesia monitoring equipment.
  • Be able to discriminate shades of black and white patterns in which the band is not more than 0.5 mm in width. This includes ability to characterize bacterial hemolysis on a blood agar plate; density patterns on a radiograph; and ability to see ECG tracing.
  • Possess adequate depth perception to allow detection of a 0.5 cm elevation which is no more than 1cm in diameter on a slightly curved surface having a slightly irregular surface. This includes detection of tissue swelling on the hip on a smooth-haired dog; determining presence of reaction to skin testing for allergies.
  • Be able to perceive the natural or amplified human voice without lip reading to permit oral communication in a surgery room with all occupants wearing surgical masks.
  • Be able to perceive the origin of sound as needed to detect movement of large animals in a pen or corral; monitoring multiple patients in an ICU.