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How to Become an RVT

Looking to become a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)? Wondering how you can do that, and where to start? Here are a few tips and things to know to help get you started!

  1. Volunteer & Research! Even before applying to a Vet Tech program, be sure to visit your local veterinary clinic and see if you can volunteer. It will help you to understand a clinic setting, as well as give you an opportunity to speak with RVT’s on what it is to work in the field and help you see if this career is right for you. Unfortunately, clinic life is not all puppies and kittens, medicine is in depth in knowledge, skills, techniques and can be very emotionally demanding.
  2. Apply! Once you have decided that this is the career you want, it’s time to apply to school! In order to become an RVT, you need to be sure that you will be attending an accredited veterinary technology program. To find out what schools are accredited visit Eastern Veterinary Technician Association (EVTA) website.
  3. School- what should I expect? Veterinary Technician programs usually run for 2 years, and the setup will be different depending on where you attend. You will spend time in a classroom, learning anatomy, dentistry, radiology, behaviour as well as technical skills. You will also get time in a clinic, helping to further your technical skills, as well as helping you build your surgical skills. Once completed, you may be required to do on the job training. You will be put into a clinic setting and be evaluated on your skills to ensure you are ready to head into the workforce. Oulton College is the only accredited college in New Brunswick.
  4. Completed school? Time to apply for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE)! To be eligible to write the National Exam there are requirements that must be met prior. The National Exam must be written and successfully passed in order for you to become a Registered Technician. Most clinics in New Brunswick are only looking for RVT’s and the province is moving towards all practising technicians being registered (similar to Registered Nurses). Studying for the exam takes months of time in addition to your 2 years spent in school. The exam is 3 hours in length and multiple choice and covers a vast number of topics. There are recommended options for study material, online groups and courses to help. If you fail, don’t be upset! Your results are available and they will break down what areas you struggled with. Be sure to stay confident. You will be required to repeat the eligibility process, there is a limit on the number of times to write.
  5. You are now a registered technician! RVTs are required to complete yearly Continuing Education (CE) hours and maintain EVTA membership. CE ensures all RVTs are updating their skills, knowledge and allows you to personally grow in your job if you have key areas of interest. Be sure to visit EVTA.ca to learn what exactly is required in order to keep yourself registered.

These are the steps to becoming an RVT! If you have any questions that are still unanswered, the websites provided above have lots of information and people to contact. Also, we here at Mayfield Vet Clinic are happy to help anyone who is pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. Feel free to call us at 466-2543 if you have any further questions!

Written by Jessica Craig, Technician

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