What is the difference between a Veterinary Technician and a Veterinary Assistant? There IS a big difference between a Veterinary Technician, Veterinary Technologist, and a Veterinary Assistant. Both professions’ goal is providing proper medical care to animal patients. The difference lies in the training and certification. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Veterinary Technicians and Technologists have graduated from an accredited 2- or 4-year Veterinary Technology program offered at select colleges that are approved by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association). They have also taken a comprehensive exam and are recognized by the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association as Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVT). Veterinary Technicians or Technologists have a much larger skill set such as being fully trained to perform venipuncture, IV catheter placement, and administer parenteral injections. They also have more material they need to learn, and the curriculum is much more rigorous since it is at the college level. Veterinary Assistants, on the other hand, assist Veterinary Technicians and Technologists, as well as the Veterinarian in multiple tasks. Just a few of those tasks are being responsible for restraining animals, setting up tools for procedures such as IV placement and surgery; and basic care of animals such as cleaning, feeding and watering. NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) now offers a designation as an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) for students graduating from approved programs and passing the national exam. Our program is a NAVTA approved veterinary assisting program, so our students qualify for this designation.
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