Many people are confused between veterinary technician and veterinary assistant. They thought both professions are the same. In fact, it is important to understand that a vet tech is totally different from a vet assistant. Both professions are different in many aspects such as academic qualifications, tasks performed, salaries paid, levels of skill and competency, etc.
In general, vet techs are educated to be the veterinarian's nurses or laboratory technicians. They must receive formal training from any accredited veterinary school for 2 years and obtain the certification after passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam. Passing this exam assures the public that the vet techs have the entry level knowledge of the routine duties they are asked to perform in any veterinary hospital or clinic. They can perform work like giving injections, collecting blood and urine, removing stitches as well as administering medications for the sick or injured animals independently. Besides, their tasks also include assisting the veterinarians during surgical procedures and providing intensive care for animals.
On the other hand, a vet assistant is someone whose role and responsibilities are totally different from a vet tech. The vet assistants usually have experience working in the animal care field but they are not licensed vet techs who possess academic qualification and certification. Most of them are responsible for doing front office work such greeting pet owners, taking appointments, escorting the patients and their owners to exam room, weighing the patients, doing proper filing, etc. In certain circumstances, the vet assistants also provide assistance during surgical procedures but they are not allowed to give injections or administer medication on their own.
In fact, vet nurses can be the supervisors for the vet assistants and their job scope is much wider. Vet nurses should be proud of themselves as their professional qualifications are recognized by the public as well as the state government. They have a great duty in promoting animal health.