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Veterinary Nurses

Not every nursing position has a human for a patient. Veterinary nurses are a popular career option which is growing in popularity each day. Veterinary nurses help care for the animals that are brought into the veterinary clinic and assist the veterinarians with different duties throughout the day. Becoming a vet nurse can be a fulfilling career and can sometimes spur the desire to gain further education in veterinary medicine.

Veterinary nurses carry out a wide array of duties in their veterinary offices and clinics each day. The nurses assist the doctor when carrying for the patients. The nurses can do some duties on their own, such as talking with the pet owner about the health care concerns of their pet and taking any observations from the pet, such as visible wounds, any strange behaviors or actions or anything else that just seems out of place. They also get the weight and check the temperature of the pet before the vet sees them. Veterinary nurses help their animal patients by offering wound care treatment, performing routine tasks like catheterizations, ear flushes and administering vaccines and taking and analyzing bodily samples from the pet. Depending on their training and the size of the individual practice, vet nurses can also help in surgery and by running tests with diagnostic equipment, like x-rays, ultrasounds and MRIs.

To work as a veterinary nurse, preparation starts early when the student is in high school. They should take as many higher level science classes as possible, such as biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology. Post-secondary education to become a vet nurse is available from many two-year programs at technical schools and community colleges. A licensing exam is necessary to be a credentialed vet nurse. The National Veterinary Technician exam is also required by many states and individual vet offices. One of the most important qualifications is a love for animals and a desire to see them healthy and pain free. The patients that are being cared for by the vet nurse are unable to talk to tell exactly where or how it hurts or how they came to be injured. The vet nurse needs to be observant and loving and compassionate toward animals.

The career field for veterinary nurses is expected to grow by 38 percent through 2018. The average salary for a vet nurse ranges from $20,356 to $30,677 for those with limited experience. More experience results in a higher pay range. There are also many chances for advancement for vet nurses.