Commentary: What’s it take to work at animal clinic? |

Commentary: What’s it take to work at animal clinic?

Dr. Mace Dekker
Special to The Union

My granddaughter loves animals and is thinking of working at a vet hospital. What kind of jobs do people do at a clinic, and how much schooling would she need?

Here at Grass Valley Vet, we have doctors, an office manager, Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs), Certified Veterinary Assistants (CVT's), customer service representatives and kennel assistants.

The doctors have eight years of college as they first do a bachelor's degree before going into veterinary school for their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. The doctor's program has a lot of classes in the sciences, such as anatomy and physiology, and other classes that teach medical procedures for surgery, diagnosis and treatment.

The RVTs take a two-year program through a community college or professional school which gives them the skills to administer anesthesia, carry out procedures and assist with surgery.

Both doctors and RVTs have to take continuing education classes every year to maintain their licenses.

The other positions at the hospital may require further education, but all require an amazing amount of dedication and energy to deal with the many problems people and their pets can go through.

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This is National Veterinary Technician Week, and I would like to recognize the amazing people who draw blood, give vaccines, do dental work, take X-rays, assist with surgery, and basically are the veterinarians' right-hand people.

These skilled professionals are absolutely critical to the smooth running of the hospital and we couldn't do it without them.

Grass Valley Veterinary Hospital's Mace Dekker, DVM, will answer questions regarding pets each month in the Vet Tips. Have a question? Submit it to, Attention: Dr. Dekker.

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