Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) is a certification exam developed and administered by American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) and Professional Examination Service (PES) for credentialing of entry level veterinary technicians.
The eligibility requirements for taking VTNE differ among different states of USA. Most of the states require the applicant to have completed an approved veterinary technician program. The program must be accredited by veterinary medical association of USA or Canada. There are only few states like Alaska, Delaware, Wisconsin, and Washington which allow candidates doing On Job Training (OJT) to take this test and offer other eligibility paths.
The test is breakdown into seven domains- Pharmacy and pharmacology (14% of test), Surgical preparation and assisting (16% of test), Dentistry (8 % of test), Laboratory procedures (15% of test), Animal care and nursing (24% of test), Diagnostic imaging (8% of test), and Anesthesia and Analgesia (15% of test). The content covers 23 tasks and 47 knowledge areas.
The knowledge areas covered in the exam include: Anatomy; Drug classification; Toxicology; Common animal diseases; Normal physiology (including theriogenology); Applied mathematics; Medical terminology; Surgical procedures; Routes of administration of pharmacological and biological agents; Fluid balance and therapy; Patient positioning techniques; Legal requirements and procedures for preparing, storing, and dispensing pharmacological and biological agents; Aseptic techniques; Contraindications, side effects, and normal and abnormal drugs reactions and interactions; Sterilization techniques and quality assurance for equipment and supplies; Sterile and non-sterile surgical assisting procedures and instrumentation; Dental equipment, instruments and supplies; Suturing methods and techniques; Dentistry procedures; Animal husbandry; Sample collection, preparation, storing and shipping techniques; Animal handling and restraint techniques; Laboratory diagnostic principles and procedures; Nutrition; Quality assurance in laboratory; Clinical diagnostic procedures; Implications of abnormal laboratory and diagnostic test results; Principles of animal behavior; Animal assessment and monitoring techniques; Animal nursing procedures; Public health; Disease control and prevention techniques; Animal first aid, triage, and emergency/critical care techniques; Environmental health and safety procedures; Facility cleaning and disinfection techniques; Anesthetic induction, monitoring, maintenance, and recovery techniques including stages of anesthesia, and troubleshooting; Quality assurance and safety for diagnostic imaging; Diagnostic imaging equipment and procedures; Pre- and post anesthetic assessment and care; Pain assessment and analgesic administration techniques; Record keeping; Professional ethics; Pre-anesthetic, anesthetic, and analgesic medication; Procedures for care, maintenance, and use of diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical, and anesthetic equipment and supplies; Inventory control; and Techniques for communicating with veterinary medical team and client.
VTNE is a computer based test. There are 225 multiple choice questions in exam, of which 200 are scored and 25 are not scored. The unscored items are placed randomly and can not be distinguished. They are kept to collect statistical data for future administration of exam.
The result of VTNE is a scaled score. There are two formats of scaling. In one format, scaled scores lie in range from 200 to 800 and passing scaled score is 425. In second format, scaled scores lie in range from 0 to 100 and passing scaled score is 75. The format of scaled scores depends on the particular state.
The pass/fail information is displayed on screens immediately after the completion of test. The official exam report is made available through MyAAVSB at AAVSB website in three to four weeks from exam.
VTNE is administered at Prometric testing centers (situated in United States and Canada) through three testing windows in a year. The candidates can apply for exam online at AAVSB website. The eligible candidates are sent Authorization-to-Test (ATT) letter through e-mail. ATT contains the details related to scheduling and taking the exam. VTNE can be taken at most five times and not more than three times in a year. The candidate has to wait for 91 days before each reexamination. Some of the states may allow less number of attempts.
The test fee of VTNE is $300. This fee includes the charges of Prometric testing center.