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    Every vet practising in South Africa today will have gone through years of training in order to arrive at the point where they can provide veterinary services to animals. Indeed if you are considering becoming a vet you will need to complete a minimum of five years of studying in this field.

    So with that in mind, let’s find out more about what to expect when you undertake vet training.

    What is the qualification you should study towards when training to be a vet?

    The qualification you need is called a BVSc. This stands for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. It is therefore a degree course. In order to stand a chance of getting onto a degree course you should have a National Senior Certificate to indicate your ability to study at degree level.

    Which university should you study at in South Africa?

    The University of Pretoria has a Faculty of Veterinary Science, and this offers the Bachelor of Veterinary Science qualification you will need to become a vet. This course lasts for approximately six years.

    What can you expect to learn during vet training?

    As you can imagine, the training itself is very in depth, which is one of the reasons it lasts so many years. You must have an interest in and an affinity with medical topics because these will form a key part of your studies. You will find all three science subjects make an appearance in this degree course, but of course biology is a key topic above the other two.

    Anatomy is a significant part of the vet training as well. You will be prepared to dissect dead animals in order to learn about the structures within, so you will be fully prepared to handle operations. It is not too much to say you will learn about animals from the inside out! This might seem a little upsetting but you should remember that without this degree of training you would not be able to perform your role effectively as a qualified vet.

    You can also expect to learn about medicines, otherwise known in this context as pharmacology. There are rules that adhere to the prescribing of such medicines, and you will learn about these rules as well as how to use medicines and in what context to use them.

    If you consider the role a vet plays and the amount of tasks they must do and the knowledge they must have, you can probably now see why you will spend several years learning everything you need to know. If you have ever had a pet and gone to see a vet, you should be able to think back to the knowledge the vet displayed. In some ways the training is more challenging than that of a doctor – after all a vet deals with lots of different animals, rather than just the one!

    As you can see, vet training is in depth, challenging and very involved. But if you have what it takes to pass, you can look forward to a career ahead of you to be proud of.

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