Theirs is the first face you see as you and your pet wait in the examination room. A smile and a word of comfort is first on the agenda as they handle your pet with ease and skill. They ask you the important questions that will help structure the background of your pet’s visit that day. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, we’re talking about veterinary technicians. October 14-20 is National Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week, and we couldn’t think of a better time to highlight the crucial role these staff members play in the health and wellness of your pet.
All About Veterinary Technicians
The job of a veterinary technician is to assist the veterinarian in technical matters, much like a nurse assists a physician. The typical duties that veterinary technicians are responsible for include:
- Assisting veterinarians during examinations and procedures
- Conducting routine procedures (such as vaccinations, nail trims, and anal gland expression)
- Providing first aid and nursing care
- Performing or assisting with diagnostic testing (fecal exams, blood draws, urinalysis, and more)
- Taking x-rays
- Preparing pets for surgery, assisting during procedures, and monitoring post-surgical recovery
- Dental cleanings
- Documenting medical charts
- Monitoring anesthesia during surgical procedures
- Preparing prescription medications
- Answering client questions and providing education on a wide variety of topics, such as nutrition, pet care products, vaccinations, and behavioral issues
No Small Feat
In order to become a licensed veterinary technician, you must complete a two or four-year program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), as well as passing a national board examination. Real world training for veterinary technicians includes lots of time in the lab and clinical work with live animals in a professional setting.
They’ve Got What it Takes
Education, experience, and an intrinsic desire to work with animals are common characteristics among veterinary technicians everywhere, but perhaps a lesser-known trait is physical and mental stamina. Because pets in general have much shorter lifespans than humans, a good portion of any career working with animals is marked by grief. Our vet techs experience the intense emotions that accompany pet loss and often carry those emotions home with them at the end of the day.
Veterinary techs also spend long periods of time on their feet and are regularly called upon to lift, restrain, or otherwise manage animals of all sizes. An ability to think on their feet and to adapt to a variety of different situations throughout the work day is also key.
At Vaughn Road Veterinary Clinic, we absolutely love our veterinary technicians! Without them, we simply couldn’t provide the high level of care and compassion you’ve come to expect from our hospital. We hope you’ll join us this October in expressing our gratitude for everything these devoted professionals do each and every day!