Celebrating Our Veterinary Technicians!
October 15-21 is 2017’s National Veterinary Technician Week, where pet parents everywhere can take some time to be thankful for all the work that our vet techs do to help support the health of our pets. Veterinary technicians (sometimes called veterinary nurses) work with veterinarians to provide the best care possible for our furry family members. They work with both animals and their human companions, require a strong knowledge-base and must be life-long learners. Everyone knows how much knowledge and skill is required to be a good veterinarian, but now is the time to cast the spotlight on veterinary technicians.
So, what do veterinary technicians do? Veterinary technicians assist Veterinarians in a variety of tasks, ranging from taking pet patient histories to assisting a veterinarian during surgery. They perform clinical tasks such as taking blood or helping restrain a pet during an exam, among many others, and vet techs can also perform procedures such as x-rays and a number of laboratory procedures. So while, as this AMVA page points out, vet techs “cannot diagnose, prescribe, perform surgery, or engage in any activity prohibited by a state’s veterinary practice act” vet techs have a number of responsibilities to perform in their workplace environment.
Becoming a veterinary technician requires between two to four years of classes from an accredited school. They earn either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in their field, and some specialize in a certain area of animal health, such as behavior, critical care, nutrition, and more.
Veterinary technicians are also required to keep up on the latest research and findings involving animal health and related fields. They utilize technology to perform their jobs, and need, above all, to have an excellent working knowledge of animal behavior and health. Veterinary technicians need to have strong skills in biology and chemistry, as well as strong communication skills so that they can communicate both with the veterinarians who supervise them and the pet parents who bring their floofins in for care. Like veterinarians, vet techs are trained to work with several species of animals.
A bit like nurses, veterinary technicians must be able to cover a wide range of tasks and, like nurses, aren’t always given the proper credit they deserve for their expertise and care. National Veterinary Technician Week gives us pet parents the opportunity to show our appreciation for our vet techs. Part of this appreciation includes learning a little more about what their jobs entail, but it also gives us a perfect opportunity to reach out and show our gratitude and appreciation for all they do for us. You can send a card, call, or even pop in to your veterinarian’s office to let the veterinary technicians there know you are aware of all the hard work they do for you and your floofin. You do all that you can to ensure the health of your pets. Veterinary technicians are part of that, and this week gives your the chance to express your thanks.