What Does a Veterinary Technician Do?

In celebration of veterinary technician week, October 14th-20th 2012, I’d like to explain some of the things our technicians do on a regular basis. If you think it’s an easy job where you play with cute puppies and kittens all day, you’re partially right. However, their job is often far more challenging. So let’s take our hats off to vet techs this week. Below are some typical tasks assigned to vet techs in our small animal practice every day.

  • Phlebotomist: The vet tech is in charge of actually drawing the blood from the patient and running it through our blood machine. They then give the blood work to the doctor for interpretation.
  • Dental Hygienist: Cleaning pets teeth with a high speed water pick, polishing, and fluoride.
  • Client Educator: Vet Techs have to know all of the diseases we vaccinate for and why, and all of the parasites we prevent and why.
  • Public Health Outreach: A veterinary technician is often times the front line in explaining and preventing diseases that can pass from pets to people. Here are a few examples.
  • Janitor: When you deal with animals all day, urine and feces come with the territory. Proper cleaning and disinfection are a big deal in an animal medical facility
  • Nursing: Administering Medications, placing IV catheters, and daily patient care.
  • Communications Specialist and Counselor: Vet Techs are often the go between with a pet parent and the doctor.
  • Euthanasia Assistant: It’s not easy, but someone has to help our pets go with dignity and compassion. This a job not a lot of us could do on a daily basis, it takes a very special person to put the animal above their own emotions and do what they can to help in that final hour.
  • Radiology Technician: They measure patients and set the radiographic equipment properly to take x-rays that the doctors can read.
  • Pharmacist: They are in charge of filling prescriptions the doctor writes. They must know all of the drugs and what they are used for.
  • Surgical and Anesthesia Nurse: They sterlize and prepare surgical instruments for the doctor, prep the patient for surgery, monitor the patient while it is under anesthesia, and help to recover the patient from anesthesia.

Whew, I get tired just reading that list. So the next time you are at your vet’s office, dont’ forget to THANK your pet’s technicians for all they do!