Essential Elements: A Spotlight on the Veterinary Technician
When you make an appointment for your pet here at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, whether it’s for a wellness exam or an ongoing health issue, your goal is to see your veterinarian and have him or her examine your pet.
But, before your trusted veterinarian enters the examination room, there is someone else who has already greeted you, asked you questions about your pet and taken notes on your pet’s history, and also checked his or her vital signs. That person is a veterinary technician, and without him or her, no veterinary hospital or clinic could function effectively.
What Does a Veterinary Technician Do?
In practical terms, the veterinary technician’s job is to assist the veterinarian in technical matters. Much like a nurse assisting a physician, a veterinary technician’s day is multifaceted, with typical duties that include the following:
- Providing nursing care and first aid
- Assisting veterinarians during examinations and procedures
- Conducting routine procedures, such as vaccinations, nail trimming and anal sac expression
- Performing or assisting with blood tests, urinalyses, fecal exams, and other diagnostic testing
- Taking radiographs
- Phlebotomy and intravenous catheter placement
- Preparing animals for surgery, assisting during surgery, and monitoring post-surgical recovery
- Monitoring anesthesia during a surgical procedure
- Performing dental cleanings
- Performing therapeutic laser treatments
- Monitoring and nursing hospitalized patients
- Documenting medical charts
- Preparing prescription medications
- Educating pet owners on topics such as nutrition and pet foods, medications, care products, vaccinations, disease prevention, and behavior issues
A career as a veterinary technician is not for the faint of heart. Besides possessing a love and compassion for animals, veterinary technicians must have physical stamina, as they often spend long periods of time on their feet and may be called on to lift, restrain, or manage large or unruly pets. They must also be able to adapt to a variety of situations, from basic nursing care to emergency and critical care.
A veterinary technician should also have the strong interpersonal skills required to communicate effectively with pet owners and other members of the veterinary medical team.
In order to become a veterinary technician, one must obtain two to four years of post high school education, through a program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), that results in an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Each student must complete an externship in a veterinary practice in order to qualify under the AVMA-accredited veterinary technology program. The majority of our veterinary technicians have passed the national examination and are certified through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).
We Love Our Veterinary Technicians!
We are proud to employ a team of highly trained and qualified veterinary technicians at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center. They love animals and share a deep commitment to animal welfare and the education of pet owners. Our veterinary technicians are here every day, along with our veterinarians, to ensure that when your pet comes to our facility, he or she receives the best in nursing care.