National veterinary technician week or NVTW has been an annual tradition since 1993 when the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America passed a resolution declaring the third week in October as NVTW. The goal of this week is to celebrate the contributions of veterinary technicians throughout Canada and the United States. Veterinary technicians are critical to the day-to-day function of veterinary practices, and play vital roles in preserving animal health and welfare.
Many pet owners are unaware of the essential role that a veterinary technician plays in the day to day life of a veterinary clinic. Many veterinarians will be the first to say that without their veterinary technician their practice would not be able to function. Veterinary technicians perform a number of important tasks around the clinic such as:
Receptionist: Many veterinary technicians also double as the receptionist taking care of answering the phones, booking appointments, checking in patients as well as checking out patients at the end of the visit.
Patient History and Physical Exams- While veterinary technicians may not be the ones actually performing the exam the patient history taken before the Doctor enters the room is extremely important. Veterinary technicians also assist during the physical exam to ensure your pet stays calm and safe during any medical procedures.
Radiologist – Technicians are responsible for producing quality diagnostic images.
Nurse- Caring for hospitalized patients.
Surgical Assistant/Anesthesiologist- Prepares patients for surgeries, administers anesthesia and monitors the patient.
Dental Hygienist- A little known fact is that most of the time it’s the veterinary technician cleaning your pet’s teeth while they are under anesthesia.
Phlebotomist- Drawing blood and placing IV catheters.
Lab Tech- Preparing and running laboratory tests on fecal, blood and urine samples.
Janitor/Lunch Lady- Keeps the hospital clean and cleans up after patients. Feeds hospitalized patients.
Educator- Veterinary technicians play a key role in client education.
Doctor’s assistant- Assists the Doctor and ensures they have everything they need for a procedure before being asked for it.
Blogger- Most clinic blogs are written by the technicians that work there! We are also responsible for updating the Facebook page.
Dietitian: Recommending special diets to patients
who need them.
Pharmacist: Veterinary technicians also count pills, reconstitute medications and ensure that all medication is dispensed properly.
These are just some of the essential tasks a veterinary technician performs in a typical animal hospital. A highly skilled veterinary technician works hand in hand with your veterinarian so they are freed up to do what they are trained to do; diagnose diseases, prescribe medications, and perform surgeries. Being a veterinary technician is a demanding but very rewarding job so take some time out of your week to say “Thank you” to your local vet tech!
This blog post was written by McQueen Animal Hospital, a veterinary clinic in Brampton providing quality affordable veterinary care