The vet’s office: The work of a veterinary technician
By Dana Marcott, CVT
Wildwood Animal Hospital and Clinic LLC
In the veterinary field, the week of Oct. 16-22 is known as National Veterinary Technician Week. It is a chance for both veterinary staff and clients to recognize and celebrate the many skills and talents a technician possesses.
The skill set and job requirements of a technician are often unknown by those outside of the veterinary field. This week gives technicians a chance to promote what they do in the field and why they have chosen the profession.
Currently, there is much discussion over the title of “veterinary technician.” It can be very misleading as to what a technician actually does. Many in the veterinary field would like the title to be changed to veterinary nurse as it more appropriately explains the role of the technician.
The average certified technician has been trained and educated in several different areas. They are the anesthesiologists, radiologists, phlebotomists, patient advocates, and treatment nurses of the veterinary field. Often times they are also the receptionist, cashier, and janitor of the clinics in which they work. Technicians also play a large role in client education, helping pet owners understand vaccine protocols, the uses and side effects of medications, treatment plans recommended by the doctors, and often times help with behavior and training concerns. The many skills of a technician make him or her a vital part of the clinic.
It is a common perception that technicians pick their profession because they greatly enjoy cuddling with kittens and puppies, and while this is probably true with many of us, there are several reasons people are drawn to the field.
Many technicians enjoy the educational side of the profession and learning ways to continue to improve their technical skills. In order to remain certified, a technician is required to do many hours of continuing education on a biyearly basis. Other technicians enjoy the laboratory side of the job, such as analyzing urine samples, blood slides, ear smears, and numerous other samples. Some really enjoy working with clients on behavior modification, training techniques, and pet education. Others prefer monitoring anesthesia for surgical procedures or performing dental cleanings. Lastly, almost all of us have picked this field because we have a desire to be advocates for animals and have a passion and patience for working with them.
Regardless of the hard work and numerous challenges that come with the job, the reward of seeing a happy, healthy pet and a relieved owner makes them all worthwhile. National Vet Tech Week gives us a chance to share with others what we do and why we choose the career.
Wildwood Animal Hospital and Clinic LLC is located at 210 Airpark Road in Marshfield and online at wildwoodanimalhospital.net.