The vet’s office: National Veterinary Technician Week is Oct. 15-21
By Dr. Elizabeth Knabe, DVM, and Holly Henschke, CVT
Wildwood Animal Hospital and Clinic LLC
Ask most veterinarians in small animal practice about what makes their job easier and more enjoyable, and they will tell you it is the skilled group of people who are called veterinary technicians. Since 1993 the third week in October has been designated the week to honor, celebrate, and create awareness about these very important workers.
It is said that a person’s hospital experience is mostly determined by the nurses involved, not by the doctors. The same thing might be said for your pet’s veterinary visits as a technician will be the one doing most of the hands-on care.
To help the public understand more about the vital roles technicians play in animal health care, a national association is starting groundwork to have the title changed to registered veterinary nurse. The title of veterinary technician is not protected, and those who are trained on-the-job might be performing the same duties as those who hold licenses. Credentialed technicians have graduated from accredited programs, passed both state and national licensing exams, and keep current on education as mandated by law. Only those who have done this would be called veterinary nurses.
I have been in practice a long time and have been lucky to have worked alongside a great group of licensed technicians over the years. Just knowing that they understand the pet’s health needs from the inside out and have been trained in recognizing when a pet is not responding as expected is priceless. Technicians and registered veterinary nurses deserve this week of recognition.
Holly, a certified veterinary technician at my practice, offered the following insight on what it means to be a veterinary technician:
A technician is responsible for many tasks throughout the hospital. We are phlebotomists, anesthetists, dental hygienists as well as the team tasked with carrying out the treatments for patients in intensive care. However, if you ask me or my team what our most important function is as technicians, we will tell you that it is to be a voice for your pet, an advocate who always acts in the best interest of your beloved family member. We use our expertise and our compassion to make sure your pet is safe, comfortable, and loved while in our care.
We enter into this field with a passion to advance medicine and provide the best experience possible for a pet and its caretaker with the knowledge that the human-animal bond is one of the most important in people’s lives. We are defined by our training, our compassion, and our willingness to go above and beyond for you and your pet.
Wildwood Animal Hospital and Clinic LLC is located at 210 Airpark Road in Marshfield and online at wildwoodanimalhospital.net.