It’s actually easier to list what a veterinary technician cannot do vs. what they can do. Veterinary technicians cannot diagnose disease, prescribe medications, or preform surgeries. However, without them the veterinary hospital could not function. You may find them drawing blood, placing bandages, monitoring anesthesia, taking radiographs, alerting the doctor to signs of pain and discomfort in a pet, administering medications, and comforting an owner after the loss of a pet. This is not an exhaustive list and technicians have other skills too numerous to mention. They work long hours including overnight ICU shifts and emergencies. They are constant observers who silently and skillfully pick up subtle clues from their veterinarian, their patient, and the caregiver. Veterinary technicians are nothing short of superheroes!
How did they get here? Hard work! Certified (licensed) technicians receive formal education and hands on training at a program accredited by the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities. Further, they have passed the National Board Exam, which determines if they possess the nursing skills necessary to be proficient in the profession. Veterinary Technicians improve client education and help give individualized attention to patients. They take on different responsibilities around the hospital, such as inventory management, laboratory management, and new staff training.
The work life of a Veterinary technician is difficult but extremely interesting. They take tremendous satisfaction in their role in healing a sick puppy, gaining the trust of a frightened cat, or witnessing a pet with cancer enter remission. Veterinary nurses feel great sadness when they witness the heartbreak experienced when pets cross the rainbow bridge. Often, they fight back tears in an attempt to demonstrate calm and strength for the client. The veterinary nurse provides as much comfort to owners as they do their pets. Veterinary Technician Week is October 15th-19th this year. This is a time to thank them for all of their selflessness, all of their compassion, and all of their strength. Fame, glamor, and polished nails aren’t in their future but they love what they do and it certainly shows!
Click here to Meet LVC Technicians
Written By: Tara Corridori, LVT
Edited By: Corrina Parsons, DVM