Knowing the Job of a Veterinary Technician

Do you have idea about veterinary technicians? Many people are not familiar with this profession as they are not pet lovers. In general, they are also known as animal health technicians or veterinary nurses. In short, we can call them “vet techs”.

They spend most of their time dealing with animals. They care and love the animals. They usually work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics, grooming salons, animal shelters, biomedical research facilities, etc. However, some of them have the chance to work in specific places like zoos and aquariums.

As vet techs, do they have a lot of responsibilities? The answer is YES. They have to carry out many responsibilities in their daily routine. However, their responsibilities may vary from one to another depending on their nature of work, working places and their employers. For instance, the job scope of vet techs working in private veterinary clinics is very much different from other vet techs working in livestock management companies and veterinary pharmacies.

Below are some of the common tasks performed by the vet tech:

o Assisting the licensed veterinarian (vet) in diagnosing the health conditions of the animals
o Assisting the vet during surgical procedures by providing the right instruments and equipments
o Comforting the animals in the exam rooms
o Obtaining and recording patients’ case histories
o Collecting specimens such as collecting animals’ urine, taking blood samples, collecting tissue samples, etc.
o Performing lab procedures such as reading urinalysis
o Removing stitches and giving injections to animals
o Taking radiographs of animals
o Performing dental cleaning
o Supervising the vet assistants
o Advising and educating the animal owners

The responsibilities of vet techs are quite similar as human nurses and other health care professionals. Their roles are important in promoting animals’ health as well as human health for the good sake of the whole environment.

Veterinary Technician Certification in Clinical Medicine Areas

As a veterinary technician, you have the responsibility of working with animals and providing the necessary care required in order to maintain the animal’s good health. Technicians will administer first aid, take x-rays, take samples for testing, and prep animals and instruments for surgery, among many other tasks. These individuals also have the option of earning more specialized certification, if they so wish. Especially for those who work in clinical medicine, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) is a great resource. NAVTA has created a standard list of criteria for individuals interested in earning academy or society status through the Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties (CVTS).

Societies are available to individuals who have an existing veterinary specialty and are interested in a focused discipline of veterinary medicine. In order to attain academy status, students must have already completed formal education and training at an accredited institution. Students MUST be a credentialed veterinary tech to register for further certification or specialization in an academy program.

The societies and academies listed below have been approved by NAVTA. However, this is not a complete list of all the academies available. After successfully completing an academy program, individuals will earn the Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) title in their chosen discipline.

• The Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians – those who work specifically with large animal medicine, small animal medicine, neurology, and oncology may be interested in this academy.

• The Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetics – designed for techs who wish to learn more about what is involved in anesthesia care. Students will learn about how to deal with an animal before, during, and after a surgery or procedure.

• The Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians – these individuals involve themselves with behavior health, problem prevention, behavior modification, management, and training. Often, behavior technicians work with animals and their owners on improving the bond between the two groups.

• The Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians – those who already have experience as surgical technicians should explore this academy in order to qualify for a national examination to become a VTS (Surgery).

• The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice – for veterinary techs who are interested in this academy, a series of three subject areas will be studied: avian/exotic, canine/feline, and production animal.

Here is the list of the five societies:

• Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians – students in this society will learn about behavioral subjects such as management, modification, and training.

• The American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians – geared towards equine vet technicians and other related fields, this society will discuss aspects regarding horses.

• Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians – focused on zoo animal medicine

• Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society – vet techs who work with veterinary emergency and crucial care medicine and surgery may be interested in this society. Those in this society will be educated on the proper practice involved in critical patient care and other animal-related emergency situations.

Some Job Opportunities for a Veterinary Technician

There is an increased need for people that care about the many creatures of this world. Anyone that has these feelings for the animals around them can incorporate this with what they choose to pursue as their way to support their lifestyle by joining the veterinary profession. A few years ago it was estimated that there were over eighty thousand jobs in this profession and this number continues to multiply. Initially, an individual could pursue a veterinary technician career by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology at a local community college or by enrolling in one of the veterinary technician schools. The education will be varied in its courses since the veterinary tech is needed in so many different areas of animal and creature care. For example, a veterinary tech working in a wildlife preserve will see animals that someone working for a veterinarian will never see come in the doors of their clinic. After graduating and then passing the credentialing test, the individual will be ready to begin the search for a job.

The vet tech needs to take into consideration the veterinary technician salary of the different applications of this title and the education behind it. Choosing to work in a research facility or a hospital environment could pay a higher salary than working in a small veterinary clinic. But, along with the higher salary may be very different responsibilities. The vet tech working in this environment could be taking the necessary tests for the researches and keeping detailed records of each animal, and also taking care of the animals in their daily needs such as feeding, bathing, and walking and exercising them. They could also be in charge of managing and training new personnel on the research team.

The basic duties of many veterinary technician jobs in a clinic situation can include duties such as preparing the animals, instruments and equipment, and the surgery room for the next scheduled surgery, collecting specimens and blood samples, taking x-rays and developing them, and obtaining and keeping detailed case histories on all of the clinic’s patients. There are also many job opportunities in animal emergency hospitals, humane societies, zoos and wildlife refuges, and military service animal care. The veterinary technician salary for each of these diversified jobs will be very different because of the levels of responsibilities. Some will be more crucial than another one where the main part of the job might be to care for the animals in their daily needs. All of these jobs, however different, establishes the vet tech as an essential member of the veterinary team making a difference in the lives of animals.