This week marks Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week! First celebrated in 1993, this week brings awareness to and celebrates the Veterinary Technician profession and the contributions that they make in animal healthcare. Veterinary Technicians, also known as Veterinary Nurses, play a vital role in in the day to day operations of veterinary clinics. Without Veterinary Technicians, clinics would not function as they do today.
Veterinary Technicians undergo rigorous training in an accredited program. They’re trained in animal care and handling, laboratory testing, radiography, surgical and anesthetic procedures, nutrition consultation, physiotherapy, and many other technical procedures and practices.
They perform many of the same tasks that nurses, laboratory technicians, and other specialized technologists provide to people in hospitals.
- Often, Veterinary Technicians are the first point of contact with the patient or client, discussing the medical issue that has brought the client to the clinic.
- They collect a patient’s medical history by carefully asking all the right questions, obtain vital signs (e.g., heart rate, temperature), and collect blood or urine samples for laboratory testing.
- Perform diagnostic laboratory testing on blood, urine, and stool samples.
- Prepare the patient and surgical suite for surgery.
- Assist in surgical procedures; monitor the patient’s vital signs and watch for any signs of distress in the patient during the surgery.
- Ensure the proper sterilization of surgical instruments.
- Assist the veterinarian with medical and diagnostic procedures.
- Keep the patient calm and comfortable during procedures that may be frightening to a cat or dog.
- Provide specialized nursing care after surgery and for critically ill patients.
- Change bandages and dressings.
- Obtain and process radiographs (X-rays) and ultrasounds.
- Educate clients on caring for their animals whether it be proper medication dosing, preventive care, nutrition, or recovery from procedures, surgery, or illness.
- Follow-up with clients to check on the progress of the patient once discharged from the clinic.
- In smaller clinics, Veterinary Technicians can provide practice management and administrative support.
Veterinary Technician Week is a week set aside to acknowledge and recognize the critical role of Veterinary Technicians in veterinary clinics. They are highly skilled and extremely dedicated to the work they do each day. If you are visiting your veterinary clinic this week, be sure to thank the Technicians for their diligence with your pet!