Who are Veterinary Technicians and What Do They Do?
The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) observes National Veterinary Technician Week during the third week of October each year to raise awareness of the vital role veterinary technicians play in maintaining animal health. That week falls on October 16–22 this year. Read on to find out more about these animal superheroes if you’re not aware of what duties vet techs perform on a daily basis.
A veterinary technician is:
- An animal nurse — First and foremost, veterinary technicians are animal nurses. They provide the bulk of nursing care for sick or injured pets and administer preventive care, such as vaccinations and parasite prevention, to healthy pets.
- An anesthesiologist — When a pet undergoes surgery, a vet tech calculates their anesthetic drug doses, monitors their health status while under anesthesia, holds their paw, and ensures their comfort as they recover.
- A surgical assistant — During surgery, a vet tech is a veterinary surgeon’s right hand. They prep the surgery suite and the patient, then scrub in to assist where needed.
- A laboratory technician — When a pet needs X-rays taken, urine collected, or an ear swab evaluated, a vet tech is on the job. Their education and training allow them to snap the perfect “picture” on the first try, check urine samples for crystals and more, and spot yeast and bacteria on a microscope slide.
- An educator — When a pet owner needs help learning how to give their pet medication or has questions about what vaccinations their furry pal needs, a vet tech provides assistance. They love sharing their knowledge with other people who are passionate about pets.
- A phlebotomist — Vet techs are skilled at finding veins in a fur-covered, moving target, whether blood samples need to be collected or an intravenous catheter needs to be placed.