Who are Veterinary Technicians and What Do They Do?
To spread awareness about the crucial role veterinary technicians play in animal health, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) celebrates National Veterinary Technician Week the third week in October every year. This year, that week is October 16 to 22. If you are unsure what tasks vet techs tackle daily, read on to learn more about these pet superheroes.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.