This week, October 14 through October 20, has been declared National Veterinary Technician Week by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). The goal of this week is to celebrate the contributions of veterinary technicians in the animal hospitals throughout the United States. In fact, Kansas governor Sam Brownback has even officially proclaimed this same week as Kansas Registered Veterinary Technician Week.

Many pet owners are unaware of the importance that veterinary technicians play in keeping their pets healthy and happy. However, these are highly trained and dedicated individuals who are essential to the functioning of any animal hospital.

As a practicing veterinarian, I can assure you that veterinary technicians are the backbone of my own practice. Without them, our practice would be chaotic and our quality of medicine would be severely lacking.

Some of the responsibilities that veterinary technicians perform include:

  • Nursing sick animals
  • Performing laboratory analyses
  • Taking radiographs (X-rays)
  • Assisting with anesthesia for surgery patients
  • Performing nursing services for surgery patients
  • Educating clients about various health care topics

These are just some of the essential tasks that veterinary technicians play in the typical animal hospital. In many cases, they are also responsible for cleaning, greeting clients, answering telephones, and much more.

In short, employing highly trained and talented veterinary technicians in an animal hospital frees the veterinarian to do what we are trained to do, which is diagnosing disease, making accurate prognoses, prescribing medications, and performing surgeries. Veterinary technicians work hand in hand with your veterinarian to give your pet the best care possible.

Veterinary technicians typically complete a course of classes that teach them the latest in veterinary medical technology. They are also usually tested in order to become either licensed or registered, depending on the state in which they are employed. But their commitment does not stop there. Just as veterinarians must stay current with new discoveries and technologies, veterinary technicians also must pursue continuing education routinely. In this way, they are able to stay up-to-date with any new advances and continue to provide top-notch care for your pet.

Needless to say, veterinary technicians play a huge role in most veterinary practices. They perform a variety of tasks that are essential to the functioning of the hospital itself as well as playing a big role in caring for the pets that enter the hospital.

Dr. Lorie Huston

Image: CREATISTA / via Shutterstock