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What is a veterinary technician?

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What is a veterinary technician?

A veterinary technician is a certified veterinary professional that provides essential services in a veterinary practice. Vet technicians are trained as a skilled member of the veterinary care industry and assist veterinarians in procedures and tasks such as owner follow ups. A vet technician may work in a clinic, veterinary hospital, laboratory or at a large animal facility. 

Communicating with Pet Owners

An important part of a veterinary technician’s role involves working with pet owners and teaching them how to provide the care ordered by the veterinarian. Vet techs must be great communicators. Consistent communication between vet techs and pet owners pre and post appointments can ensure the veterinarian’s treatment plan is being executed. 

Obtaining Samples For Testing 

Routine vet check ups also involve testing of the blood and stool. It is often the vet tech’s responsibility to obtain these samples. If a urinary tract issue is suspected, you may collect a urine sample. Serial testing is often useful for determining treatment response and all testing results should be communicated to the owners. 

Performing Radiologic Testing

Depending on the facility where you work and the equipment available, you may perform many different diagnostic radiologic tests. This may include X-rays, ultrasounds, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This serves an important role in the diagnostic process.

Surgery Prep & Post Surgery Follow Up

Vet techs prepare animals for surgical procedures. This may involve telling the pet owner to keep the animal from eating or drinking for a certain amount of time. You may also relay instructions to give or hold medications before the surgery. You will watch the animal before the surgery, especially if they received a sedative. When it is time for the surgery, you may prep the animal by cleaning, shaving, and draping the area. Surgical assisting involves gathering the instruments needed for the procedure. During the surgery, you may hand the veterinarian surgical instruments, suction, or retract tissue as needed. After the procedure, vet techs monitor the animal as they wake from the anesthesia. You will notify the veterinarian if any complications develop. It is very important to follow up with the owner to ensure the discharge instructions are being followed and to answer any questions they may have. 

Administering Anesthesia

Vet techs often administer anesthesia under the supervision of the veterinarian. This may involve giving the sedation and monitoring the animal throughout the procedure. After the surgery, you will ensure that the animal wakes without complications.

Perform Dental Procedures 

Vet techs may perform certain dental procedures (not surgeries) under the supervision of the veterinarian.

Supragingival scaling and teeth polishing

Obtaining and developing dental X-rays

Making dental impressions

Creating dental models

Documenting dental pathology

Equine teeth floating

Emergency First Aid 

You may perform initial emergency first aid on animals brought into your facility. You will then work with the veterinarian during further treatment needs. Following up with the owner after the animal has been discharged it vital. 

Administration of Medications and Treatments

You will follow orders given by the veterinarian. This may include giving medications or vaccines to animals. You also perform treatments as prescribed.

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