Veterinary Technicians: Who are They? What do They do?

Veterinary technicians are indispensable to veterinarians in the area

If you’ve ever had a pet emergency or brought your pet in to Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital, you’ve probably been thankful for the veterinary technician who helped care for your pet. These experienced and skilled professionals ensure that your pet receives the very best service our team has to offer. But what exactly is a veterinary technician, and what do they do?

National Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week is coming up October 14th-20th, and we couldn’t think of a better time to shine a spotlight on these talented individuals.

What is a Veterinary Technician?

Although there are differences, a veterinary technician can be compared to a nurse at a human hospital. Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in the care of animal patients, educate clients, and are advocates for animal health and well being.

Each state has different requirements for education and certification. However, every veterinary technician must complete an accredited veterinary technician program and pass a national exam, as well as state board examinations, in order to become certified. In Pennsylvania, the term “Certified Veterinary Technician” denotes an individual who has met these requirements.

Talented Professionals

If you’ve ever observed a veterinary technician in action, it’s easy to see that they wear many hats and possess a myriad of different skills. Any veterinarian will readily tell you that they simply couldn’t do their job without the assistance of a veterinary technician.

Veterinary technician responsibilities include:

  • Recording medical histories and vitals during each exam
  • Performing laboratory diagnostics
  • Taking radiographs
  • Assessing patient pain and discomfort
  • Triaging pet emergencies
  • Assisting in surgery
  • Monitoring anesthesia before, during, and after procedures
  • Performing dental cleanings and tooth extractions
  • Providing care and TLC to hospitalized and recovering patients
  • Advocating for vulnerable animals
  • Answering client questions and providing client education and support

This list is not exhaustive, and you can begin to see their job is never boring! Veterinary technicians are also required to maintain current knowledge and skills in emerging technologies and medical advancements in order to maintain their certification.

Essential Members of the Team

Veterinary technicians use their skills and expertise with every patient to help veterinarians deliver exceptional care each and every day. They often notice things that pet owners and veterinarians might miss and lend their extensive knowledge to helping pets lead happy, healthy lives.

If you’d like to help us celebrate and recognize the amazing work of our staff during National Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week, please give us a call.