Veterinary Technicians, also referred to as Veterinary Nurses in Australia and the United Kingdom, play a vital role in your pet’s health. Without Veterinary Technicians, veterinary practices would not function as they do today.
Veterinary Technicians and Nurses undergo rigorous training in animal care and handling, laboratory testing, radiography, surgical and anesthetic procedures, nursing care, and many other technical procedures and practices.
But what exactly does a Veterinary Technician or Nurse do in the practice? They perform many of the same tasks that nurses, laboratory technicians, and other specialized technologists provide to people.
- Often, Veterinary Technicians are the first point of contact with the patient or client, discussing the medical issue that has brought the client to the practice.
- They collect a patient’s medical history by carefully asking all the right questions, obtain vital signs, and collect blood or urine samples for laboratory testing.
- Perform laboratory testing on blood, urine, and stool samples.
- Prepare the patient and surgical suite for surgery.
- Assist in surgical procedures; monitor the patient’s vital signs and watch for any signs of distress in the patient during the surgery.
- Ensure the proper sterilization of surgical instruments.
- Assist the veterinarian with medical and diagnostic procedures.
- Keep the patient calm and comfortable during procedures that may be frightening to a cat or dog.
- Provide specialized nursing care after surgery and for critically ill patients.
- Change bandages and dressings.
- Feed and water the patients and take them out for exercise and “bathroom breaks”.
- Position the patient for X-rays and ultrasounds.
- Educate clients on caring for their animals whether it be proper medication dosing, preventive care, nutrition, or recovery from procedures, surgery, or illness.
- Follow-up with clients to check on the progress of the patient once discharged.
- In smaller practices, Veterinary Technicians and Veterinary Nurses can provide practice management and administrative support.
Veterinary Technician Week is a week set aside to acknowledge and recognize the role that Veterinary Technicians and Veterinary Nurses play in veterinary practices. They are highly skilled and extremely dedicated to the work they do each day. Send a thank you card to the Veterinary Technicians or Veterinary Nurses at your veterinary practice. Better yet, if you happen to be in the practice this week, be sure to thank the Veterinary Technicians in person!