Even though I no longer practice as a Vet Tech, I am thankful for the training and all the long hours studying for that certification exam. Every time I take our dogs to the clinic, I know the tasks that are going on behind the scenes. And some of these tasks include talking about the treatment schedule and when I should have return appointments on my calendar. Techs are well-versed in medication, so we also may talk about what I can expect when my dogs are taking certain drugs.
A Vet Tech’s ability to multitask is superhuman—something I know from experience.
Vet Techs are the Unsung Heroes
It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it! Techs spend a lot of time cleaning up after your animal. For example, when a dog goes to the clinic after eating chocolate candy on Halloween, it’s usually the Vet Tech who induces vomiting.
Many of my colleagues were not only dog whisperers but could also read a cat’s behavior from across the room. Some cats are opportunistic, and knowing when they may need some extra tending-to and loving care is important.
There are so many reasons Vet Techs are awesome, but here’s just TEN. I could come up with hundreds. And the last three may be the most important, as they love your pet when you can’t! This is a photo of my graduating Vet Tech Class at Portland Community College.
Top 10 Reasons Vet Techs Are Amazing
- They know how to administer subcutaneous injections (under the skin) and fluids without causing undue pain to the patients (cats)!
- They understand low-stress handling when it comes to trimming nails, which isn’t limited to just dogs, but includes cats and sheep.
- Diagnostics are a big part of the job! They can identify yeast under a microscope and let the Veterinarian know the yeast count with 100% certainty. As a Certified Vet Tech, I identified ringworm under a microscope when Walter was diagnosed after a trip to the beach.
- They know how to efficiently take X-rays of your animals in order to avoid unneeded exposure.
- A Tech can differentiate between a male and female guinea pig. Can you?
- Vet Techs are also dental techs! Part of the training includes knowing dental formulas and how to address dental disease.
- Wound care, bandaging, and how to use adhesive tape are all part of their skill set. It’s very impressive when you watch the bandage being placed, and it takes practice.
- They make your dogs feel comfortable in what can appear to be a “scary” environment, full of strange people and smells.
- They never stop learning to ensure they know how to best care for your animals. Some even pursue specialties.
- They act as grief counselors too, and offer hugs and a shoulder to cry on.
Depending on where you live, there may be different titles for a Vet Technician. Here’s some help if you see these letters on their name tag!
Deciphering Vet Tech Credentials
- Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)
- Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)
- Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT)
- Licensed Veterinary Medical Technician (LVMT)
There’s a lot of talk about whether the public would better understand the title “nurse” versus “technician,” as well.
With that in mind, Vet Techs have a variety of roles that are similar to human nurses, including (but not limited to) hospice care, radiology, surgery, anesthesia, emergency and critical care, dental surgery, internal medicine, and general practice. That’s a ton of responsibility, and yet another reason to thank (or hug) your Vet Tech today!