Veterinary technicians are an integral part of the veterinary team. Often they are the backbone of a veterinary clinic. A vet tech is the first to see a client’s pet in the treatment room. They get to know the pet and his personality right off the bat. A vet tech commonly takes vital signs before meeting with a veterinarian. They also take x-rays, help perform ultrasound examinations, administer medications, draw blood for diagnostics, and so much more.
Vet techs have to think on their feet and perform several tasks at once. With that in mind, an essential part of a vet technician’s personality is that they can multi-task at any given time. Here are five things a vet tech does in a clinic.
- A primary task of any veterinary technician starts with client communication and then taking vital signs such as temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate. The vet tech also gives the veterinarian an idea of what they can expect when they see the animal. One of the main tools that a vet tech uses is an excellent veterinary stethoscope. A vet tech usually takes the animal’s pulse by using a stethoscope and counting the beats.
- Draw blood for diagnostics such as a complete blood count or Feline Leukemia test. A vet tech must produce safe, clean, and sterile equipment for drawing blood. The proper sterile technique ensures that the sample is without any bacterial contamination, and the clinic can use it for further confirmation diagnostic testing. A veterinary technician must provide meticulous attention to detail. The proper procedure may require refrigeration if the clinic sends it out for testing.
- Administer medications prescribed by a veterinarian. Sometimes an animal needs eye drops, or perhaps a wound cleaned out. In some clinics, a veterinarian may do these tasks, but it is up to the vet tech in others. Vet techs are also knowledgeable in which medications an animal should take with food and which ones should not.
- Especially trained veterinary technicians best perform ultrasound exams in others because they have learned how to utilize this excellent diagnostic tool. They can collect data, produce images for display on a monitor screen, store information digitally or on film, and recognize and understand pathologies. However, the veterinarian usually does the ultrasound unless the veterinary technician goes through extensive training on ultrasounds.
- They take x-rays under the supervision of a veterinarian so that they are always safe when taking radiographs. A veterinary technician can place an animal in the proper position, operate the equipment, calculate exposure factors, hold still animals for x-ray exposures, process film once it develops, and provide quality images for interpretation by a veterinarian.
Veterinary technicians perform several other tasks in clinics, but the list would be endless. At the end of the day, veterinary technicians can have many different roles in one clinic, or they may have just one job to do, but each task is essential, and no two days are ever alike.
In the world of veterinary medicine, no two days are ever the same, especially for a relief veterinary technician. It’s challenging work, but if you’re passionate about pets, this could be your dream job!