What is a veterinary technician?

A veterinary technician is a person specially trained to assist veterinarians. Job duties for a trained technician can vary depending on the working environment. The vast majority of vet techs work in emergency centers for domestic animals and in veterinary clinics.

what-is-a-veterinary-technician ss_60591364The duties a trained person could assist a veterinarian with include physical examinations, spaying and neutering, dental procedures, birthing and euthanasia, and immunization.

Other duties someone who wants to become a veterinary technician could assist with could include collecting urine, processing and taking radiographs, skin scrapings, obtaining blood samples, giving medications, taking an animal’s pulse and respiration, applying splints, and dressing wounds. They may also give tube and intravenous feedings, and assist with arterial, venous, and urinary cauterizations, and flushing an animal’s ears.

The equipment a vet tech might learn to use in a vet technician school includes electrocardiograph equipment, which determines the electrical activity in an animal’s heart during a period of time, radiographic and ultrasonographic equipment. Radiographic equipment is used to view x-rays, and ultrasonographic equipment is used to view such things as tendons, lesions, joints, and muscles.

A vet tech school might also teach someone interested in becoming a technician how to assist veterinarians with surgery. Potential veterinary technicians learn to provide the proper equipment during surgery. They also learn to monitor and use such equipment as cardiac monitors, anesthetic machines, breathing machines, and scopes. Vet techs might also keep medical records, and an inventory of all medications prescribed, supplies and equipment, and assist with other administrative duties.

The majority of entry level veterinary technicians have a two year Associate Degree. Such a degree is often obtained from an American Veterinary Medical Association accredited community college program. A few schools offer four year programs. Before attending college for such a program, high school students would do well to take classes in science, math, and biology.

Often, vet techs begin their careers as a trainee under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. Those who have had extensive hands-on experience with medical equipment and diagnostic equipment often require less training.

In addition to passing coursework, potential veterinary technicians must pass a credentialing exam. The test includes written, oral, and practice portions.

Those seeking to become vet techs will find a bright employment outlook in the future, according to reports. That is because the number of people seeking to become technicians is not expected to meet demand.

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