The Value Of A Veterinary Technician To A Veterinarian
The modern American veterinary care sector is experience sustained and dramatic growth. In fact, many families demand a level of care for their beloved companion animals that is equal to the type of care they themselves expect to receive.
Because of this, veterinarians find that they need the help of other veterinary professionals in order to effectively care for the animals that they are treating. Fortunately, veterinary technicians can provide this vital assistance.
Veterinary Technicians in the Clinical Setting
Veterinary technicians are veterinary professionals who are capable of assisting the veterinarian in a variety of ways. In many cases, they serve the same role in the veterinary sector that a registered nurse (RN) does in the healthcare sector.
Most states currently require that all vet techs be licensed or certified by the state.
Because of these requirements, the majority of vet techs have the following qualifications:
- They have completed an accredited veterinary technician program.
- The vet tech has successfully passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE).
- In some states, vet techs must also complete a jurisprudence examination.
These qualifications make the veterinary technician a highly skilled veterinary professional, capable of performing a variety of duties independently or under the vet’s supervision. In many cases, these are duties that the veterinarian cannot directly perform due to other demands on his or her time. Among the most common duties a vet tech will perform are the following:
- Carrying out the initial examination of the animal and recording the results for the veterinarian’s later examination.
- Assisting the veterinarian before, during and after surgical procedures.
- Taking various samples from the pet and preparing them for testing.
- Supervising veterinary aides and other personnel in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the clinic.
- In some cases, the vet tech will provide emergency first aid for animals that are brought in suffering from severe injury or illness.
All of these duties are absolutely vital to veterinarian’s ability to provide effective and timely care to those animals he or she is currently treating. In addition, the veterinarian can focus on providing the best care possible while allowing the vet techs to handle the other aspects of the veterinary practice’s operation.
Veterinary Technicians as Supervisors
Many veterinary practices have a large number of employees, ranging from vet techs to veterinary aides, clerical help and even volunteer workers. It is generally an inefficient use of the veterinarian’s time to directly supervise these individuals. For that reason, a vet tech can provide a valuable service as an office supervisor.
In this role the vet tech ensures that the other employees are carrying out their duties and establishes work schedules to ensure that the animals are adequately supervised at all times. Finally, the vet tech may help train and evaluate volunteers or working students who are preparing for a career in veterinary medicine.
Veterinary Technicians and Emergency Situations
Vet techs can be extremely important in assisting the veterinarian during an emergency situation. In cases where an animal is suffering from a critical injury or illness that requires immediate intervention, the veterinarian will require the vet tech’s assistance to provide the type of intervention needed to save the animal’s life. In many cases, only a professional vet tech will be able to respond to the vet’s needs quickly enough in order to ensure a successful conclusion to the surgical procedure.
Vet Techs and Long-Term Animal Care
In addition to working with the veterinarian to provide assistance during emergencies, the vet tech is an extremely important part of ensuring high quality care for animals on a long-term basis. During their time at the clinic, animals must be monitored in order to ensure that they are reacting properly to their treatments. Vet techs, unlike veterinary aides or assistants, have the training to properly monitor the animals over the course of the day and accurately report their condition and progress to the veterinarian.
Vet Techs and Animal Owners
Finally, the vet tech is often the first veterinary professional that the animal owner will interact with. They usually admit the animal, take the initial report as to the reason for the visit, and then carry out the initial physical examination. Due to this, the veterinary technician is a vital part of the clinic’s interaction with the public.
By working with the customer in a professional and caring way, the vet tech can assist the veterinarian in creating loyal clients who understand that their companion animals will be properly cared for by skilled professionals. This is especially important for larger practices, where the vet may be unable to personally meet with many clients on a regular basis due to other demands on his or her time.
Vet Tech Specialists and the Veterinary Practice
Finally, those vet techs who have become specialists may be able to assist the veterinarian in providing specialized types of care to ill or injured animals. There are many specialties that have been recognized by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), all of which can help the supervising veterinarian provide excellent care to his or her animal patients.
In addition to the professional benefits of employing a vet tech specialist, having specialists on the staff may encourage individuals to make use of the veterinary practice. This is especially true for those veterinary practices that focus on specialized procedures or that work with exotic or large animals. Additionally, a vet tech specialist will be able to more effectively inform animal owners about the nature of the treatment their animal will be receiving, preparing them for later consultations with the supervising veterinarian.
Veterinary technicians are an important part of any veterinary practice. In fact, few veterinary practices could effectively function without the assistance of one or more vet techs. Because of this, the veterinarian should see his or her vet techs as a vital part of the process of providing effective veterinary care.