This week we are celebrating veterinary technicians across the globe for the hard work they put in to taking care of our loved pets. But what is a veterinary technician? What do they do and what schooling have they had?
Veterinary Technicians: What are they?
Veterinary technicians come in two forms, Registered (or Certified) Veterinary Technicians, and Unregistered Veterinary Technicians (or Veterinary Assistants). The major difference between these two titles is their education. Registered Veterinary Technicians, or RVTs, have gone through a schooling program and are licensed by your state's Board of Veterinary Medicine. They have taken rigorous in-school training and coursework that makes them very capable technicians, and they are often just as knowledgeable as doctors on many medical conditions.
Unregistered Veterinary Technicians have either been through a technician program and chose not to complete testing to become certified, or have not had schooling at all. Despite lack of schooling, many unregistered veterinary technicians have had years of on-job training that still makes them good resources.
What do Technicians do?
Technicians perform many crucial tasks in a clinic, and their duties vary from clinic to clinic. Most often, technicians are responsible for animal restraint, lab-work, radiography, administering medication, monitoring patients under anesthesia, and phlebotomy. RVTs and specialized technicians may also participate in more advanced work like completing dental procedures or administering specific medications for more complicated medical treatment.
Why Celebrate Technicians?
Technicians are the backbone of the clinic- they perform the brunt of the clinical work and often work long hours. Even so, they come to work every day with enthusiasm in a field they are thrilled to be a part of. Next time your pet has an emergency, take a moment to notice how hard your technician is working. You may be surprised to find how capable and knowledgeable your veterinary technician is!