The primary job of a registered veterinarian technician, (commonly known as vet techs) is to provide comfort and care to sick or injured animals. A vet tech works under a veterinarian, assisting them with day-to-day work. These technicians work in a variety of settings, such as private practices, 24-hour animal hospitals, animal shelters, labs, research facilities, zoos, and rescue agencies.
Some of the duties performed by vet techs include collecting blood, stool, urine or tissue samples for testing; performing lab tests such as urinalysis, heartworm inspections, leukemia tests, and blood counts; and taking x-rays. They also sterilize instruments for surgery, assist with dental procedures, surgery preparation for animals, administer anesthesia for animals, and euthanize animals that are seriously injured or ill. Additionally, vet techs are responsible for recording case histories, weight, and temperature, as well as restraining animals as needed , trimming nails, expressing anal glands, and removing sutures. Vet techs must administer medications, vaccines, and treatments as needed, and they must demonstrate how to administer medicine at home for owners. They also handle administrative tasks such as maintaining animal records and training new employees.
To become a registered veterinary technician, an individual must have an associate’s degree in veterinary technology. Certification is also typically required. Vet techs must have good communication skills, be detail-oriented, and have experience handling animals. Vet techs often work long hours, which may include weekends and evenings . Through day-to-day activities, a vet tech may risk bites, scratches, or other injuries.