The main task of a veterinarian is to examine animals to detect and determine their health status as well as diagnose any injuries or illnesses they may be afflicted with. A veterinarian must then be capable of providing treatment, advice, and/or prescriptions to treat whatever may be ailing the sick animal. If a veterinarian is unable to treat the animal himself or herself, then he or she must be able to refer the pet's owner to a specialist who can treat the animal. In addition to treating the animal, a veterinarian must be able to professionally interact with the pet's owner(s). He or she must be able to counsel pet owners regarding the best form of treatment, as well as provide calm assistance during difficult times for a family who may have to euthanize their pet.
The work of a veterinarian is both physically and mentally demanding. The veterinarian must be capable of standing on his or her feet for long periods of time, and should be able to lift heavy patients and equipment. The work also requires the constant use of one's mental abilities. A veterinarian must always be ready to diagnose any illness or injury, as well as be able to identify the best form of treatment for both the patient and the family. A veterinarian typically works indoors in a veterinary hospital or clinic. He or she must be able to work well with many other people, including nurses, assistants, and veterinary technicians. Extensive education is required to become a veterinarian, including high school, college, and postgraduate training.
- Administer vaccinations and collect samples for testing for pathogens or diseases.
- Provide immediate treatment and care including diagnosis, prescriptions, and/or advice and behavior changes.
- Examine animals to detect and determine health, injury, or illnesses.
- Counsel pet owners around treatment and diagnosis, and perform euthanization when required.