A veterinary technician is responsible for charting medical data such as the animal's weight, eating habits, symptoms, or any other concerns the owner may have. The information taken by the technician is given to the veterinarian to help them effectively make a diagnosis. The veterinarian technician also helps keep the animal calm while it is being examined by the vet and secure the animal while the veterinarian administers any shots or other required treatments. The veterinarian technician also handles laboratory and diagnostic testing such as urine, stool, and blood samples; they also may administer certain medicines and explain their uses, benefits, and potential side effects to owners.
Other veterinary technician duties include prepping the animal for surgery, taking x-rays, inserting an IV, administering anesthesia, assisting in surgeries, and monitoring animals' post-surgical recovery. They also keep owners informed of how the procedure went and how their animal did during and after their procedure. They must be empathetic and able to listen to pet owners' concerns and questions.
Veterinary technicians may work in a private clinic or animal hospital, but they also work in environments such as research laboratories, zoos ,and animal rescues or shelters. Most veterinary technicians work full time, and it’s possible that their schedules could be irregular depending on the clinic; some veterinary clinics are open evenings and weekends, and some are even open 24 hours a day. An associate’s degree typically is required for a veterinary technician.
Veterinary Technician Tasks
- Collect samples and perform laboratory tests to detect pathogens, illness, or disease.
- Conduct diagnostic tests, prepare medications, and log all activities.
- Care for animals, including monitoring their behavior, administering medications or vaccines and first aid.