A veterinary technologist/technician's main task is to assist a veterinarian in the diagnosis and preparation of an animal for treatment. He or she must be able to conduct tests such as X-rays, blood work, dental scans, and medical injections. While a veterinary technologist/technician does not diagnose the animal himself or herself, he or she will work to provide the lead veterinarian with all necessary information in order to make the diagnosis. As such, a veterinary technician's work is often physically demanding, as he or she must operate heavy medical machinery as well as restrain and/or lift large animal patients. While the veterinary technician does not need to possess extensive knowledge of animal injuries and illnesses, general knowledge is preferred, and knowledge of how to work medical equipment as well as the various tests performed is required.
A veterinary technician works indoors in an animal hospital or clinic. He or she must be able to work with a wide variety of people, including the veterinarian, other veterinary technicians, and the pet owners. The job requires the mental ability to take on both a role of leadership and autonomy when conducting tests as well as that of a subordinate when taking direction from the lead veterinarian.The hours of a veterinary technician can vary greatly depending on the demands of the day and the job location. It can range from long shifts to a couple of hours daily. While veterinary school is not a requirement to become a veterinary technician, it is recommended. However, high school and college are typical requirements.
Veterinary Technologist / 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.