Veterinary technicians are animal nurses that work in veterinary offices, animal clinics, emergency hospitals, rescues and shelters, and more. These individuals receive training and education at a vet tech school during a 2-year associate’s degree program which equips them to address basic and advanced animal health care issues. Here are a few of the primary things that veterinary technicians can expect to do on a daily basis once they get their first paying job.
Where Do Veterinary Technicians Work?
A veterinary technician dental cleaning is great for companion animals. Don't you just love the feeling of your teeth after a dental cleaning? Those nice and smooth pearly whites to show off to everyone? Well why shouldn't companion animals have the same opportunity? Guess what, they do! Dental cleanings are a common procedure in most veterinary hospitals and rely heavily on the veterinary technician. There are even some veterinary hospitals that exclusively work in the dentistry aspect of veterinary medicine. Routine dental cleanings are important for companion animals to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Dental disease can lead to a variety of problems from facial abcesses to heart conditions. Veterinary technicians have the very rewarding duty of cleaning the teeth. Think of it as being a dental hygienist that cleans your teeth before the dentist examines your mouth.
The vet tech provides a central roll in the dental cleaning. It all starts with the preoperative exam where the veterinarian checks over the patient to make sure that the patient can handle the anesthetic. The vet tech helps to place an IV catheter as well as incubate the patient. Once the patient has been induced with anesthetic drugs, the veterinary technician is responsible for hooking the patient up to the anesthetic machine as well as monitoring equipment. During the procedure the vet tech is responsible for monitoring the anesthesia as well as the patients vitals (the veterinarian will often help to monitor as well). Most hospitals require that a patients vitals be taken at certain intervals and charted on a graph that will be kept with the patients dental records in the chart. The monitoring time can very, but usually the patients vitals should be taken at least every 5 minutes. The vitals include heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen level, blood pressure, temperature, capillary response time, and mucous membrane color. That is a lot of vitals! But it is important for the vet tech to monitor the patient for any abnormalities. It may also be the veterinary technicians duty to monitor the anesthetic level as well as IV fluid rate based on the patients vitals.
So for a veterinary technician, that is the basic dental procedure. There may be additional more advanced steps taken by the veterinarian depending on the severity of dental disease. I for one find a dental cleaning to be one of the most fun aspects of being a veterinary technician. Keep in mind that it is also the veterinary technicians duty to educate the client about dental products that can help to prevent the advancement of dental disease, for example using pet safe toothpaste and brushing daily. Also the client needs to know that there are dental treats available that help to keep the teeth clean and tartar free. By educating the client on the importance of oral health in pets, you are really helping to keep the pet as healthy as possible. And that is the overall goal of a vet tech!
Guidelines to Pass Veterinary Technician State Exam
Veterinary technicians are animal nurses that work in veterinary offices, animal clinics, emergency hospitals, rescues and shelters, and more. These individuals receive training and education during a 2-year associate's degree program which equips them to address basic and advanced animal health care issues. Here are a few of the primary things that veterinary technicians can expect to do on a daily basis once they get their first paying job.
General nursing duties. The bulk of a vet tech's time is spent performing general nursing duties like patient restraint, dressing wounds, weighing animals, taking body temperature, and taking lab samples (e.g. blood, urine, and fecal samples). Doing these tasks free up the veterinarian for more complex procedures like diagnosing patients, writing prescriptions, and performing surgical procedures.
Working with your team. Being a tech isn't always about working with animals! You're part of a bigger animal care team, and working with them to share information about different patients is a big part of the job. Even more time will be spent in this area if you are promoted to a managerial or supervisor role. If this is the case you'll be in charge of a team of veterinary technicians, and it will be up to you to make sure everyone is performing their duties correctly.
These are just a few of the many things a vet tech does on a daily basis!