In honor of 2018 National Veterinary Technician Week, I would like to highlight 5 reasons why veterinary technicians are nothing short of heroes. As a practicing veterinarian for 16 years and a practice owner for 13 years, I have known for a very long time that a veterinary clinic/hospital is only as good as the veterinary technicians that see to patient care and minute by minute veterinary practice operations.
1.) They do it for love of the profession!
Veterinary technicians spend at least 2 years in veterinary technology school, pass national boards, and need to maintain a license with continuing education. It is a rewarding profession for those who love the job for the sake of the job. Sure, they need to make a living, but in a field that pays less than the amount of education, skill , patience, and hard work that the job of a veterinary technician demands, they are in it for aspirations that far surpass monetary reward.
2.) They are fearless!
In one single day it is not uncommon for a tech to get bitten, scratched, knocked over, and urinated or defecated on; yet they persevere, change the scrubs, dress their wounds, and push on with little to no complaint. Thankfully, techs are well trained enough to avoid serious injury most of the time so urgent care visits are not all that common, but it is a rare vet tech that avoids at least a bad scratch in work week.
3.) They are multi disciplined!
In the course of a single morning, a veterinary technician may serve as s phlebotomist, physical therapist, dental hygienist, radiology technician, cytologist, inventory manager, ICU nurse…I really could keep going on here but you get the idea. Point is, veterinary technicians are nothing if not versatile with a capital “V”.
4.) Despite their toughness, they are compassionate and empathetic.
A vet tech may be fearless, stressed, and possesses an amazing work ethic, but one of the their most endearing traits is that no matter what the circumstances, they never lose their humanity for the animal patient and the families that love them.
5.) They keep veterinarians focused and grounded.
Juggling often heavy case loads, calling on lab results, and keeping up with charting, it is our technicians that give us constant reminders to triage our cases, call on the most urgent lab results first, perform follow up after care progress calls, and keep us moving when the more chatty of us get a little behind on schedule (of course I am not one of those). They are often our conscience and our rocks when our jobs occasionally leaves us emotionally and physically drained. Their words, their tenacity, and their spunk lifts us up when we feel we may have nothing left.
Happy National Veterinary Technician Week my friends! May this week each year always remind you how special you are!
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and highly regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a globally recognized expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.