Tonight, in honor of last week’s veterinary technician week, we are showcasing the unsung hero of veterinary medicine, the veterinary technician. Like their RN human medical counterparts, veterinary technicians are the work-horse of the veterinary hospital, in charge of client communication, administration of treatments, laboratory procedures and diagnostics, rehabilitation, nad much more. Unlike their RN counterparts, veterinary technicians must be educated and proficient in multiple areas of medicine, including orthopedics, clinical pathology, internal medicine, rehabilitation, radiology, and dentistry…essentially, like the veterinarian that takes on multple areas of expertise, the veterinary technician must also be able to navigate through multiple branches of medicine.
Below are the talking points for tonight’s episode. Remember, we are back to live broadcasting by both video and audio streams, so in addition to e-mailing us (firstname.lastname@example.org) questions and comments to be addressed on the air, you may call in live as well.
Thanks for all your support and for caring about what I have to say!
Roger Welton, DVM
Episode talking points:
1) Veterinary Technicians and veterinary assistants are an essential part of many successful veterinary practices. Their primary goal is to assist the veterinarian to ensure the best possible outcome for each and every patient.
2) In helping the doctor, technicians and assistants are called upon to be a nurse, laboratory technician, radiology technician, anesthetist, surgical nurse, grief counselor, patient comforter and client educator.
3) Veterinary technicians can also be found in research laboratories, educational centers, zoos, the military and pharmaceutical companies.
4) The first Veterinary Technology program was actually started by the Air Force in 1951.
5) A Certified, Licensed or Registered Veterinary Technician has completed a minimum of two years of schooling at one of the more than 160 accredited veterinary technology programs across the United States. A Veterinary Technologist has completed a four year, bachelor’s degree program.
6) In both cases, state veterinary practice acts require take and pass a credentialing examination. This ensures the veterinarian and the public that the student has entry level knowledge of the tasks they will be asked to perform in the hospital.
7) Veterinary assistants are also highly skilled individuals in the veterinary practice. They may receive their training through online courses, high school programs or even through a college certificate program. Many experienced veterinary assistants are simply trained “on the job”.
8) Veterinary technicians can also become specialists in areas such as dentistry, anesthesiology, emergency and critical care, behavior, equine medicine, surgery, nutrition and even internal medicine.
9) Each year, the second week in October is recognized as National Veterinary Technician Week. This week celebrates the commitment that veterinary technicians and assistants give to veterinary medicine and the hard work that they do each and every day.
Dr. Roger Welton is the President and chief veterinarian at Maybeck Animal Hospital in West Melbourne Florida, as well as CEO of the veterinary advice and health management website Web-DVM.net.