National Veterinary Technician Week is recognized annually in the month of October.
What is it like to be a Vet Tech? In a word: awesome! How many other jobs allow you to spend your day with animals?!
Of course the job of a vet tech is not all fun and games. The hours can be long and stressful. Sometimes you're sad when a patient you've been caring for loses the battle against disease. Occasionally you get smelly bodily fluids on your scrubs or in your hair. Then there are the smells associated with fecal samples, anal glands, vomit, and diarrhea.
The rewards of the job are many though! Like the joy of seeing a critical patient go home at the end of a long week and he's wagging his tail happily at the sight of his person. Teaching a client how to take care of her newly diagnosed diabetic pet. Seeing lost pets reunited with their families. And watching puppies and kittens play every chance you get!
What do vet techs do all day? We generally start our days by providing fresh food and water for our patients, taking them out to go potty and stretch their legs during a walk, setting them up with clean comfy bedding, and giving them their morning medications. During appointments, we will spend time teaching clients anything they want to know about pet care, assisting the doctors with exams and other procedures, and preparing medications to go home with pets.
Mornings are also spent in surgery. We prepare our patients for surgery according to the doctors' orders: giving pain medications, placing IV catheters, and clipping and scrubbing the surgery site. During the surgeries, we will closely monitor our patients while they are under anesthesia and hand the doctors any instruments or supplies needed. We stay with our patients while they are recovering from surgery and provide them with warmth, comfort, and love.
Throughout the day we will monitor and treat our hospitalized patients, always informing the doctors about what we see and how our patients are doing. We also run all laboratory tests in the hospital such as blood chemistries, CBCs, fecal analyses, and various disease specific diagnostics. Other duties include taking radiographs, cleaning, bathing patients, answering questions on the phone, and plenty of other sometimes -less-than-fabulous things.
What does it take to become a vet tech? Becoming a vet tech takes a caring heart and an inquisitive mind. You must love animals first and foremost! You must want to learn all you can about veterinary medicine and about animals. As a vet tech you combine your love for animals with your knowledge of veterinary medicine to provide the best care possible for your patients.