Friday, October 19, 2012

Veterinary Technicians Behind The Scenes

With a soothing pat on the head, her calming words are the first thing your dog tunes in to upon recovery from surgery at the veterinarian's office. Quickly and painlessly he collects necessary blood samples and rewards his patient with an affectionate ear scratch or tasty treat. Celebrating your pet's successful recovery from illness, it's the veterinary technicians that are with your pet every step of the way- ensuring your pet is exercised, receives timely medications, and lavishes in ample TLC making the veterinary hospital experience a positive for your pet.

This week veterinary professionals nationwide recognize the dedicated service of our veterinary technicians with National Veterinary Technician Week. Known as vet techs or veterinary nurses, the veterinary technician does much more than the title conveys. Veterinary technicians are the veterinarians right hand, whether working in private practice, research, teaching, or industry.

Today's certified or licensed vet technician is highly skilled, pursuing education through two or more years of schooling at one of the 160 accredited veterinary technology programs across the country. In these programs vet technicians study pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, dentistry, anesthesia, and emergency care. Following schoolwork the veterinary technician must pass national and state testing before earning licensure.

Veterinary assistants are non-licensed professions but receive their training through vet tech programs or on-the-job experience. Both licensed vet techs and veterinary assistants compose the vet support team and are familiar faces your pet recognizes with a wagging tail.

I was fortunate to attend vet school at Purdue University where veterinary students and veterinary technician students worked and learned side-by-side in the veterinary teaching hospital. There I recognized how essential vet techs were in the hospital and education realms.

Without the daily efforts of my hospital's veterinary technicians and vet assistants, my job would be impossible. A big thank you goes out to veterinary technicians everywhere!

For more information on the veterinary technology programs visit the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America at


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