This month holds a very special week in the veterinary world: Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week.
This week serves to give much-needed gratitude to those that work behind the scenes in the clinic taking care of all the four-legged family members that come through our doors. These people help the doctors in all aspects of pet health care, in addition to giving large doses of comfort and love that you would give at home.
Oftentimes there is a misleading conception of what being a veterinary technician is. Many people in this position receive comments like: “It must be fun to play with puppies and kittens all day.” Although we do get to meet, cuddle, and love on some very cute critters here, the job is much, much more than that.
Veterinary technicians are a jack (or jane)-of-all-trades when it comes to being an animal nurse. Our technicians have many different duties they have to be able to succeed in completing before they are able to assist the doctors. These tasks come with tests and quizzes to ensure that every patient gets the utmost care – these standards are important to us at Abshier-Meuth and our associate offices. We want all clients to trust us to give exceptional medical care, so it is imperative that our technicians are not only confident – but accurate with their duties.
Duties and responsibilities vary from day to day for each technician. This means that they have to be prepared to play different roles – sometimes more than one within the workday. Technicians have to be radiologists, pharmacists, surgical techs, anesthesiologists, dental hygienists, emergency nurses, phlebotomists, kennel workers, note-takers, teachers, groomers, behavioralists, nutritionists, physical therapists – the list could go on and on. Their bodies take a mental and physical beating working with pets of all sizes in any condition they may visit. They are the doctor’s right hand and one of the most important links between veterinarians and clients.
Of all the veterinary technicians that I have worked with on patient cases – they have one thing in common: the care and love they have for every patient coming through our doors. When they clock out, their thoughts about the cases they’ve seen through the day don’t get left at the door. I have witnessed technicians become so affected by cases they have to walk away for a moment. I am always impressed by the level of compassion and professionalism they uphold - they return to their patient and speak to clients with ease when I know the case has taken an emotional toll.
Many clients have worries about leaving their fur-babies here with us – I am here to tell you the people tending to our patients throughout the daycare just as much as the families missing their pets at home. Every emotion that a client may have when their pet has to visit us is felt just as strongly by every member of our staff. We sympathize, empathize, and console all while keeping professional integrity with each case.
This is just a glimpse into the role of a veterinary technician. The physical, mental, and emotional requirements of the job entail much more than can be explained by words. So, don’t forget to hug and thank your technician – they’ll appreciate it much more than you know.