Veterinary Technician Responsibilities

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Veterinary technician responsibilities cover a wide variety of activities in a veterinary setting. The main purpose of a veterinary technician is to perform medical tests and support a licensed veterinarian who diagnoses and treats the illnesses and injuries of animals. The range of veterinary technician responsibilities may include:

  • Take note of animal’s condition
  • Observe animal behavior
  • Collect blood, tissue, and urine samples for further testing
  • Conduct laboratory tests, such as blood counts and urinalyses
  • Administer medications, treatments, and vaccinations prescribed by a veterinarian
  • Provide direct nursing care or emergency first aid to injured animals
  • Assist with surgery by preparing instruments and materials
  • Take and develop x-rays
  • Take and record patient’s case history

Collaboration Between Veterinarian and Veterinary Technician

In order to provide high quality service and have the time available to give each patient direct attention, a veterinarian relies upon support staff like the veterinary technician. Veterinary technician responsibilities require a vet tech to assist the veterinarian with his/her less difficult tasks. The veterinarian’s role is to make a diagnosis and provide options for the patient. Once a decision has been made by the patient’s owner, a plan of action will proceed based on the advice given by the veterinarian. The veterinary technician responsibilities focus mainly on ensuring the plan of action flows smoothly by relieving the veterinarian of everyday tasks, such as taking blood samples, administering medication, etc.

Research Related Work

Some people become veterinary technicians because they want to conduct research that involves animals. This requires them to know and understand how to care for animals. Veterinary technician responsibilities during a research project may include ensuring that all animals are handled carefully and humanely. Common areas of research that a veterinary technician may participate in are bio-medical research, food safety, and disaster preparedness. Many veterinary technicians who enter the research field specialize in a particular discipline of veterinary science. Some common specialties include dental technology, emergency and critical care, anesthesia, and zoological medicine.

Veterinary Technician Responsibilities vs. Technologist Responsibilities

A veterinary technologist and veterinary technician share many of the same responsibilities. However, there are some clear differences that set the two apart. First, most veterinary technologists have a 4-year bachelor’s degree in veterinary science. A veterinary technician usually only attends a 2-year associate’s degree in a specialized veterinary technology program. Veterinary technologists are more often used to work in advanced research projects under the guidance of higher scientists and sometimes veterinarians. They generally work in a laboratory setting and provide less care to pets. The veterinary technician responsibilities, as discussed above, center around supporting a veterinarian in a local, usually private owned, veterinary clinic or hospital.