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National Veterinary Technician Week


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Registered veterinary technicians are the backbone of veterinary medicine. And through the 19th of October you can celebrate National Veterinary Technician Week. The term veterinary nurse might better describe what registered technicians do. Technician or technologist makes it sound like they’re computer programmers. Fact is that vet techs actually do more than most human nurses.

From consoling owners following the loss of a pet to monitoring anesthesia during surgery to assisting veterinarians with dentals, the list of long of what registered technicians do on a daily basis. Other duties range from blood draws to communicating with clients about a wide range of topics from housetraining puppies to why heartworm preventives are important to assisting or taking blood pressure in cats, providing in-hospital nursing care and this list is still only partial.

Personally, I feel if it wasn’t for technicians – the quality of vet care in the U.S. would take a free fall.

I also feel that too many practices don’t fully utilize their technicians. Not only is it frustrating to be trained for a qualified for work you don’t do, giving techs the freedom to achieve their potential frees up the veterinarian to do more. And studies show that practices excel by hiring qualified registered veterinary technicians who are fully utilized for their expertise

I’m about to tell the truth about registered veterinary technicians. The job is a tough one. It’s physically demanding, and even more emotionally exhausting. No wonder job retention is an issue. Another issue is a matter of dollars and cents, as full-time technicians (many in the industry are part time) earn $25,000 to $35,000 on average.

Most veterinary technicians go into the industry for one simple reason, they want to help animals. Veterinarians are obviously needed to diagnose our pets, but I suggest veterinary nurses (and I do suggest they are nurses) contribute equally. I am proud to celebrate National Veterinary Technician Week.

So how do you thank a tech? If you’re a cat lover, I have an idea: The non-profit Winn Feline Foundation (funding cat health studies for 51 years) offers to salute technicians with a celebration of their work; it’s called the Veterinary Honor Roll. With a $100 donation, the technician you choose is awarded a plaque which can be displayed at the vet clinic, a letter from the Winn Feline Foundation and the honoree is highlighted on the Winn website. Also, the honoree is placed into a drawing to win a fancy stethoscope. Of course, the money supports cat health and welfare (and is a tax write off). Donate and honor a technician HERE.

 

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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