Like in any other occupation, the veterinary technician job duties are varied and dependent on the type of facility. In general, the primary work of veterinary technicians is to help veterinarians perform duties needed to ensure the health of pets and other animals. Often times, the veterinary technician job duties include doing basic laboratory work. These job duties require the vet tech to perform urinalysis, stool test, and blood chemistry, including the drawing of blood and collection of urine and stool samples.
Veterinary technician job duties are not limited to laboratory work. In some situations, a veterinary technician may be asked to assist the veterinarian in performing surgery. Veterinary technician job duties also include the administration of anesthesia prior to surgery, aside from the common duty of giving medications to animals and pets. In clinics and hospitals that provide in patient care, the veterinary technician job duties include monitoring of temperature and other vital signs of pets, as well as other post surgery work such as wound dressing and physical rehabilitation. Some veterinarians allow veterinary technicians to diagnose and look for solution to health problems of the animals at pet hospitals. In a broad sense, the veterinary technician job duties encompass everything that the veterinarians need in the laboratory or facility. They must become skilled in a wide variety of specialties in order to earn the highest veterinary technician salary possible.
In a nutshell, veterinary technicians are medical technologists, nurse, secretary, and doctor’s apprentice rolled into one. Hence, the veterinary technician job duties can sometimes be overwhelming, especially for an inexperienced vet tech. This is especially true when a veterinary technician is working at an animal research facility. When in a research facility, the veterinary technician may be tasked to perform genetic procedures on laboratory animals like mice, frogs, and pigs, among others. Veterinary technicians are sometimes involved in experiments that do not only promote animal health, but also towards the advancement of human wellbeing. This setting can be seen in research facilities that perform genetic engineering and cloning, which is usually tested first in animals. New veterinary technician job duties may be added once a novel situation arrives; hence it is important for vet techs to be flexible.
Veterinary technicians also perform what may be considered as blue-collar jobs, or work that may be too hard or unpleasant for pet owners to do. These veterinary technician job duties are the ones performed by vet techs who work in pet clinics. Veterinary technicians in clinics are sometimes tasked to clean pet cages. They are also exposed to more risks at pet clinics and hospitals, where their duties may require them to work with aggressive dogs and other animals. The veterinary technician job duties at clinics are not only dangerous, but can also be emotionally draining. This is because veterinary technicians are also called to euthanize or put to sleep pets and animals that are deemed incurable. The experience can be very stressful especially for vet techs that become emotionally attached to the animals they work with.
Some animal hospitals and clinics are open 24 hours a day. Because of this, and the fact that veterinary technicians are essentially like nurses, the veterinary technician job duties also include working during the night. The need for veterinary technicians has extended beyond pet clinics, animal hospitals, and research facilities. Today, some veterinary technicians are already working in pharmaceutical companies, as well as with some private organizations and government agencies concerned with disaster prevention and community safety, further extending the veterinary technician job duties.
Veterinary technician job duties may be daunting at first glance, and it may turn away people planning to become veterinary technicians. However, those fears will certainly vanish once a vet tech realizes that all those veterinary technician job duties are amply compensated.