What Does a Vet Tech Do on a Daily Basis?

A typical day in the life of a veterinary technician includes a variety of tasks. While the day-to-day duties of a vet tech may vary depending on the type of practice they work in, there are some common duties that all vet techs perform on a daily basis.

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Introduction

A veterinarian technician is a medical professional who provides support to veterinarians. Most vet techs work in private clinics or animal hospitals, but some may find employment in research laboratories, zoos, or other settings. The duties of a vet tech vary depending on the employer, but generally include providing direct patient care, conducting diagnostic tests, and performing routine lab procedures.

In order to become a vet tech, most states require completion of an accredited veterinary technology program and passing scores on the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Some states may also require licensure. Once certified, vet techs can pursue additional specialization in areas such as dentistry, anesthesia, cardiology, or surgery.

The Many Roles of a Vet Tech

Vet techs play an important role in the day-to-day running of a veterinary practice. They are responsible for a variety of tasks, such as cleaning and sterilizing equipment, preparing animals for surgery, and providing nursing care to sick and injured animals. In addition to their clinical duties, vet techs also play an important role in educating pet owners about animal health and welfare.

Animal Care

Vet techs have many responsibilities, but animal care is always the top priority. As members of the animal healthcare team, vet techs provide nursing care and support to sick, injured and convalescing animals. This includes everything from administering medications and vaccines to monitoring vital signs and providing pain relief. Vet techs also often take x-rays and collect lab samples, as well as assist in surgeries.

Animal Restraint

Vet techs play an important role in animal restraint. They are responsible for keeping animals calm and still during procedures. This is done using a variety of techniques, including verbal persuasion, physical restraint and chemical restraint. In some cases, vet techs may also be responsible for sedating animals before procedures.

Laboratory Procedures

Vet techs play an important role in animal care by performing laboratory procedures. These procedures can include anything from taking blood samples to preparing tissue samples for examination.

In order to take a blood sample, a vet tech will first need to restrain the animal. Once the animal is restrained, the vet tech will then clean the area where the needle will be inserted and insert the needle into the vein. Once the blood has been collected, it will be labeled and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

Preparing tissue samples for examination often requires histological techniques. Histology is the study of tissues and cells under a microscope. In order to prepare tissue samples for histological techniques, vet techs must first fix the tissue in formalin. This is done by submerging the tissue in formalin and then allowing it to soak for a period of time. After the tissue has been fixed, it can then be embedded in paraffin wax. Once the tissue is embedded in paraffin wax, it can then be cut into thin slices using a microtome. These slices are then placed on slides and stained so that they can be viewed under a microscope.

Surgical Procedures

Vet techs often play an important role in assisting with surgical procedures. They may help to prep the animal for surgery by shaving and disinfecting the surgical site. They may also help to monitor the animal’s vital signs during surgery and provide assistance to the veterinarian as needed. After surgery, vet techs may help to monitor the animal’s recovery and provide nursing care as needed.

Anesthesia

Anesthesia is one of the most important roles of a veterinary technician. They are responsible for monitoring the patient’s vital signs and making sure they are stable during procedures. They also administer anesthesia to the patient and monitor them closely during recovery.

Radiography

Radiography (x-ray) is commonly used in veterinary medicine to visualize the internal structures of animals. As a vet tech, you will be responsible for positioning animals and operating the x-ray machine. This will require you to have a good understanding of anatomy so that you can properly position the animal for the best results. You will also need to be able to interpret the x-rays so that you can provide information to the veterinarian about what is going on inside the animal’s body.

Working Conditions

Most full-time veterinary technicians work in private veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, and zoos. They usually work during regular business hours, but some may have to work evenings, weekends, or holidays. working conditions are usually clean and well lit, but they may be cramped when dealing with large animals.

Hours

The majority of veterinary technicians work full time, but nearly 1 in 5 worked part time in 2016. Veterinary technicians usually work during normal pet clinic and hospital hours, which may include evenings, weekends, and holidays. Some technicians may be required to be on call or work overnight shifts.

Setting

Most veterinary technicians work in private clinics, veterinary hospitals, or animal shelters. They may also work for zoos or Avian and wildlife sanctuaries. Some technicians travel with livestock shows or conduct research on farm animals. Most veterinary technicians work full time, but some may work part time or evenings. Because they sometimes must work with animals that are ill, injured, or scared, they must be able to handle those animals calmly and safely.

Salary

Vet techs earned a median annual salary of $33,780 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, vet techs earned a 25th percentile salary of $27,140, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $40,210, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 174,600 people were employed in the U.S. as vet techs

The Future of Vet Techs

Vet techs are expected to see job growth of 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The large number of retirements among baby boomers will create job openings, as will the increase in the number of animal companions. In addition, demand for veterinary services is expected to grow as a result of pet owners’ desire to provide their animals with the best possible medical care.

Conclusion

A career as a veterinary technician can be both rewarding and demanding. A typical day in the life of a vet tech may involve everything from caring for sick animals to answering questions from concerned pet owners. No matter what the day brings, vet techs are dedicated to providing the best possible care for their animal patients.

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