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Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Technician


Give sick animals some TLC.

What does a Veterinary Technician do?

A veterinary technician is the nurse at an animal hospital. You’re responsible for assisting the vet with routine checkups, surgeries, emergency procedures and filling prescriptions: Scalpel. Suction. Milkbone? Stat!

In the course of an average day as a veterinary technician, you take blood samples, perform lab tests like urinalysis, record case histories, clean teeth and develop X-rays. Be aware: This is not a job for the squeamish. Be prepared to see animals that are severely injured, sick, or even dying. As an animal lover, it’s hard to deal with emotionally sometimes, but you get a lot of satisfaction from watching your patients make a full recovery thanks to you and your vet’s handiwork.

When the furry ones don’t need your attention, you help take care of the veterinary office. This might include cleaning cages, feeding animals, washing dishes and surgical equipment, and manning the front desk. Sometimes it’s a dirty job, but when you hear the sound of a happy, purring, healthy kitten, it’s all worth it.

Important aspects of the job sometimes overlooked are communication skills and teamwork. Ultimately, working with animals involves working with the animals’ people. At times, you talk with owners about treatment options and the severity of their pets’ conditions. You need to be tactful and professional, especially when the owner is angry or sad.

Teamwork is also key because veterinary offices tend to be small, with employees performing a wide range of functions. From taking out the trash to suturing a wound, no job is too big or too small. Egos should be checked at the door.

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