Hug Your Veterinary Technician


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Veterinarians don’t save lives alone. When a pet is rushed to emergency surgery, it’s likely a veterinary technician is administering anesthesia. Veterinary technicians often intervene in behavioral issues, which if not rectified might mean the pet lands in a shelter. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America celebrates National Veterinary Technician Week, October 13 through 19.

When a pet is euthanized, not only do veterinary technicians compassionately assist in the process  – it’s their wide shoulders that clients may literally cry on. When a puppy or kitten is brought into the clinic, it’s the veterinary technician that your cutie might meet first. And technicians often offer puppy or increasingly kitten classes, teaching pets and their people.

I am sure the public really may not know what the wide ranging job description of technicians happens to be, or the impact technicians have on treating pets.

The job isn’t easy. Can you say “expressing anal sacs?” It’s a stinky job. Veterinarians typically walk out of the room, and offer the honor to the technician.

The job is mentally and physically taxing. Not all pets say “hooray, just what I’ve always wanted a veterinary visit.” And naturally, tougher than dealing with aggressive pets are some of us fractious clients. Well, have you have tried handling a terrified cat? I believe it’s akin to going to war.

Technicians are unsung heroes.

Often technicians take one for the team. How often do technicians hear, “I love the so and so veterinary practice,” when we’re  really saying, ‘I love Sally or Tom’ – or whoever the technician is.

Or the technician is greeted with a long speech about Dr. Smith – but really it was that very technician who saved the pet, or at least contributed – but we don’t know.

There’s much to thank technicians for. If technicians somehow earned what they deserved, veterinarians would be charging far more for the most routine veterianry care. Simply put, veterinary visits would be unaffordable.

Technicians hardly decide on their profession to get rich quick. They are – to a person – all there for one  reason – to help pets and families. Their role is indispensible, and – in fact – growing in importance.

Some technicians flee the field after a year or two or three – it’s not easy, underpaid, challenging, and typically going without recognition – yet many hang in there and love it, after five years or a decade or more.

I can tell you this: Without technicians, profession wouldn’t be the same – and many beloved pets here today simply wouldn’t be here.

I am confident if most pet owners understood the significance of the job technicians routinely labor daily, we’d all cheer one giant ‘thank you!” Hug your veterinary technician this week!