Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week


If hugs counted for $1 apiece, the U.S. government could balance their budget on the number of free hugs technicians/nurses give to clients. Veterinary technicians do it for love. Likely, one of the most frustrating repercussions of the pandemic for techs means no hugs.

Veterinary technicians, with characteristic unbridled passion, are the unsung champions and downright backbone of veterinary medicine. Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week is October 17 to 23.

The one word describing the role veterinary technicians have today is vital, demonstrated time and again throughout the pandemic.

In veterinary medicine, it may easily be argued that when utilized to their full capability, one certified or registered tech might be equal to two human nurses, a half a doctor and a dose of psychiatrist. That’s a lot of skill packed into one person.

No wonder there’s a movement to rename technicians to veterinary nurses. In one day, a single tech may assist in dentals like human dental hygienists; they’re often the radiologists of vet medicine by handling X-rays; techs offer nutrition and behavior advice to pet owners; they describe how to give medication to a pet who might not want it, and explain how to use products and when to use products, such as heartworm preventives; conduct puppy classes; run lab tests; assist the veterinarian in handling animals; assisting in surgery, including the administration and monitoring of anesthesia. And when hospitalized and a dog needs to go potty, guess who brings the plastic bag along for the walk?

Also, technicians are the primary communicators in veterinary medicine. Sometimes clients are too intimidated speaking to their veterinarian, or the vet may simply not have the time to explain house training 101 or how to give a cat a pill. The vet techs offer the comprehensive medical explanations and with unmatched compassion, such as describing what it means that your cat is diabetic and how to administer insulin or explain Cushing’s Disease in a dog .

That compassion goes a long way when it’s end of life, not only do techs assist in the actual process they console families and provide support, sometimes for days or weeks after the event.

You might think that the average technician requires cloning to get it all done.

Think the cost of veterinary medicine is high now? Without certified or registered technicians – who don’t receive anywhere near enough money for what they do – all pet parents would be paying FAR more for everything involved in veterinary medicine. Due to the repercussions of the pandemic, perhaps you can’t hug your vet tech but you sure can say “thank you.”