Work Life of a Veterinary Technician – An Insider’s Perspective

USA is a place where pets are considered to be the next best thing after marriage. Obviously with so much of pet adoption taking place in the country there are lots of pet fanatics who love being around these animals. This is where the job of a veterinary technician becomes quite appealing to people that love pets. But things are not quite rosy as people consider it to be and when you actually conduct the tasks done by the veterinary technician you come to know about the challenges that they have to face during their work life.

Veterinary technicians work closely with veterinarians and provide medical care and other services to take care of animals. The tasks may be directly contingent on their licensing and certifications. Normally a veterinary technician needs to conduct the tasks of answering telephones and booking appointments. But that is not all. They also need to admit and discharge patients. They also are responsible to provide medications to the patients and recording their behavior after administering the medication. If they have proper certifications then they may even administer anesthesia along with providing emotional support to patients if they appear fearful.

They also collect blood and urine samples from patients and then conduct tests on those samples. There are certain veterinary technicians that take X-rays and submit the results to the veterinarian. They also look after the dental health of the patients by screening the tooth of the patients. They may even be required to brush or polish the teeth of the patients or help the veterinarian with dental surgical procedure. Since the work conducted by veterinary technician is quite diverse they need an extensive educational background in most cases.

Let us now look at the toughest tasks conducted by veterinary technicians:

  • Veterinary technicians do the dirty job of cleaning the bodily fluids like blood, urine, anal glands, diarrhea, vomit and saliva of the animal on a regular basis. But there are certain days when they have to clean up bloody diarrhea, chest fluids, afterbirth, rotten flesh, maggots, stomach acid and content, bile, squishy eyeball juice along with pulling fluids from abdomen, lungs and chest. The other aspect is the challenge of maggots that can be a very disgusting experience. Due to diarrhea and even a small wound flies are attracted to that open skin laying eggs resulting in maggots that eat the flesh of the animal. The challenge for the veterinary technician is to shave down and hose off the poor pets so that the veterinarian can assess the damage and take a decision on whether they can save the pet.
  • The pets that come to the veterinary technician are never well behaved. In fact, they are highly fractious which requires veterinary technician to be highly skillful in maneuvering the body and utilize tools that are highly efficient in controlling these animals. There are times when the animal is stronger than them and they want to eat their face or there are certain pets that are scared to a level that they want to run off from the clinic.
  • The toughest job of a veterinary technician is to deal with the death of animals. They need to retrieve the dead body, bag them up and take them to a cooler place.
  • It is quite dangerous and peculiar situation when your patients use teeth and claws to get themselves off. Sometimes veterinary technicians get scratch marks, abrasions and need to deal with hazardous drugs and radiation while treating the pet.
  • Veterinary technicians also need to perform euthanasia to patients that no longer can recover. They know deep down in the heart that the pet cannot go home from the particular situation. Due to love and affection the owners may want them to keep the animal alive, but veterinary technicians are aware that this is the best thing that they can possibly do to relieve the suffering of the patient. This is the hardest thing to do as a veterinary technician.
  • Since veterinary technicians deal with sick things on a daily basis, it becomes very difficult to control their emotions. They need to be strong-minded individuals with clear thinking. If they find an animal suffering they will not cry over it, but will give the poor animal proper dosage so that they can recover on a timely basis. When an animal dies they should not panic, but perform CPR to try to reinstate the animal. In the end veterinary technicians do have a heart and so sometimes they cry, but that does not mean that they will not conduct the right thing to save a life.
  • Veterinary technicians are most overworked and underpaid workers in the USA. In fact the average median salary of a veterinary technician is a meager $29,000 according to Indeed.  There are certain people who work under $10 per hour. Since their job requires lots of physical work, hard mental work, emotional turmoil the remuneration that they receive at the end of the day is not much. They perform multiple roles like nurses, dental hygienist, janitors, secretaries, grief counselors, and anesthesiologist.

In the end, it is fair to say that the job of a veterinary technician is both rewarding and challenging. They not only deal with angry animals, but also scared and happy pets. If one loves being with animals then this job can be very exciting. When you are doing something which you love the day gets over very quickly with very less stress. At the end of the day it is the help that you do for your patients is what makes this profession highly satisfying for veterinary technicians. So, are you enthusiastic enough to become a veterinary technician? Please post your comments below.

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Post Author: Jesse McDaniel

Jesse McDaniel is an animal activist that raises concerns and spreads awareness regarding pet health issues. She is also a self-proclaimed pet lover who tends to support many pet shelters, assisting them with supplies and medical aide on a regular basis.