What is a Veterinary Technician?

A veterinary technician is the main source of help for a veterinary doctor. Just like medical doctors work with nurses, vets count on vet techs to assist them with a variety of things. The type of work that you will do as a veterinary technician varies widely depending on your experience, what type of setting you are working in, and your specialties. For example, a vet tech in a small-town clinic does different things than an experienced vet tech specializing in anesthesia does while working in an emergency hospital.

Despite these differing responsibilities, there are some general things that almost all vet techs do during their careers, such as:

  • General animal nursing
  • Talking with and educating clients
  • Inducing/monitoring anesthesia
  • Collecting and analyzing lab samples
  • Radiology (taking x-rays)
  • Supervising other staff members

Other roles and responsibilities included:

  • Dental care assistance
  • Surgery preparation and assistance
  • Cleaning (cages, instruments, patients)
  • Patient restraint
  • Updating case files
  • Dressing wounds
  • Office work (filing, answering calls)
  • Exercising/walking patients
  • Vaccinations
  • Euthanasia

Things A Vet Tech Doesn’t Do:

  • Patient Diagnosis
  • Patient Prognosis
  • Perform Surgery
  • Prescribe Medications

The list of vet tech responsibilities is pretty lengthy. Anything the vet needs help with, that’s what you’ll be there for.

Many people confuse vet techs with vet assistants. Read more about the important differences between these two jobs here: Vet Assistant vs. Vet Tech: What’s The Difference?