October is a month filled with wonderful things. Crisp days, colorful leaves, all things pumpkins spice and national veterinary technician week! National veterinary technician week extends from October 15th – 21st, 2017. As many of you know, I pay the bills by working as a veterinarian. I wouldn’t be able to provide the same standard of care to my patients if I did not have amazing, hardworking veterinary technicians at my practice. (Let’s be honest, I need all the amazing, hardworking receptionists, kennel staff, and fellow veterinarians as well. But since it is national veterinary technicians week, I will just focus on my vet techs in this post).
Did you know that the term “veterinary technician” wasn’t widely used until past the mid-1900s? In fact the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)wasn’t formed until 1981. Prior to this, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) oversaw the first accreditation of an animal technician program in 1972. This accreditation process is important to ensure that veterinary technicians receive adequate training for their jobs. And a well trained veterinary technician is super important to the daily function of a veterinary clinic/hospital.
Even though, they carry the title of technician, veterinary technicians function as a veterinary nurse and more. They fill prescriptions, administer vaccines, draw blood, restrain animals, take radiographs, place catheters, trim nails, answer phones, assist veterinarians, clean teeth, monitor anesthesia, and more. They do all of this despite a low salary, long hours, animals who don’t always appreciate their care, and dealing with too many piles of poo and vomit. Additionally, they receive less acknowledgement and public praise for their efforts compared to veterinarians. Case in point, I googled famous veterinary technicians for this post, and only received results for famous veterinarians and generic articles about veterinary technicians on the first 5 pages of the search.
So with all that said, here are my efforts at writing an ode:
Oh, The Glorious Veterinary Technician
Oh, the glorious veterinary technician
She shows up bright and early
to ready the clinic for whatever the day will bring
from distraught clients to crashing patients, she is ready
Oh, the caring veterinary technician
He greets the new puppy with joy
discussing intestinal worms, flea preventatives and vaccines
the new pet parents are grateful, he educates
Oh, the skilled veterinary technician
she manages the surgery suite
drawing blood, placing catheters and monitoring anesthesia
whatever surgery the veterinarian performs, she prepares the patient
Oh, the overworked veterinary technician
Between his scheduled appointments he runs
helping a coworker hold a large dog, answering the phones
no matter how big or small the task, he is there
Oh, the poor veterinary technician
It is almost the end of her day
She has blood stains on her shirt and just found a piece of stool in her pocket
Now stooping to clean vomit from a kennel, she persists
Oh, the glorious veterinary technician
The backbone of a veterinary clinic
worth his weight in gold
Please remember to thank him and remind him, he is SO important
Okay, so I may not be a poet.
I looked for some better ones, but alas, limited odes to veterinary technicians appear on the web. So if you are interested in learning more about what veterinary technicians do and how important they are to the care of your pet, check out some of these articles:
- Dr. Andy Roark’s Vet Tech Archives. He writes some really great articles!
- This post, about The Vet Tech Pedestal – And Why They Deserve It
- This blog by veterinary technician, Bonnie Loghry: Vet Techs in the 21st Century
- This post from the AVMA about national veterinary technician week (They also provided the image used on the header of this post. Thanks for providing photos for use as cover photos.)
And if you are interested in become a veterinary technician, I highly recommend shadowing at a veterinary clinic.
Alright everyone, go thank your own veterinary technician this week or next time you see them!
Do any of my readers have stories of a time a veterinary technician made a difference in your life or the life of your pet? If so, please share them below.