There’s no doubt—veterinary technicians are the glue that hold a practice together. Not only do they act as the liaison between veterinarian and pet owner, but they also perform a wide variety of diagnostic tests, and provide nursing care, and everything in between. A skilled vet tech can assist with a complicated orthopedic surgery in the operating room, and then run to the reception area to help wrangle the phone lines into submission. Our Groves Veterinary Clinic vet techs can handle every possible task. Follow us around, as we shadow our veterinary technician team for the day.
A day in the life of a Groves Veterinary Clinic veterinary technician
7:00 am: Our team arrives before the doors open to ensure they’re ready to hit the ground running at 7:30 am. They prepare for the day’s busy schedule by prepping the surgery suite, restocking the treatment area, and tidying up the exam rooms. They also check on hospitalized patients, administering treatments and nursing care, and then verify that the patient’s record is accurate and up to date.
7:30 am: When the doors open, our vet techs are ready for action, first greeting the day’s surgical patients. Surgeries are performed first thing in the morning, to allow plenty of time to closely monitor the patients for post-op complications, and ensure they have the whole day to fully recover.
7:30 to 9:00 am: During the early morning rush of surgical check-ins, our vet techs discuss each patient’s procedure with the pet owner. They verify the procedure being performed (e.g., a dental cleaning, spay, or cranial cruciate ligament repair). They also double-check the pet’s problem area, to ensure they treat the appropriate spot. Searching for a dime-sized mass that will be removed from a Newfoundland is no easy task without guidance! Once they establish the pet’s specific procedure, they perform their pre-surgical physical exam and obtain any diagnostic tests, such as blood work and X-rays. They calculate customized anesthetic protocols for each patient, place intravenous (IV) catheters, and prepare the patients for surgery.
9:00 am to 1:00 pm: Once Dr. Groves checks his surgical patients, the vet tech team rolls into the surgery suite. On this day’s books are a German shepherd spay, a Labrador retriever splenectomy, and an exuberant Great Dane puppy’s fracture repair.
While the spay runs according to the book, the splenectomy is a different story. The Lab’s spleen was riddled with cancer, making the organ friable and prone to bleeding during removal. Fortunately, the talented vet techs performed a speedy blood transfusion in the middle of surgery, boosting the Lab’s blood pressure, and preventing a fatal outcome. Careful monitoring before, during, and after surgery kept the Lab pain-free and comfortable, and out of danger from the risky surgery.
Although the Great Dane’s fracture repair went smoothly, their recovery was rough, so our vet tech sat with the pup, overseeing the pain medication and sedatives administered to calm the pup. But, only when she started singing lullabies did the pup settle down and drift off into a restful sleep.
1:00 to 1:30 pm: The vet techs sit down for a quick bite to eat, but they are still working—they finish filling out medical charts, inputting notes, and handling follow-up calls to check on patients.
1:30 to 5:30 pm: Moving on to the second half of their day, our vet techs divide into room techs and lab techs. The room techs go into the exam rooms to gather patient histories, educate pet owners on health care topics, and assist Dr. Groves with his exams and treatments. The lab techs perform diagnostic tests, such as blood work, X-rays, urinalysis, ear cytology, and fecal exams. They also perform the bulk of the treatments, whether the pet is hospitalized, or is going home with their owner. Calculating drugs for prescriptions and injections, gathering vital signs, administering treatments, cleaning ears, expressing anal glands, and trimming nails are a few of the many tasks our vet techs handle during appointments.
In the midst of the afternoon appointments, an emergency rushes through the doors—a kitten who is not breathing well after being shaken by the household dog. Our vet techs jump into action, immediately administering flow-by oxygen to help the kitten breathe better. They take the kitten’s vital signs, and get permission to give medication to help ease his pain and stress. Once Dr. Groves is able to attend to the kitten, he was already much improved and breathing normally. Our vet techs’ training, quick action, and ability to triage and treat urgent cases prevented the kitten’s needless suffering.
5:30 to 7:00 pm: Once the last appointments are finished—including the wellness visit that turned into a diabetes diagnosis—our vet techs end the day by cleaning up the aftermath. They also release the surgical patients who are ready to go home, and prepare those who need to be hospitalized overnight. They perform the evening treatments, ensure the patients are clean, comfortable, and happy, and update pet owners on their pet’s condition. After checking on all the patients under their care, and finishing up the day’s loose ends, our vet techs head home to tend to their own pets and families. They work a long day, but are always ready to come back and provide top-notch care again the next day.
We think our veterinary technicians are pretty incredible, and we are inspired every day, seeing how many patient care tasks they manage in one day. Check out our vet techs in action by contacting our Groves Veterinary Clinic team for an appointment.