Veterinary technicians, or vet techs for short, are a critical part of the Groves Veterinary Clinic team. These highly skilled, educated professionals manage routine hospital tasks, patient care, and client education with efficiency and expertise. Because of their immense capability, our veterinarian can focus on examinations, diagnosis, treatment, and surgery. Together, we deliver award-winning veterinary medicine.
Many pet owners are familiar with the vet tech’s role during an appointment, but their true versatility and depth of knowledge often goes unnoticed. Here are a few key roles our vet techs may perform on any given day at Groves Veterinary Clinic.
The veterinary technician is a counselor
Vet techs are trained to handle all pet species, at various life stages, with a range of personalities, from cooperative to combative. These varied experiences make them a reliable resource for pet care tips and tricks. Chances are, they have pearls of wisdom for you, from getting your cat in the carrier, to litter box training your rabbit, to giving your dog a pill they do not want.
The veterinary technician is a comforter
Vet techs are involved in your pet’s entire life. They celebrate your new pet’s first visit, and help with advice on care, food, and training. Through the years, they listen to your frustrations and concerns, and laugh at your pet’s latest antics. The vet tech honors your pet’s life when you finally say goodbye, and helps the veterinarian ensure a peaceful passing. With a gentle hand, a shared memory, or a follow-up call, vet techs care for owners, too—such compassion is in the heart of a vet tech.
The veterinary technician is an anesthetist
A licensed vet tech intubates each surgical patient, and induces their anesthesia, and an anesthesia technician is dedicated to their perioperative care from start to recovery. Our techs are well-versed in pharmacology, with a thorough understanding of drug delivery, action mechanism, metabolism, and side effects. While the veterinarian selects the drug protocol, the tech ensures its efficacy by monitoring the patient for appropriate anesthetic depth and analgesia.
We use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, but that cannot compare to the minds, eyes, and hands of our skilled and attentive vet techs, who commonly anticipate emergencies, and take any necessary appropriate life-saving action.
The veterinary technician is a surgical assistant
Vet techs can literally be the veterinarian’s right hand. They may scrub in, and provide surgical support by applying traction, pressure, or tension to organs, tissues, or bones. Surgical techs may protect the sterile field, pass requested instruments to the veterinarian, and prepare suture needles, scalpels, drill bits, and screws. Vet techs may be asked to collect tissue samples, place orthopedic screws, cauterize vessels, and perform incision closure, under close veterinary supervision.
The veterinary technician is an exceptional caregiver
Many pet owners are surprised to learn that vet techs are the primary hands-on caregivers in the hospital. In addition to basic husbandry, such as feeding, cleaning cages, and keeping patients clean and dry, vet techs administer most medical treatments that the veterinarian prescribes. Here are a few of the many care tasks vet techs perform:
- Maintaining intravenous and urinary catheters, feeding tubes, and wound drains
- Applying ice or heat to an orthopedic patient’s surgery site, and helping these patients with passive range-of-motion exercises
- Changing bandages or casts, or caring for splints
- Administering injections, oral medications, or topical treatments
- Providing nutritional support for reluctant eaters
- Providing one-on-one attention and social interaction, which is proven to reduce patient stress and accelerate healing
The veterinary technician is a dental cleaning expert
When your pet has a dental cleaning, you can thank a vet tech for their fresh breath and shining white teeth. Vet techs perform full-mouth dental X-rays for each patient, as well as detailed scaling and polishing of each tooth. They patiently clean every crevice, nook, and cranny of each tooth with an ultrasonic scaler and fine hand-tools, to remove plaque and tartar.
The veterinary technician is a diagnostic guru
Efficient and accurate diagnostics are critical to a well-functioning veterinary clinic, so naturally you will find techs in the laboratory and X-ray room, too. They are responsible for gathering most patient samples, including blood, skin, urine, and feces, so they need to know the sample collection requirements for each specific test, and their preparation, storage, and processing. Depending on the case, the tech may run samples on our blood and urine analyzer machines, send the sample to an external lab, or review a slide under the microscope. Vet techs frequently read microscopic samples for:
- Fecal parasite screenings
- Ear cytologies
- Skin scrapes
- Complete blood counts
The vet tech is a radiology technician
Many joke about a vet tech’s superpowers, and X-ray vision is certainly one of them. Techs perform X-rays on a daily basis, using their knowledge of anatomical structure, exposure techniques, and a bit of animal-whispering, to obtain diagnostic images for the veterinarian. Vet techs are also found in the ultrasound suite, where they provide gentle restraint and encouragement to pets receiving advanced imaging.
The next time you are at our clinic, thank one of our veterinary technicians for their compassionate care.
Contact Groves Veterinary Clinic—and particularly one of our amazing vet techs—for all of your pet care needs, and for any advice. If you can catch them between tasks, that is!