Do you know the difference between a veterinary technician and a veterinary assistant?
Veterinary Technicians are in integral part of the veterinary team. They work under the direction and supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Their job is to improve the welfare of dogs, cats, exotic pets, lab animals, farm animals and zoo animals by assisting in their healthcare.
The role of a veterinary technician is a combination of skills including nursing, radiology, lab work, and customer service. Their job responsibilities can include:
• Providing first aid and nursing care to a variety of species
• Assisting veterinarians during examinations and procedures
• Phlebotomy and intravenous catheter placement
• Performing or assisting with diagnostic tests such as radiographs, urinalysis, fecal exams and blood tests
• Conducting routine procedures like dental cleanings and immunizations
• Preparing animals for surgery, inducing anesthesia, assisting in surgery and post-anesthetic recovery
• Monitoring the condition of patients and documenting medical charts
• Dispensing prescription medications under the direction of a veterinarian
• Educating pet owners on animal care and welfare, disease prevention, disease treatment and behavior concerns
• Ensuring that lab animals receive humane treatment.
Veterinary Technicians cannot perform surgery, give a patient a prognosis, diagnose a problem, or prescribe medication.
Veterinary Technicians must attend a 2-4 year program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). They also must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam and, in some states, a state licensing exam. They are required to get continuing education to keep their license valid.
Veterinary Assistants are also a vital part of the veterinary team. However, they are quite limited in what they can do in comparison to the veterinary technicians. They generally assist the veterinarians and technicians with patient restraint, kennel work, cleaning, and general care of animals. Some colleges offer programs for veterinary assistants, but it is not a licensed position. Most assistants are trained on the job.
All of our veterinary technicians at the Bright Vet Clinic and the Dearborn County Animal Clinic have graduated from accredited programs. They are licensed in the state of Indiana.