What it Means to be a Vet Tech

I’m a veterinary technician. When I tell people that I meet my job title, I’m greeted with, “Oh, how cool! You must love dogs!” And I tell them that yes, I love all my pup pals, and the kitty ones too, and birds, ferrets, rats, snakes, horses… just about anything in the animal kingdom has my sincere respect. But, my job is about so much more than a deep appreciation for the patients we serve. If you saw all of the proverbial hats in my proverbial closet, you might be a little befuddled as to how I can fit all those hats on my head at once!

Being a veterinary technician is about so much more than a basic and instinctual love of animals. We’re there when you bring your best friend in for his annual check up, getting to know your lifestyle and relationship so that we can keep him or her healthy always. We’re also the ones there when your buddy’s sick, asking you pointed questions (which you answer honestly!) to try and pinpoint how to serve you best. We work with the veterinarians, receptionists, practice managers, and other veterinary professionals to logically break down exactly what it is that’s making Big Jake feel so icky. We make sure that when you leave our clinic for the day you feel taken care of, happy, and proud of your decision to bring your pet to Paz Vet. That is part of what the veterinary technician role is to the onlooker – a perfectly mixed cocktail of compassion, problem solving, communication, interpretation, and natural ol’ love.

Once you pull back our golden velvety curtain and peek into the treatment area, you’ll find we have taken off a couple of hats just to put on a couple more. We keep Bella happy with treats and kisses while she gets fluids under the skin that will make her feel so much better, though at the time are making her feel stressed and uncomfortable. We’re also prepared for when the treats aren’t enough and Bella lets us know that she is so over it by working efficiently and with dexterous skill. We keep a keen eye on Miss Ford as Dr. Carter removes a half-eaten rope from her belly, making sure that she is safe under anesthesia and that she comes out of anesthesia safely. We’re ready to be there when the unthinkable happens and we have to deliver emergency care – we brainstorm with speed, we work under pressure, we ensure healthy vitals, and we place IV catheters like serious champs. Behind the scenes you’ll find that to be a veterinary technician requires lightning fast reflexes, a keen and watchful eye, consistent precision, and sometimes, thick skin.

Being a vet tech makes me feel passion and excitement every single day I come in to work. It makes me feel fulfilled that I get to be a care provider for an integral part of your family. It makes me feel loved that I get so many sloppy doggy kisses all the time. It makes me feel connected to the greater picture as I get to know newborn kittens found under a porch, meet dashing doggies fit for the show ring, and get a peek at the gentle souls of geriatric sweeties who are happiest just lookin’ at life out the living room window. I have learned so much about myself, and my connection with others (pets and their people alike), from being a veterinary technician. I feel so fortunate that my job allows me to be a part of something that is fueled so deeply by passion – and yes, lots and lots of love.

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