When my dog got really sick and had to be hospitalized for 6 days in 2018, the vets there let me sit with him for most of the day on the weekdays when they weren’t as busy. This gave me the rare opportunity to see the vet techs and assistants work behind the scenes and helped me gain a deeper appreciation for all they do. Since I was only there when there weren’t important procedures being done, I’m sure what I saw was only a fraction of what vet techs normally do, but some of those things included:
- regular temperature checks,
- checking IV pumps and changing bags when low,
- responding to IV pump alarms (low battery, air bubbles, etc.),
- checking catheter sites for swelling,
- making sure patents’ bedding was dry,
- cleaning pets who’d soiled themselves,
- taking them outside for potty breaks,
- keeping records on when patients ate and relieved themselves,
- keeping pets warm and staying by their side till they were safely out of anesthesia,
- syringe-feeding the sickest pets and gently wiping off their chins and chests,
- and in tragic cases when a pet got there too late for help, delicately wrapping it up in a blanket before bringing it back out to its owners.
Every morning, a tech would call me to give me an update even though they’d just seen me at the end of visiting hours the night before. When my dog finally and eagerly ate some chicken on day 5, they cheered and celebrated with me, and when the vet finally cleared him to go home, they were really happy for me.
While the vets were responsible for overseeing my dog’s care, diagnosis, prescriptions, and interpreting lab results, it was the vet techs and assistants who did the “heavy lifting”. Had they not let me spend so much time visiting my dog, I never would have come to realize this.
A study on burnout in the veterinary field published at Veterinary Integrations Solutions found that one of the causes of burnout in vet techs is due not to feeling appreciated. And this is because most pet parents simply don’t see and realize how much the vet techs and assistants do behind the scenes.
So, available for download as of today is a new infographic on the important role vet techs (or nurses) play that you can share with fellow pet parents and remind them to thank the vet techs at their next visit.
“Don’t forget the vet techs!” Infographic Download
An infographic on the important role vet techs (or vet nurses) play in the care of pets at a vet hospital. Accompanying blog post: 8 important jobs done by vet techs in vet hospitals.
Don’t forget the vet techs!
Vets have dozens of patients to see and clients to talk to throughout the day, which means they rely on vet techs to take care of animals in the hospital.
Pet parents sometimes thank the vet but forget (or don’t realize) how much the techs did behind the scenes to get their pet well enough to go home.
- Monitor hospitalized pets around the clock
- Make sure medications are given on time
- Perform procedures and treat patients
- Collect samples for and run labs
- Provide first aid and assist in emergencies
- Prepare pets for and assist with x-rays and surgeries
- Conduct initial assessments and triage
- Educate pet parents