October 15th-21st is National Veterinary Technician Week. A veterinary technician, or vet tech, plays a vital role in a veterinary hospital.
The veterinary medicine field did not originally include trained veterinary technicians. The veterinarian would often employ the help of someone to assist with nursing duties, receptionist duties, and housekeeping. It wasn’t until the 1950’s when the first veterinary technician training program was developed for enlisted Air Force Members. In the 1960’s, an official program for civilians was established. In 1989, the AVMA (Animal Veterinary Medical Association) approved the term “veterinary technician” to replace “animal technician”. By the end of the 1990’s, the veterinary technician field had seen change and restructuring of training, licensing, and organizations due to the wider acceptance and need for trained and qualified veterinary technicians.
Most veterinary technicians will attend a 2-year program and graduate with an Associates in Science degree from an accredited veterinary technician program. After graduation, the veterinary technicians can take state and national board exams. Each state differs on requirements to become a registered veterinary technician. Once licensed, a veterinary technician will perform a variety of roles in the veterinary hospital.
These duties can include:
- Anesthesia monitoring
- Dental prophylaxis
- Preparing lab samples
- Nursing duties
With the growing need for quality veterinary care, veterinary technicians are a necessary part of a veterinary hospital. For many families, their pets are like family members. From the exam room to the surgery room, you can count on a veterinary technician to give your beloved furry friend lots love and care.