Celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week

In Celebration of Our Veterinary Technicians

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has proclaimed October 15-21, 2017, to be Veterinary Technician Week. Here at Animal Surgical Clinic in Seattle, we can’t think of a better opportunity to give you a glimpse into the role of a veterinarian technician and to celebrate our wonderful team.


In addition to having a passion for animals, veterinary technicians (equivalent to human healthcare nurses) usually complete a two- or four-year program, depending on the state they live in. Additionally, techs complete a 6-month course in clinical experience. Some choose to also complete a one-year internship at a veterinary clinic or teaching hospital.

After completion of studies in both large- and small-animal science, graduates have to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam or VTNE to receive their license and an associate degree in science.

To maintain a current license, techs are required to complete continuing education (CE) hours, with the requirements differing from state to state.

However, the education does not stop there. In recent years, just as the demand for specialized care from veterinarians has increased, it has also spawned specialties within the veterinary nursing profession.

Today, there are 12 specialties that techs can apply for, including veterinary technician anesthetists, veterinary surgical technicians, veterinary critical care technicians, veterinary oncology technicians, veterinary rehabilitation technicians, and behavioral specialists.

The Veterinary Tech’s Role

Now that we’ve gotten all the “technical” stuff out of the way, let’s talk about what technicians actually do. The answer is everything. From triage to discharge, the veterinary tech probably has the most hands-on experience with a patient. They collect and run blood and urine samples, take radiographs, perform physical exams, restrain patients, place IV and urinary catheters, take vitals, administer IV and oral medications, walk patients, and carry out treatment orders.

They are often responsible for providing client education and are many times, the voice on the line when a client calls with questions.

Most importantly, by providing informed, compassionate care, techs are the patients’ best advocates.

Many in the field believe that the term technician is misleading since pet parents don’t always associate “technician” with the concept of care. That is why NAVTA has launched an initiative to change the title of Registered Veterinary Technician to Registered Veterinary Nurse, believing the title is reflective of what a veterinary technician actually does.


Our Technicians

At Animal Surgical Clinic in Seattle, we are very fortunate to have a crew of highly skilled, experienced, and compassionate technicians, with over 100 years of combined experience. Additionally, many of our technicians have been with our team for over 17 years.

They often go beyond the call of duty for our patients but also lend their expertise in veterinary medicine. We are proud to have one of the most comprehensive multimodal pain management protocols in place. It was developed over the years with equal input from our technical staff, who are continually learning about the latest advancements in pain control. A few of our technicians are also members of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM).

Every member of our technical staff has their own certain area of interest and each is as unique as the pets they treat. We have our resident cat whisperer, our little-dog charmer, our big-dog bewitcher, our fussy-eater enticer, our cautious-dog calmer, and our pit bull persuader.

Although we hope it’s apparent that we appreciate our techs for what they do on a daily basis, we would like to take the opportunity during this special week to thank them for all of their hard work and years of loyalty.

Next time you visit your primary care veterinarian or our clinic, please give the technicians and assistants a big thank you for all their hard work.

Posted October 16, 2017 by Animal Surgical in Noteworthy with No Comments

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