Veterinary Technicians are an integral part of the veterinary hospital team. Their role extends well beyond what is taught in school or is evident on paper, and they are some of the most incredibly compassionate, caring, selfless and kind individuals on the planet. The expertise, guidance and assistance of a top notch veterinary technician is truly invaluable. Veterinary technicians make up an enormous part of the framework of a veterinary clinic; they offer continual support and guidance to the client service representatives that answer the phones and serve as the front line at the clinic. They are constant advocates for our beloved four-legged patients that don’t have their own voices. A good veterinary technician is able to pick up on some of the most minute changes in a patient to ensure that every effort is made to improve the animal’s health and enhance their veterinary experience. Veterinary technicians in many hospitals are responsible for spear-heading the ‘Fear Free’ movement that has made great strides since its inception in 2016 towards improving patient experiences at the veterinary clinic by reducing fear. Additionally, the support that veterinary technicians provide to the veterinarians that they work closely with is entirely indescribable; vet techs truly keep veterinarians on track in a million different ways.
At my first job as a veterinarian fresh out of veterinary school, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a group of extremely talented, dedicated, and knowledgeable veterinary technicians. In reflecting back on that first year, I am positive that the vet techs that supported and guided me through my first emergency cases, my first surgeries and, well, just about everything about my first months as a veterinarian served to mold and shape me into the capable veterinarian that I am today. Of course, my wonderful veterinarian mentors taught me many clinical lessons, but I’ll never forget just how much knowledge I gained from working closely with all of the incredible veterinary technicians that I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with during my veterinary career.
This week, October 14-20, 2018, is National Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week. This is a reminder for all of us to stop and say, “Thank you” to the amazing veterinary technicians that we know and love and that are all too often underappreciated. Many of us have been touched by the compassion of a veterinary technician, and many of our furry friends are living a better life because of the care offered by a veterinary technician, so please spend some time this week thanking these wonderful individuals. Write a quick card addressed to your favorite veterinary technician or a card addressed to all of the vet techs at the veterinary hospital where you take your pets. It’s no joke that vet clinics love food so drop off a plate of your favorite cookies, candies, donuts or even a veggie tray for the veterinary technicians at your clinic. You could even just make a quick, simple phone call to the vet clinic, ask to speak to your favorite vet tech and simply say thanks for everything that he or she has done for you and your pet. There are so many ways to express gratitude, feel free to get creative, but whatever you do, don’t forget to say thanks! A simple thank you will mean more than you’ll ever know to these hardworking, dedicated individuals. I know that I would not be half the veterinarian that I am today if the incredible technicians that I’ve had the pleasure to work with (past, present and future), didn’t do such a great job making me look good!
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By: Kerry Ryan, DVM