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Introduction to a Career in Veterinary Technology

In recent years, the profession of veterinary medicine has become ever more sophisticated and complex. The public expects state-of-the-art veterinary care for its animals. To provide high quality service, today's veterinarians utilize the skills of trained professionals known as veterinary technicians.

Duties and Responsibilites

The veterinary technician is an integral member of the veterinary health care team who has been educated in the care and handling of animals, the basic principles of normal and abnormal life processes and in routine laboratory and clinical procedures. All veterinary technicians work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. While veterinary technicians can assist in performing a wide variety of tasks, they cannot diagnose, prescribe, perform surgery or engage in any activity prohibited by a state's practice act.

In Private Practice

A veterinary technician employed in a veterinary clinic or hosital handles many of the same responsibilities that nurses and other professionals perform for physicians. They are trained to:

  • Obtain and record patient case histories
  • Collect specimens and perform laboratory rocedures
  • Provide specialized nursing care
  • Prepare animals, instruments and equipment for surgery
  • Assist in diagnostic, medical and surgical procedures
  • Expose and develop radiographs
  • Advise and educate animal owners
  • Supervise and train practice personnel
  • Perform dental prophylaxes

In Biomedical Research

In addition to the responsibilities above, veterinary technicians employed in a biomedical research facility perform other duties under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, a bioledical ressearch worker or other scientist:

  • Supervise the humane care and handling of research animals
  • Assist in the implementation of research projects

Career Opportunities

While the majority of veterinary technicians are employed in private practice, the demand of technicians is rapidly expanding to include new employment opportunities in both human and anmal health-related fiedls such as:

  • Biomedical Research
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Zoos and Wildlife Facilities
  • Military Service
  • Food Safety Inspection
  • Diagnostic Laboratories
  • Veterinary Supply Sales
  • Humane Societies and Animal Control Facilities
  • Drug and Feed Manufacturer Companies
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