Last week was Veterinary Technician (RVT) Appreciation Week. So, this blog is dedicated to my, and for that matter all, vet techs.
Who are they?
Technicians’ roles in private practices vary from specialized roles in large referral hospitals to the ‘jack of all trades’ in small, community practices. Many can be found in institutions involved in research and development of veterinary products. They are also involved in paraprofessional activities such as veterinary product sales and medical equipment maintenance. Some move into practice management areas. In human medicine they would be comparable to nurses (R.N.’s) or nurse practitioners.
The average technician spends two to three years in college level studies with the last year being devoted to a specific veterinary curriculum. However many students have other degrees and return for veterinary technology. They have to pass state and national boards before finally receiving their registered status.
The schools and programs have to be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Locally, the University of Cincinnati and the Ohio State University have excellent programs.
Currently, curricula has become available for board certification in specialty areas of veterinary technology. These would include specialties such as dentistry, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, oncology, and many more.
In addition, all RVT’s are required to take continuing education every year to keep their license, so, just like veterinarians, they are constantly learning and keeping up-to-date on new research and procedures.
We currently have one registered tech, Kati O’Rourke, and another, Kelsie Ober, who is scheduled to take her boards. Being small practices they serve multiple roles. Their traditional technical roles are in surgery, dentistry, phlebotomy, anesthesiology, laboratory, and patient treatment and care. In addition you are familiar with them in their reception and outpatient roles. They’re the ones that greet you with a smile and know and love your pets (as does our entire staff). Myself or Sarah will also occasionally put them in charge of educating our staff on patient care or certain veterinary topics.
Pictured above, Kelsie with her dog Milo at Strut your Mutt 2014.
Pictured above, Kati on the left with Sarah, Safety Dog, and Dr. Miller at Strut your Mutt 2014.
On a personal note, they make my daily work so much easier. They free up my schedule so I can devote more time to patients. I feel secure in surgery knowing my patients are being monitored by trained, dedicated people. I know my patients are in expert and caring hands. They are dental hygienists supreme. And they do so much more. You are probably talking to them when they do a followup call to you or call you with lab results. They take your pets history and have them ready to go when I enter the room.
They are simply THE GREATEST!
And I’m sure I don’t tell them enough….thanks for all you do.
Dr. Miller is the owner of the Lifetime Pet Centers. He has been practicing veterinary medicine in Southwest Ohio for his entire career.