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What does a Veterinary Technician do?

In honor of National Veterinary Technician Week, we wanted to take the opportunity to get to know a local Veterinary Technician and answer a few questions that we all had. Erica VMC graduated from Wilson College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Medical Technology, and has been happily employed with Veterinary Medical Center of Lebanon, Inc. since November of 2003.

What is the difference between a vet and a vet tech? The difference between a vet and a vet tech is that a vet goes to school for longer than a vet tech and a vet can diagnose, prescribe medications, and perform surgery, which a vet tech cannot do.

What was schooling like? What can others expect if they want to become a vet tech? When I went to school I had to take a 4 year program to be able to take the boards to become a certified vet tech. Now there are a lot more programs available where you can go to school for a lot less time and still be able to take the test to become certified. I went to Wilson College, which did offer a lot of hands on learning. I would definitely recommend a program that offers a lot of hands on experiences because a book can only teach you so much.

Why did you want to become a vet tech? Besides that you love animals? I’ve always had an interest in medicine and was always drawn to animal medicine. At first I thought about being a veterinarian but then found that a vet tech seemed to be more hands on with the animals.

What is one piece of advice that you would like to offer others who may be looking to become a vet tech? I would recommend shadowing at a vet clinic to see what exactly vet tech’s do.

Tell me about any training you’ve had in a clinic? In the clinic that I work at I’ve been trained to work the front desk, assist the vet with exams, assist with anesthesia and monitoring during surgery, and perform doctor assigned treatments on hospitalized patients. Every clinic is different, so not all clinics may have their technicians do as much.

Tell me about the animals you cared for and rose in your life? Growing up, my family had dogs. We had a husky mix, then a german shepherd than a shepherd mix. Now I currently have 3 cats, 2 of which I rescued.

erica skunk

What if a client comes in to euthanize a perfectly healthy animal? This question is a hard one. We typically won’t euthanize a healthy animal. Of course there can be exceptions such as if an animal has gotten severely aggressive and all resolutions have been exhausted (medication, working with a behaviorist, possibly re-homing if the issue is just aggression with other pets, etc.) then euthanasia may become an option but we really don’t want it to come to that if at all possible.

Have you had any terrifying experiences with animals? Yes, in the past I have been bitten severely enough to need stitches.

Out of your vet tech experience, what do you enjoy the most? I think I enjoy the fact that every day is different. You never know what exactly you’re going to get each day so it never gets boring.

Tell us about a particular animal’s case that stuck with you? It’s hard to pick one, I would have to say it would have to be a C-section case where the dog had been in labor for hours and we weren’t sure if any of the puppies were still alive but we were able to save mom and all the pups. That was a really awesome feeling when all the pups were nursing off of mom and everyone was okay.

Thank you Erica for taking the time to answer all of our questions. If you would like to know more, feel free to reach out.

2 comments

  1. avatar

    i had to view a blog for my homework assignment for college, and came across this one. it is so helpful to anyone who is considering coming into this field of work. ive learned things I had not known before

  2. avatar

    That’s wonderful Brianna. Thank you for taking the time to let us know what you thought of the blog. If you have any questions that may help with your paper, don’t hesitate to ask.

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About Trisha Ries

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My husband and I are currently the lucky owners of two cats; Sushi McHoneyBadger and Puck, and a lovable rat named Dahmer. We currently live in one of the best little river towns in the world, no fooling :) I have gained a lot of experience over the years by working at That Fish Place - That Pet Place. I do my absolute best to provide the best care, love, and affection to all of my pets.
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