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Who are these important individuals, and how do they improve your pet’s health?

Licensed veterinary technicians are often compared to human registered nurses. Despite a shared devotion to the medical field and caring for other living creatures, these two jobs are very different. So what are licensed veterinary technicians (LVTs), and what do they do? 

These individuals play a huge role in veterinary medicine, and if you are a responsible pet parent and take your four-legged family member to a veterinary hospital for regular exams, you are likely to meet a few LVTs in your lifetime. 

National Veterinary Technician Week, happening October 11th through the 17th this year celebrates LVTs’ hard work and extraordinary value. Being an LVT is no easy job, so let’s show these behind-the-scenes heroes some love by learning about and appreciating the contributions to pets’ health. 

What Do Licensed Veterinary Technicians Do?

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Licensed veterinary technicians are usually people with a passion for helping animals, especially concerning their medical needs. These committed individuals attend college and obtain a two or four-year degree focused on matters relevant in the veterinary field. They learn everything about assisting veterinarians with providing proper care for pets – from the physical aspects of the job, like animal handling, to intellectual aspects, like understanding physiology and pharmacology. 

Outside of their formal education, veterinary technicians never stop learning. LVTs attend meetings or other conferences that expand their understanding of the veterinary field and keep their knowledge current with the latest industry best practices. With the many regular advancements in veterinary technology happening, there are constantly new things for LVTs to learn.

The work associated with this job involves a variety of different yet interrelated tasks, including;

  • Assisting Veterinarians with surgical, medical, and dentistry procedures
  • Monitoring vital signs of sedated and anesthetized patients in all perioperative phases
  • Performing laboratory work and assist with diagnostic imaging
  • Communicating compassionately with concerned pet parents
  • Filling medications that veterinarians order
  • Comforting animals who are injured or ill
  • Keeping and organizing medical records
  • Educating clients
  • Finding creative solutions to the unique challenges that arise in a veterinary hospital. 

This list is just a small glimpse at some of the typical duties of an LVT. They often do much more. An LVT’s job is both physically and mentally demanding, but they do it out of love for the animals they serve.

Why Are Licensed Veterinary Technicians So Important?

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It would be very difficult for the veterinary field to successfully function at a high level without veterinary technicians. Veterinary technicians are the support system behind the work of every great veterinary hospital. 

These individuals contribute countless hours to ensure the health and safety of every animal they serve. Veterinary technicians work hard to keep your pets healthy, often spending extra time at work, skipping breaks to care for critically ill or injured pets, and coming into work at unusual hours to ensure their patients’ well-being. 

Studies have shown that the physical and emotional strain related to this career is higher than the average American job, making it more important to appreciate these individuals!  Most veterinary technicians are passionate about caring for animals, and all of their hard work deserves recognition.

How Can I show My Appreciation During Licensed Veterinary Technician Week?

If you are a client veterinary hospital, you can show your appreciation for veterinary technicians by treating them to coffee, donuts, or other sweet treats. Give the hospital a call before bringing food to check for food allergies so you can offer a safe and inclusive gift. 

Due to safety precautions and the pandemic, some facilities may not accept edible displays of gratitude. You can always treat them to new masks, some nice pens, gift cards, and other practical gifts in such a case. You would be surprised at how much veterinary technicians love any sign of appreciation for their service. Even a kind email can make their day!

Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week may only come once a year, but that doesn’t mean that these fantastic individuals can’t be recognized and rewarded all year! Let’s support these unsung heroes of the veterinary field by recognizing and rewarding all of their devoted work.