What a Vet Wants from their Vet Tech
Every veterinarian knows the value of an exceptional veterinary technician. Hard work and a good education will get you the initia
It takes a special type of person to cut it as an emergency and critical care veterinary technician. Veterinary technicians can work in an animal ER whether or not they have a specialty certification in this field. If you are a veterinary technician who is thinking about working in an animal emergency room, here are some things to consider when deciding if this exciting, emotional, challenging, and rewarding career is for you.
The duties and responsibilities of an ER vet tech vary widely. Thebalancecareers.com and Broadviewuniversity.edu
,outline some of the basic duties of an ER vet tech.
Working as an ER vet tech takes a dedicated and hardworking individual. Becoming a vet tech takes about 2-4 years of post-high school education and a degree in veterinary technology. They must pass a credentialing exam and keep up with regular continuing education. A vet tech wanting to specialize in emergency medicine and critical care needs additional training which is discussed in a separate section below.
ER vet techs should have a variety of technical skills which are learned in veterinary technician school and through on-the-job training. These skills include triaging patients, monitoring vital signs, obtaining blood, urine, and other samples, taking blood pressure readings, monitoring EKGs, running various diagnostic tests, taking diagnostic radiographs, and more.
In addition to the required technical skills, ER vet techs, and vet techs in general, should have some key characteristics to be able to work through the grueling hours and intense shifts that working in an ER requires. Thebalancecareers.com suggests that technicians should be able to work under pressure and be able to stay calm and react quickly during life-threatening circumstances. Techs will require mental, physical, and emotional strength and stability to see cases that can be disturbing and not for the weak-stomached. Communication skills and compassion are necessary to communicate with clients and take care of patients. A positive attitude is always a benefit.
An ER veterinary technician shouldn’t expect to work the typical 9-5 workday. Their shifts often start when the regular daytime veterinary practices close and extend throughout the night. Overnight shifts are common and working on weekends and holidays is often required.
ER veterinary technicians should expect to make a little more than a general practice veterinary technician given the multiple differences mentioned so far. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterinary technicians can expect to make an average of $34,430, based on 2018 statistics. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $23,490 while the highest 10 percent earn more than $50,010. With specialization qualifications, those numbers will increase.
There are different types of practices that technicians who enjoy emergency medicine can work.
Specialization in emergency and critical care is discussed in more detail in this post. Vet techs who specialize, have the opportunity to use their skills in more advanced ways. They can also expect a higher salary. According to the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians and Nurses, specialization is granted to individuals who have 3-5 years of ER experience, accumulation of continuing education, and advanced skills and knowledge in emergency medicine.
As you can see, veterinary technicians have endless options when it comes to where they want to focus their practice. Emergency and critical care is one of many and a great option for someone who enjoys the excitement and variability emergency medicine can provide.