National Veterinary Technician week is held each year during the third week of October. In honor of national Veterinary Technician week, we thought we would share with you who our Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVT’s) are and what they do in a private practice.
A CVT is a graduate from a two or four-year, American Veterinary Medical Association accredited program at a college or university. For certification, a student must pass a comprehensive practical and written examination. We currently employ four certified veterinary technicians here at GRVC.
A CVT has multiple fields of expertise. Like a nurse in the human medical field, they help with treatments and observation of our hospitalized patients and are responsible for communicating with the client and helping with patient care during appointments. They admit patients daily to the clinic for anything from routine exams to emergencies. They are the clients first point of contact for all medically related questions. The CVT will get a thorough history and document it in the patients’ medical record. They will then give the attending doctor the complete history and assist the doctor so that they can perform an examination. CVT’s can give vaccinations and under the attending doctors discretion. They routinely give other injections according to treatment plans.
They are also medical lab technicians. They are very proficient at drawing blood and run them on in-house laboratory equipment or prepare specimens as needed to send out to specialty laboratories. CVT’s are trained to look at blood, urine, skin scrapes, impression smears, and stool samples under the microscope.
CVT’s are also x-ray technicians. They set up and take x-rays for the doctors.
A certified vet tech is also a pharmacy technician. They fill any prescriptions the doctor prescribes.
In addition to the roles listed above they are also anesthetists who place catheters and sedate patients for surgery. Once under anesthesia they monitor the patient’s vitals and relay information to the doctor on how the patient is doing.
CVT’s are trained in surgical assistance and have a knowledge of all the different instruments needed for a procedure. They prepare the packs and sterilize them for use in surgery. At times they scrub and glove up in to assist the doctor with complicated surgeries.
They are also trained as dental hygienists. They perform charting and oral exams, dental cleaning and polishing and alert the doctor of any trouble areas.
Lastly, they are trained in basic grooming techniques such as nail trims, anal gland expression, clipping and bathing.
As you can see our certified veterinary technicians have an incredible scope of responsibility in the private practice setting! In fact, it is almost easier to list what they cannot do: make diagnoses, perform surgery or prescribe medications. They are indispensable to the veterinarian and help to keep the schedule going and the pets and clients cared for and comfortable. If you see one of our veterinary technicians (especially this week!) be sure to thank them for all they do for us and our pets! They are the best!