Veterinary Technologists and Technician Career

Job Description: Perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.


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Veterinary Technologists and Technician Career

What Veterinary Technologists and Technicians do:

  • Clean kennels, animal holding areas, surgery suites, examination rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Prepare and administer medications, vaccines, serums, or treatments, as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Prepare animals for surgery, performing such tasks as shaving surgical areas.
  • Provide assistance with animal euthanasia and the disposal of remains.
  • Restrain animals during exams or procedures.
  • Collect, prepare, and label samples for laboratory testing, culture, or microscopic examination.
  • Perform laboratory tests on blood, urine, or feces, such as urinalyses or blood counts, to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of animal health problems.
  • Clean and sterilize instruments, equipment, or materials.
  • Fill prescriptions, measuring medications and labeling containers.
  • Care for and monitor the condition of animals recovering from surgery.
  • Provide veterinarians with the correct equipment or instruments, as needed.
  • Take animals into treatment areas and assist with physical examinations by performing such duties as obtaining temperature, pulse, or respiration data.
  • Observe the behavior and condition of animals and monitor their clinical symptoms.
  • Discuss medical health of pets with clients, such as post-operative status.
  • Give enemas and perform catheterizations, ear flushes, intravenous feedings, or gavages.
  • Take and develop diagnostic radiographs, using x-ray equipment.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for surgery.
  • Maintain instruments, equipment, or machinery to ensure proper working condition.
  • Maintain controlled drug inventory and related log books.
  • Maintain laboratory, research, or treatment records, as well as inventories of pharmaceuticals, equipment, or supplies.
  • Monitor medical supplies and place orders when inventory is low.
  • Provide information or counseling regarding issues such as animal health care, behavior problems, or nutrition.
  • Bathe animals, clip nails or claws, and brush or cut animals' hair.
  • Supervise or train veterinary students or other staff members.
  • Administer anesthesia to animals, under the direction of a veterinarian, and monitor animals' responses to anesthetics so that dosages can be adjusted.
  • Perform dental work, such as cleaning, polishing, or extracting teeth.
  • Administer emergency first aid, such as performing emergency resuscitation or other life saving procedures.
  • Perform a variety of office, clerical, or accounting duties, such as reception, billing, bookkeeping, or selling products.
  • Dress and suture wounds and apply splints or other protective devices.
  • Schedule appointments and procedures for animals.
  • Conduct specialized procedures, such as animal branding or tattooing or hoof trimming.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Holland Code Chart for a Veterinary Technologists and Technician