We have a (not-so) secret weapon in the veterinary profession: the registered veterinary technologist or technician (RVT). These highly educated medical professionals who work one-on-one with your pets every day are vital to a compassionate and well-run hospital. As we celebrate national Registered Vet Tech month in October, let’s explore some of the important ways they keep animals safe and healthy – in the clinic and at home.
RVTs are essentialRVTs perform a number of critical duties:
- Triage nurse. RVTs will record the reason your pet is visiting the clinic, ask about any pertinent history regarding diet and medications, as well as perform a vitals check by measuring temperature, heart rate, and respirations.
- Anaesthesiologist. RVTs place IV catheters, participate in administering anaesthesia drugs, place the endotracheal/throat tube that delivers oxygen to the lungs, and monitor anaesthesia for the veterinarian.
- Surgical nurse. RVTs assist doctors during surgery for advanced procedures like C-sections, orthopedic surgeries, major soft tissue operations, and open-chest procedures.
- Pharmacist. Once a doctor has prescribed a medication, RVTs dispense the correct size and form of a particular drug and can counsel pet owners on expected benefits and potential side effects.
- Teacher. RVTs are passionate about the human-animal relationship and love sharing knowledge to facilitate success for you and your pet with information about newly adopted animals, behaviour, housetraining, exercise, and senior wellness.
- Laboratory technician. RVTs collect blood, urine, and fecal samples; perform the analysis; and generate reports for the veterinarian to share with clients.
- Diagnostic imaging technologist. These professionals are not just taking x-rays of your pet. RVTs are vital in producing x-ray and ultrasound images, they also perform key functions in getting CT and MRI scans to assess serious illness.
- Tender loving caregivers. Puppy hugging and kitty cuddling are the duties that RVTs love the most!
Here are the personality traits you may find in a veterinary tech
- Loves a challenge. RVTs are the MacGyvers of the hospital. They can fix kennel doors, finagle the right temperature for the heat rock in the iguana cage, and keep IV lines untangled for crazy post-op kittens.
- Possesses great eye-hand coordination. RVTs are frequently the hospital’s go-to person for placing IV catheters in our tiniest or most dehydrated patients. They can also trim toenails on the wiggliest and “kissiest” of our dogs and cats.
- Hates math, knows the doctor does too. RVTs may be observed quietly walking beside veterinarians to confirm drug doses and intravenous fluid rates. When it comes to math, we are a true team!
- Loves the animals. RVTs have a true passion for animal welfare and wellness. They often have a zoo of shelter rejects and abandoned pets in their own homes. Their pride in providing compassionate veterinary care shines in everything they do.