What is a Veterinary Technician and is it the Right Role for You?

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What is a veterinary technician?

The veterinary technician is the veterinary surgeon’s key assistant. They will be responsible for all of the technical support when your pet is having any kind of medical procedure. While they cannot be involved in actually performing surgery, prescribing medicines or making a diagnosis, they can be involved in all other aspects of animal care.


Day-to-day responsibilities


Physical examinations

If an animal is brought into the vet clinic, a vet technician might be the one to give them an initial physical examination, making notes of anything out of the ordinary. This may involve checking temperature, heart rate and eyes and ears.


Sample taking

Vet technicians are often responsible for taking blood samples if a pet needs to be tested.



An animal may need an X-ray if there is a chance that they have broken or dislocated a bone, or have suffered another form of injury. The veterinary technician can run the X-ray and deliver the results to the surgeon.


Preparing equipment for surgery

While vet technicians aren’t qualified to perform surgery, they do play an integral role in its success. It is vital for all surgical equipment to be properly cleaned and positioned before a procedure, and the vet technician will make sure this happens.


Administering medication

Vet technicians cannot prescribe medicine but they can administer it on a vet’s recommendation. Whether it is for a routine check up or post-surgery, this is important for keeping pets happy, healthy and pain-free.


Perform dental procedures

Just like humans, the teeth of animals need to be cared for in order to prevent decay and other complications. If a pet is suffering dental complications, the veterinary technician will perform the necessary procedures.


Qualities needed



Veterinary technicians are heavily involved in the small details – from taking comprehensive notes during physical health examinations to ensuring each piece of surgical equipment is ready for the required procedure. A close attention to detail is absolutely essential.


Technical aptitude

The role of a vet technician requires intelligence and an understanding of all things technical – from X-rays to monitoring equipment.



As a vet technician, you will sometimes work with animals who are sick, injured, or dying. Compassion is essential to make pet owners feel as comfortable as possible during a traumatic time.



Veterinary technicians will almost always be working alongside a vet surgeon, as well as other assistants. Cooperation and communication between all members is crucial when providing animal care.
You can keep an eye on the blog for more information on the types of job roles in animal care.